Need some ideas on how to stop eating out of boredom? Here are some other things you can do instead of eating.
Boredom eating is a thing. It’s when you eat simply because you’re bored. It’s something a lot of us have an issue with. I won’t explain why here, but I just wanted to share some quick solutions with some of my ideas on what to do instead of eating when bored.
The recent lockdown situation hasn’t made things easy, has it? Thankfully, things are opening back up again. Like many other people, I’m looking to change some of the habits that have come to the fore during the past year.
One of which is my eating habit. Particularly the part where I eat just for entertainment. Not because I’m hungry but because I’m bored. A lot of us are bored. What else is there to do? It’s fun to eat.
The result is that not only have we gained weight, we now need to lose, but we’ve also compromised our wellbeing.
Personally, it feels like I’ve become distant from myself. The only way I can describe it is to feel like I’m living mindlessly.
The good news is that things can be done to change this habit, which I share here. I try as much as I can to practice these suggestions.
I don’t always stick to it, but I’m putting it out there. Not only as a reminder but as a part of my accountability and growth process.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve entered a new phase in life. A phase where I start living this life to the fullest because there’s a lot of fun to be had.
It’s time to take back control and start making the required changes in all the areas necessary to live a happier, healthier, and more meaningful life.
Here are some ideas on how to stop boredom eating.
What to do instead of eating when bored.
1. Catch up with a friend
A phone or video call to a friend is always an excellent way to break a boredom fest. Scheduling a time for a call or catch-up is a way to give yourself something to look forward to.
There’s an uplifting that comes out of a chat with a good friend. Even after your time together is over, you still carry the high with you for a while.
It’s not only boredom that causes us to eat for its sake. Sometimes it’s a lack of interest in things. But let’s face it, there’s always something to do. Seriously!
Instead of eating your feelings away, call up a friend and see how they’re doing. Take the focus off yourself and seek to add value to someone else.
A kind word or a friendly gesture will make you both feel good. It’s a good distraction technique.
2. Exercise instead of eating
This sounds cliche, I know. But if you want to have a healthy mind and body, which I’m sure you do, then exercise is essential. I’m not an exercise person at all.
I used to consider exercise unnecessarily complicated and boring. I still think of it as boring. But I also understand that you have to maintain a balanced relationship with exercise.
To overcome boredom and emotional eating. Wait, huh? I hear you ask. You’re also probably asking. If it’s boring, how can it stop boredom?
Well, not all exercises are boring. But most are – that’s my opinion anyway. But there’s no denying the positive effects of exercising.
Exercising isn’t only for weight loss. It helps you take your mind off things and feel good about yourself. It makes you feel more alive and confident. By exercising, you’re making a conscious effort.
A decision to partake in something that will positively impact your mood and emotions. Stick with simple exercises that you can do, and enjoy doing.
If you have a dog or can borrow a neighbor’s dog, you can walk them instead of eating. Don’t think of it as exercise; think of it as mental health walk.
You can get many exercise activities for free online or on-demand with your cable network. Exercise instead of eating for free is always good.
3. Go outdoors
Get some air. Interact with nature. Discover something new. If you’re outdoors, chances are you won’t be bored. If you’re not bored, you won’t be eating for entertainment.
This one works for me all the time. The hardest part is stepping out of the house, but I’m happy and content when I’m out. I don’t feel like I need to do anything else.
Even when left with my thoughts, I don’t feel the need to grab something to eat. My son and I are currently learning French together. We sometimes have these walk and talk type sessions where we go for a walk and discuss what we’ve learned.
He’s a teenager and not always up for walks, but they’re fun, even for him. There are many ways you can incorporate some outdoor time into your life.
If you can’t do it alone, take someone with you or join a local group.
4. Get into something
Find a passion, whether a hobby, a new skill, culture, interest, or anything. A hobby will eliminate boredom in your life. Think about something you’ve wanted to do for so long.
Try that instead of eating if you have always wanted to learn to crochet.
There are so many hobbies and skills you haven’t tried out. You can use this time to learn more about yourself or develop your skills. If you have your own skills, you can also share those with others. You may even find a way to make money on the side instead of eating.
Whatever it is, do something. Whatever you do, try to make it a positive experience to have a more positive life. Find your interests. Forget what the latest trend is. Just do you.
One top tip is to avoid things that encourage eating—for example, watching a box set, reading, etc. These activities will encourage you to eat as part of the entertainment process.
So keep an eye on that when deciding on hobbies or interests. I prefer things that put me in a different environment. Whether outdoors or indoors, it just has to be a different location.
5. Stay away from social media
Social media is like a window through which we look at the lives of others. Or let me rephrase that. We look at what other people present to us as their lives.
We look at them and reason within ourselves that we’re missing out on something. We think that because we’re not engaging in the same activities as they are, we’re not doing anything.
We begin to feel inadequate and bored because nothing is exciting or social media-worthy to do. Remember that what you see on social media is only what that person wants you to see about their life at that moment in time.
Overeating and social media can keep you on the couch eating more. Get up and do something instead of eating.
If you have major FOMO, you should not be on social media. Here are some other things you can do instead of social media.
6. Practice self-care
Very important. Center yourself and block out all the noise, concerns, and general distractions. Focus on you. Your self-care activities should cover your physical and mental well-being.
Whether getting a pedicure or a spa treatment, do the things you usually wouldn’t do. The goal is to do something specifically for you, like having a date with yourself. If you can’t afford a spa day, do your nail and learn new nail polish tricks instead of eating.
Never hesitate to prioritize yourself. Incorporate things like meditation, affirmations, and mindfulness into your self-care routine.
Looking after your wellbeing in this manner gives you a stronger sense of responsibility towards yourself.
7. Try out a new recipe
I know this probably sounds a bit counterintuitive. Suggesting you try making food to stop eating. But the thing is, you’re trying to stop eating because you are bored not because you’re hungry.
When you’re planning, preparing, and making meals, the last thing you are is bored. Cooking is a task that can be very enjoyable.
Pre pandemic, I tried many new and exciting recipes that brought me a lot of joy. It’s something I’m returning to. I’ve already started collecting my next batch of recipes to try. I’ll be sure to share them here.
When you make your food, you control what ingredients go into it and ultimately, your body. Eating out of boredom puts you at risk of eating unhealthy and readily available foods.
8. Get weird
Be spontaneous. Do something out of your ordinary. Get out of your comfort zone. Bust out in a dance move, do a moonwalk, anything to lift you and bring you joy.
Call a radio station and send a shout-out or answer a quiz question. Be the entertainment instead of waiting to be entertained.
Life is short. It is.
There are so many experiences to be had. I speak for myself also in writing this. I realize that the more I let loose, the less I feel bored or feel the need for comfort food.
You really can have fun in your own company. Just look inwards.
Jill Davis, author for Life So Ever
Jill Davis grew up on army bases in the USA and Germany and has spent her adult life on the East Coast. She resides in Virginia where she gets to enjoy lots of hiking trails, kayaking, and other outdoor adventures. No recipe intimidates her and she is always up to try most foods. Her second language is sarcasm and she always looks for the good in life.