4 Ways to Curb Boredom and Stress Eating
Have you ever come home from a long, stressful day at work and found yourself mindlessly eating a whole bag of chips or an entire sleeve of cookies or crackers? Or do you love to settle in with a series on Netflix and then find yourself, hours later, completely finished with an entire season along with an entire pizza or a quart of ice cream? If you have, you are not alone! Many of us have learned early on the habit of mindlessly turning to food for comfort. This doesn’t have to be the case, and here are 4 ways to help you get that type of eating in check!
1. Do a pantry/cupboard clean out.
Get all the tempting snacks and sweets out of the house so they are not available. If you do feel you have to have some sort of treat, then do not go to the grocery store and get it. Instead go to your local convenience store and buy one serving of it so that you have control over how much you’re eating, and possibly in the process of driving there, you may realize you don’t really want that food at all. If you must keep snacks in the house (other family members might want them), then designate one cabinet in the kitchen, preferably one that is not easy access, for all the goodies to be stored. Out of sight, out of mind!
2. Change your routine.
If your after work routine finds you in the kitchen going through the mail and grabbing a snack, then plan ahead with a healthy snack that you can eat in the afternoon at work or on your commute home so you won’t be tempted once you get home. Or try coming in and going straight to get changed into workout clothes and hit the gym or go outside for a walk. If TV eating is a problem, then plan how much TV time you’re going to have and set an alarm. Have a glass of water or seltzer to sip on and chew some sugarless gum to keep your mouth busy. Also perhaps do something with your hands while you’re watching TV like knitting or a puzzle or folding laundry.
3. Learn hunger cues.
Many times we are not even hungry when we get into these eating jags. Sometimes we even mistake the need to eat because we are actually dehydrated. Thirst signals like hunger cues can be ignored pretty easily. Next time you get an urge to snack try drinking a glass of water first. Wait 10 minutes and then if you truly feel your stomach growling or you feel light headed, then your body is telling you to eat so go ahead and have a healthy snack. These are the cues you want to pick up on, not just eating because you’re bored, depressed or stressed. Food is fuel for our body, not a source of comfort.
4. Practice self care.
When you’re feeling bored or stressed, have things you can turn to instead of using food. Make a list of activities that you enjoy doing and when you feel bored or stressed pick something to do from that list. Some things you might consider could be a long walk, a relaxing bubble bath, a good workout at the gym, meditation, yoga, calling or getting together with a good friend or whatever you enjoy. The possibilities are endless. Just get in the habit of using these activities instead of food.
If you want to learn more about nutrition or healthy habits, we are here to help! Book a Free Nutrition Intro OR join us for our Fit For Fall Nutrition Kick-Start and let’s get started working towards your health and wellness goals today!