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It’s all too easy to grab a bag of chips or a bowl of chocolates while you’re watching TV or writing an essay. You’re probably not even aware that you’re doing it. Boredom eating is a bad habit to get into and can lead to excess weight gain that can sneak up on you. Although it’s a prolific problem, there are some really easy ways to stop boredom eating in it’s tracks.
Recognize Whether Or Not You’re Really Hungry
Make an effort to be mindful when you’re eating. Each time you reach for a piece of food, ask yourself ‘Am I eating this because I’m hungry or because I’m bored?’. Another good way to challenge whether or not you’re actually hungry is to say to yourself: ‘If I’m not hungry enough to eat a piece of fruit, then I’m not really hungry’. You’re much more likely to nibble on candy or chips than a piece of fruit if you’re just bored.
Know When You’re Full
Make sure you’re also being mindful about knowing when you’re full. If you’ve got a bowl of snacks next to you that you’re dipping into while you’re focused on something else, you’ll probably keep eating long after you’re full. In this scenario, you’re probably only eating because you’re in a habit. Try to only eat when you’re hungry and only eat until you’re not quite full. This ensures that you aren’t over – eating. If you’re starting to feel full, make sure you stop yourself before you over – eat.
If you know you’re only going to eat X amount of calories per day, you’re much more likely to be mindful about when you consume them. When you’ve only allotted a certain number of calories for snacks, chances are you are going to make time to savour every bite. Keep a food diary or try using the app Cronometer to make sure you don’t over – eat and to keep yourself accountable. It’s the best way to make sure you aren’t just mindlessly throwing extra calories into your body.
Notice When You Over – Eat
When was the last time you caught yourself boredom eating? It’s usually done to distract or comfort yourself while you’re doing something else. It’s common to dip into snacks while working on a laptop, writing assignments, playing video games, reading or watching TV. Think about each time you eat throughout the day and what activities you’re doing at the same time. Use this knowledge to equip yourself against falling into the same habit. If you know that you normally eat snacks when you’re working, try to eat a large meal just before you start , or keep a big bottle of water like this one here next to you while you work. If you start craving a snack, try drinking the water in the bottle before you check the fridge.
Schedule Your Calories Ahead Of Time
This is yet another great perk of keeping a food diary. Schedule time for enjoying your favourite snack and nothing else. Maybe schedule ten minutes after you achieve a work goal just to savour your favourite piece of chocolate. Knowing when to consume your snacks helps you stick to a routine that you won’t deviate from. It’s all about making sure you’re in control of the snacks and that they aren’t in control of you. Choose when and how much of a snack you want to eat and schedule it ahead of time so you can’t change your mind.
It’s important to keep in mind exactly how much you shuold be eating of each snack. If you’re eating apple slices, you could try to cut up just one or two apples per serve instead of filling up a whole bowl with slices. If you’re eating a bar of chocolate, make sure you read the back of the packet to find out exactly just how many serves are in one packet. The results will probably surprise you. A single serving of food is usually much smaller than you would think. When you look in the fridge for a snack, make sure you’re only taking out one serving size. There’s nothing wrong with using measuring cups instead of normal bowls. If you pour yourself a double serving, your will power is more likely to fail you and there is a danger that you might over – indulge. If you pour yourself the correct amount, you’re more likely to stop and think about what you’re doing before walking to the fridge to pour yourself another serving.
Tackle Your Problem, You’re Bored!
The answer to this problem is not in the fridge. Why would you eat to entertain yourself? All that’s going to do is create a second problem: gaining extra weight. Why not take up a new hobby and challenge yourself? Is there a book you’ve always wanted to read? Have you ever tried painting? Playing an instrument? Make the effort to try something new the next time you feel bored and reach for a snack.
Make Eating An Activity Of It’s Own
Boredom eating happens when you aren’t mindful about your eating habits. Start thinking about eating as it’s own activity. When you eat, focus on eating. Don’t eat while you’re working or looking at your phone. When you seperate eating from your other normal daily activities, you’re giving yourself control over what you eat and how you eat it. If you’re focused on the meal in front of you and how you feel while you’re eating it, you’re more likely to pick up on when you’re starting to feel full and how many times you’ve gone back for seconds. It’s a bit of insurance that gives you another opportunity to catch yourself before you make a mistake.
Boredom eating is a common culprit for failed weight loss efforts. It’s a big issue that can be solved with some really simple solutions. If you implement these tips early on, you’ll save yourself a lot of heart ache down the track. Do you struggle with boredom eating? Have you tried implementing these tips? I’d love to hear from you! Send an email through to email@example.com or leave a comment down below.
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