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Eating out of boredom? Here's how to stop
When it comes to eating out of boredom, you’re looking for some practical strategies, something that will help you kick the habit, and steps that actually work!
We know where you’re coming from because we’ve been there too.
This isn’t just another list of tips and tricks. We’re sharing the strategy proven to work with hundreds of clients.
Are you ready?
Let’s jump right in….
The most important question you can ask is: “Am I actually hungry?”
If you are, then all is good, right? Let’s eat!
But eating when we're physically hungry isn't the problem, it's eating when we're not.
Eating out of boredom leads to overeating, and overeating = weight gain.
If the answer to "Am I actually hungry?” is "No," then it's not physical hunger we're dealing with; it's emotional hunger. And knowing the answer to this question is critical. Now that we know, we can adjust our behavior to deal with it.
Okay! From here, the next step is to experience the emotion.
Let’s take a minute or two to actually ‘feel’ what it’s like to BE bored.
Boredom isn’t going to kill us. Sure, it feels uncomfortable, but we’re not going to die. - -
Many of us dive straight into food to mask and avoid our feelings. And while suppressing or soothing our emotions isn't always a bad thing, we want to choose an activity that isn't going to hurt us in the long run.
Up until now, the habit has been:
We feel bored (the trigger),
We start eating (the routine), and
We experience momentary pleasure (the reward).
Our goal is to change the routine and replace eating with something else.
But first, we need to find out what that something else is!
Let's start by taking out a sheet of paper or opening a note on your phone and brainstorming any possible eating alternatives that come to mind.
Here are a few ideas to get the creative juices flowing:
—Watch a YouTube video.
—Walk to the next office and strike up a conversation.
—Spend 5 minutes in that book you’re trying to finish.
—Text your mom (she’ll love you for it!)
—Take a walk outside and get a shot of vitamin D.
The options are endless, but the key step is narrowing down the list of alternatives to something you’re okay trying.
So we’ve found a healthy alternative that we’re feeling good about. Great!
Now here comes the hard part, and this is where most people quit.
We’re going to replace food with our other action.
Here's a word of caution: it’s not going to feel great, at least in the short term. Watching a YouTube video when we’re bored is (arguably) not as pleasurable as snacking. In fact, we may even feel distressed, like we can’t do it and we have to eat something NOW!
But it’s only when we build this habit through consistency and repetition that it becomes easier.
These steps work, without a doubt. But two of the BIGGEST problems we run into are:
Staying aware of our choices, and
Getting the repetitions in.
We have to be conscious of the choices we’re making before we can insert a new action, AND we have to practice day-in and day-out...until it’s aut-o-matic!
One of the best ways to bring awareness to our choices is through daily logging, and the best way to get practice is with a coach or accountability partner.
A coach will keep you going when things get tough and you want to give up. They supply the external motivation that’ll help you kick the habit of eating out of boredom for once and for all!
Sometimes it’s okay just to eat. Don’t you agree? Eating out of boredom is only a problem when we overeat. That's when we gradually pack on those extra pounds.
But we can use healthier food choices to keep us heading towards our weight loss goals.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with eating a few peanuts, carrots, or other veggies.
1.) Choose foods that take time to eat. For situations where we just want to eat a bit out of boredom, let’s opt for peanuts in the shell, pistachios, or even sunflower seeds. Eating these foods takes some work, and at the same time, they slow things down.
2.) Use a physical stop. Not down with seeds or nuts? A small bowl or cup will go a long way! If we start eating ice cream out of the carton, then chances are we’re going to eat more than we had planned. But, if we scoop a quarter or half a cup in a bowl and then put the carton back in the freezer, we’ve created a physical stop.
When we’re done, we’re done!
Let MyBodyTutor help you beat eating out of boredom!
We’ll help you stick to the plan by providing daily and personal accountability like no other service in the world. This is why we get the results we do!
We will assign you your very own expert Body Tutor who will hold you accountable while guiding and supporting you every step of the way.
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