Going for the snack cabinet seems to be the most natural and sensible thing to do when you’re bored. Take a pint of ice cream or head to the best pizza joint. That’s certainly something to try once in a while. But at all times? Consider it again. Boredom eating provides little reward or long-term pleasure, instead of leading to overeating and feeling worse than before. Here’s what you can do to stop boredom eating.
What is boredom eating?
Eating out of boredom is a kind of emotional eating. It often works in the same way as eating when we are worried or nervous. We’re experiencing something we don’t want to feel (boredom, anxiety, fear, etc.), so we resort to food to help us feel better.
Emotional eating is not inherently harmful. It’s a fairly common occurrence. However, it is critical to recognize that it is a spectrum. On one end of the scale, there is eating for pleasure and delight. For example, you just baked cookies and are savoring a wonderful, warm gooey one. Or, you’re out to dinner, and that dish of spaghetti is simply giving you so much joy. On the other side, you may be eating to sleep or as a form of punishment. Boredom eating may become a problem if it is your sole coping strategy (what you do in reaction to a particular sensation or emotion) or if it is causing you to feel bad mentally or physically.
Remember that boredom eating is natural; we all do it, and there is nothing to be embarrassed about. However, as I previously said, it is critical to create alternative coping mechanisms for when you’re bored rather than depend on food.
Maintain a food journal.
Boredom eating is caused by a lack of awareness of one’s eating habits. Keeping a food diary for a week will increase your understanding of what, when, and why you eat. The first step in addressing lousy behavior is recognizing the issue in the first place. To quit eating when bored, you must first be able to identify the sensation of boredom. It seems absurd, but it’s crucial! We don’t want to experience unpleasant feelings as humans. That’s simply the way we’re wired. As a result, you may resort to food without even realizing you’re bored! To begin connecting with your emotions, ask yourself, “How am I feeling?” Take a seat with that.
If you’re not sure what you’re experiencing, writing can help you process and connect with your feelings. Write down whatever comes to mind, and things will begin to fall into place. There is no right or wrong way to approach this. Starting a meditation practice will also have an enormous impact on your capacity to get in touch with your emotions. You should check into it even if you have never imagined meditation would work for you. Poor mental health is liked to binge-eating, so you should understand how your emotions affect your appetite and eat mindfully.
Set yourself daily goals that you can achieve.
Eating out of boredom is a method for us to get personal fulfillment and pleasure. We need things to do that are gratifying, and one item that gives that pleasure is eating. You can fulfill your need for satisfaction without the need for random nibbling if you set yourself realistic goals every day. At the outset of each day, make a “to do” list of tasks that can be done on that day, and then go through that list and finish as many as you can.
Give yourself some grace.
Take a big breath, beautiful, and don’t sweat it if you find yourself in the pantry with your arms elbow-deep in the box of Cheez-Its. You should not say, “Welp, it happened, whatever!” Instead, you need to sit with it to ponder. Skipping this stage is one of the main reasons people feel that intuitive eating and food freedom don’t “work.” Thus, they return to dieting and having food restrictions.
You will learn so much on your road to food independence that you’ll make it a goal to assist others in avoiding the trial-and-error phase. It may be challenging to change your dietary habits. So if you make a mistake, don’t be discouraged; instead, learn from it and devise a strategy to assist you to overcome it the next time. Learning to eat correctly and establishing healthy habits are lifelong endeavors, so don’t give up; instead, be proactive, and you will be successful.