Other than actual hunger, there are a number of things that can cause you to want to eat. Primary among them are issues such as eating when bored as well as sheer habit. Any of these things can make you want to start to eat more food than you actually need. They can make you feel as though you are hungry, when there actually isn’t a single signal being sent from your stomach to your brain to indicate that your belly is empty.
You Can Stop Eating When Bored
Fortunately, there are a huge number of things that you can do as an alternative to eating, when you would usually find yourself snacking away in a mindless way. The key is to know when you are actually hungry, and to eat at those times, and to recognize that there are many other times when a simple change of activity or habit could be all you need to stop continually feeding yourself. Eating when bored will be a thing of the past if you stick to a few pieces of advice.
Many people find that by being more mindful about their eating habits, they not only eat less without feeling any increase in their hunger, but they also help you to remain more productive throughout the day. You are able to avoid adding any additional calories to your daily intake when they genuinely are not needed for providing you with sustenance.
How to Put the Trend to an End
The most important step in accomplishing this is to actually stop and think before you eat. You need to halt yourself from automatically reaching you for your go to snacks and you need to decide whether or not you are truly hungry. If you are consciously aware of the fact that you have had enough food to satisfy your physical needs, then it is time to choose another plan of action to keep yourself busy so that you won’t eat when you don’t need to.
One of the easiest steps that you can take is to drink some water. This can help you to hydrate and will, more often than not, reduce if not eliminate the hunger, altogether. Aside from that, you will want to come up with a list of different activities that you can accomplish within a matter of a few minutes so that you can keep yourself occupied during the time in which you feel that you are most driven to eat when you don’t need to.
Wait a Moment
Often, if you can wait ten minutes after you first have a craving for something to eat, you will find that the urgency won’t be there anymore. However, you can’t simply spend all that time thinking about what you wish you were eating. You actually need to replace eating with another activity. While there are likely thousands of ways to do that, consider: reading, going for a walk around the block, doing laundry, making a to-do list, brushing your teeth, paying your bills, writing in a journal, working on a hobby, or even writing a letter. All of these things are great alternatives to eating when bored.
Keep Your Hands Busy
One of the best ways to stop yourself from eating when bored is to keep your hands busy. If you can’t hold the food, you can’t eat it. If you find that you’re most likely to want to have something to snack on while you watch TV, then find something to keep your hands busy while you watch. Instead of using your fingers to pick up chips or cheezies, think about knitting, crocheting, or doing needlepoint. Get a grown-up coloring book. You can even save your clean laundry to fold it while you’re watching your favorite show or an evening movie. That way, you won’t be free to eat at the same time.
Spend Some Time Outside
Head outside to do some yard work if you’re bored. Cut the lawn, weed the garden, trim the hedges or clean the patio furniture. Do something outside that will keep your hands busy and your body active so you’ll be less likely to feel bored and will be unlikely to be able to continually eat even if you’re not feeling mentally stimulated.
Listen to an Audio Book
If you’re doing menial work that isn’t stimulating at all, avoid eating while bored by listening to an audio book to keep yourself distracted. Get into the story and pay attention to what’s going on. That way, you won’t find yourself needing an extra snack to get through the task you don’t like very much.
With these tips and tricks, you’ll be better able to avoid eating when bored so you can avoid overeating between meals.