How do I Stop Eating out of Boredom?
This is one of the most common questions that I am asked as a health coach.
People are looking for the magic answer that is going to solve this question. They also have it in their mind that all they need is just a little more discipline, a little more motivation, a little more willpower.
Those three things are not the magical answer either!
This is not your typical list blog post of how to stop eating or a full list of tips on how to do it.
This is a post about digging in a little more to your mindset and the root cause of that boredom. I know that sounds strange because boredom is boredom, right?
Wrong! And I mean that in the nicest way possible.
Stay with me.
The pandemic did a number on us with bored eating. Since it was near impossible to combat boredom. No matter how hard you tried and we all tried. Insert TikTok dances and sourdough bread making.
Now more than ever bored eating has become ingrained in our habits. I say habits because it is something that we are, more often than not, doing on auto-pilot.
If you have any questions if this is you, just think about the following situations:
You know you have stuff you can do around the house but if you are eating you can’t do that stuff, right?
You just NEED something to do with your hands while watching Netflix at night (every night)
You have thought. “I am so bored. I just want to eat.” This one's a doozy because for some odd reason we are never bored enough to actually take the time to cook food just to eat it. Weird, huh?
These are all some forms of bored eating. Bored doesn’t mean that you literally have NOTHING TO DO but it does mean that there may be something else going on that is leading your to that sense of “hunger”
Which brings me to my number one tip for stopping bored eating.
Be Honest with yourself!
Yup, that’s my number one and really my only.
Honesty brings awareness.
Awareness breaks the habit of auto-pilot bored eating.
Releasing the habit that doesn’t serve you and replacing it with something that does.
There is an underlying reason you are eating when “bored”. It’s time to figure it out.
You may think you are going to town on those chips or cookies out of boredom but is that really it? Think about the examples that I gave above. All of those examples are because of something else.
Finding that underlying reason and tackling it will make a difference.
Bringing awareness to what you REALLY need in that moment. 9 times out of 10 it is not food.
So, how do you do that? I know that was going to be your next question. I am a mind reader too!
That is being mindful. There is no better word than mindful here.
Ask yourself some questions that will help you to bring that awareness.
Is there something going on in my physical environment?
Am I avoiding something?
Am I not processing what is going on in my mind?
Could I be doing something else?
And so on..
Make them yes or no questions. Simple answers bring simple solutions but they also bring big changes.
These are just a couple to get you started! Once you start recognizing a pattern, because there will be, you will be able to refine these questions for you to bring that awareness.
What do with this awareness?
Tackle whatever it is that is leading to that boredom.
Is that avoiding a task?
Is that avoiding your emotions?
Is that needing to move?
And so on...
Whatever it is, just do it. If you are still “hungry” after it is done, go ahead and have that snack.
But my guess is you won’t want it.
Not only will you not want that snack but you will feel better.
You overcame bored eating
You accomplished whatever task you may have been avoiding or tackled the emotions that you were feeling.
You put a deposit into your confidence bank for the next time the desire to eat when “bored” starts to creep in.
You have the answers because no one knows you better than you. You just have to take action and make those answers true solutions.
Lastly, remember You Got This!