How To Stop Mindless Eating

borednot hungryIt sounds simple right? Just stop snacking. But learning how to discern between boredom and hunger can be a struggle. If you ever find yourself standing at the refrigerator, wondering just how you ended up there, these tips will help you build new habits and curb needless weight gain.

Because boredom is so unpredictable, it can be hard to catch yourself in the act until half of the Oreo cookies are gone along with a bag of Frito’s. When you wake up from your food coma you realize that the issue was never really hunger at all. Most times when you’re bored, the impulse is to go for the easy high calorie/low nutrition foods. I call these foods “snacky” foods.

The best response would be to stop snacking and look at what the real issue might be. Focus on your feelings. If boredom is really the issue then there are a ton of ways to deal with it that have nothing to do with food and will leave you feeling a whole lot better about yourself. If you just can’t seem to avoid the kitchen make sure it’s something healthy. Have some easy, gratifying and healthy snacks on hand to tide you over until the craving passes.

Here are some healthy ideas for snacks:

  • Pre-cut Veggies…make sure they are ones you like
  • Small handful of trail mix
  • Take half a banana and put a teaspoon of almond butter on it
  • A handful of almonds
  • Quest Protein Bar (Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough is my favorite!!)
  • Kay’s Naturals offer many satisfying sweet or savory snack foods high in protein
  • Baked Protein Chips from Quest
  • A tasty herbal tea served either hot or cold can dull an appetite and act as a soothing break in your day
  • Sparkling Water can be a refreshing treat especially flavored
  • A few cubes of your favorite cheese with some almonds

If you can manage to avoid snacking on food all together, here are some great ways to get your mind off the food and on to something that will help break the boredom.

  • The simple act of brushing your teeth will act as a great pick me up
  • Get out of the house and away from the food
  • Go for a walk in your neighborhood
  • Put your favorite music station on Pandora and have a dance party
  • Give the dog a bath
  • If it’s sunny out, go to the park and read under a shady tree
  • Clean out a closet that’s been needing organization
  • Create a new board on Pinterest
  • Meet a friend for a tea
  • Go to the book store and get lost in a section you’ve never considered before
  • Break a sweat and workout
  • Window shop the season’s newest trends
  • Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure
  • This list could go on and on!

Consider taking steps to create change in your life that your mind and body will appreciate. Banish the urge to eat when you are not really hungry by doing other things. These small changes will go a long way toward avoiding using food for something other than nutrition. Get in the habit of satisfying your body, not your emotions.