We’ve all been there. It’s mid-afternoon, your motivation is low, and the next thing you know you’ve reach the bottom of the bag of pretzel thins thinking “When did that happen?!” Boredom eating happens to the best of us but here are 3 simple tips to help you overcome it!
Boredom Eating Solutions
Use The Hunger Scale
First thing first, ask yourself if you’re actually hungry. I use the hunger scale (And you can snag the same copy I use in my free e-book here!) It’s also not a bad idea to think back to the last time you ate something. Sometimes, when we’re at work and super into a task time can FLY by. Next thing you know hours have gone by and you may not FEEL hunger, but know that your body could use some nourishment. This is what I call “practical hunger“, where you might not feel those cues, but you know intuitively what would do your body some good!
It’s okay if you don’t totally understand how to use the hunger scale. I’ve got a full YouTube video on how to use the hunger scale. And if you’re like, Colleen, I have NO IDEA how to know when I am hungry or what it feels like, you’re going to want to checkout this blog post all on how to get hunger cues! This is a key step before using the hunger scale!
Get Your Emotions In Check
So, say you’ve assessed yourself on the hunger scale and…turns out you’re NOT actually hungry! Next thing to do is to ask yourself what you’re feeling. Time to get emotional! Are you feeling stressed because you’re avoiding a project you don’t want to do? Maybe you’re feeling a little sad or anxious, or maybe you’re just plain BORED. Here is a great post on how to identify your emotions.
Once you’ve identified that emotion you’re feeling make a list of non-food related ways to handle that emotion. For instance, if you’re bored can you throw on some music or take a walk to the far bathroom? If you’re stressed can you use a stress ball or put on some relaxing scented hand lotion? Make a list of 5-8 things for each emotion you might feel and have any items you need at the ready.
Don’t Beat Yourself Up
If you’ve done the above 2 tips and you’re STILL finding yourself obsessively thinking about the bowl of Reese’s Cups sitting so nicely on the table don’t beat yourself up. Instead of thinking like you’re SO BAD for boredom eating just do it mindfully. Sometimes we DO want to eat when we aren’t hungry because chocolate just sounds freakin’ GOOD! And that’s 180% normal! The key is to try not doing it on autopilot. Notice how whatever you’re eating looks, tastes, smells, etc. I always say you should be able to describe the food to someone once you’re done eating it. This will help you from reaching the bottom of the bowl and thinking “Well… That was fast…”.
If you try SO HARD to avoid the food you’re craving- hungry or not- you’re going to set yourself up for over eating. Your body is going to want to stock up on it while it can because you’ve told it it shouldn’t have it. So, it won’t know when you’ll allow it some again! Better get it now!
For me one of the biggest struggles I had when it came to cravings was having one of those big ol’ sheet cakes in the break room! Checkout this post on what to do about free food and if you should eat it here. SO helpful if you struggle with this, too.
If you put these 3 tip to beat boredom eating into play I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised at what happens: feeling better mentally and physically!
Leave a comment below with the time you find yourself boredom eating most! Is it at work? At home on the weekends? For me it’s TOTALLY mid-afternoon. It’s like my body just need a break from working. But, I use the hunger scale, assess my emotions, and have some if I’m craving it. All of which leads to a happier, healthier Colleen!
Happy food rule breaking!
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