If you know that you eat when you’re bored fairly often, this article is for you.
Bored eating happens to all of us. We’re sitting at home on the couch, the pantry is starring right at us. So, we open up a bag of potato chips or take out a spoon and peanut butter. Soon, when we look down the entire bag or jar is gone. We then feel shameful and regret our choices.
Bored eating is commonly and is one of the most common complaints that individuals have when it comes to their eating habits and struggles to meeting their nutrition goals. Knowing why you’re bored eating, how to be more mindful, and what you should be eating are all key steps to stop bored eating for good (or at least, do it WAY less often. Because none of us are prefect, right?)
Why are you bored eating
One of the first ways to stop bored eating is first reflect on why you’re doing it. Bored eating is a form of mindless eating. Mindless eating means that we’re not paying attention to the food that we’re eating, the quantity that we’re consuming, or how the food is making us feel. We’re checked out and not actually considering what is in front of us. Sometimes bored eating is a form of habit. Couch time = eating time.
Why we shouldn’t bored eat
Bored eating is not the best for us in general because it can prohibit us from reaching our health goals in many ways. When we bored eat, we’re more likely to eat more calories, sodium, and fat than we would if we were being mindful. Excessive empty calories can to weight gain and possible increased risk of certain diseases such as cardiovascular disease or cancer. When we bored eat frequently it also becomes a habit of ours which can be extremely hard to kick. Habits become part of us and who we are. Think about it this way: if we ate every night of the week after dinner on the couch, we’re more likely to continue to do this without second guessing it. We begin running on auto pilot.
How to stop bored eating
Check in before eating
One helpful way to stop bored eating is to check in with yourself before meals and snacks. Before you reach for a food item. How are you feeling in that moment? Are you hungry? Are you satisfied? What is food going to give you in that moment? Take your time with this first step.
Check in while eating
Checking in while eating is also crucial to minimize bored eating. Remain present while eating. Look at the food. What does it look like? How does it make you feel while eating it? Checking in while eating, and being present, can be done in many ways. Avoiding distractions such as tv, phone, or radio, is helpful when trying to be present. Try to slow down while eating and putting down your fork in between bites. Eat at a clean space and not an office desk. Regardless what action you try, choose one and stick to it. Remember not to set too many goals at once and set smaller, more tangible goals.
Find a new habit
Think back about the person who eats on the couch every night after dinner. This is their bored eating habit. In order to kick bored eating to the curb, try finding a new habit to fill this time. Instead of heading to the pantry, do a 10-minute online yoga video. Facetime a friend. Go for a walk. Play with your dog. Whatever it is, finding something to fill this time can help to keep your mind off the food and then your new activity becomes habit.
Eat a nourishing diet
Eating a balanced and nourishing diet is another way to minimize bored eating. You want to make sure that you’re full and satisfied after meals so you’re less likely to go grab for more. Eating a balanced meal means eating foods like lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats. These will all keep you satisfied longer so you’re less likely to think about food. Eating this way is also helpful to keeping you energized!
Finding foods that work for you and keep you satisfied can be difficult. It is even more challenging to find the time to prepare these meals and snacks! Pure Plates does the work for you by creating balanced and nourishing meals and delivers them straight to your door. By eating with Pure Plates, you’re less likely to eat when you’re bored and therefore, you’ll stay on track with your health goals.
Try Pure Plates today, including some of our favorites!