Bored? How to Soothe Yourself Without Food

We’ve all been bored at some point in our lives… Especially this year. I used to complain about not having enough time for myself, now I have lots of quality time and this is a good thing. What it could mean though is weight gain. I thought I would make a list of things to do to avoid being bored, because it’s easy to turn to food when you’re bored. Think about it, if people only ate when their body needed it, the population in the entire world would be so much healthier…

“We use food to entertain, distract, comfort, and calm us.”

Boredom is not the only issue. Truth is it’s actually quite hard to tell if you’re really hungry, food temptation is everywhere and is sometimes used as a comforting answer to our potential problems. How do we stop that behaviour?

Make a list of things to do when you’re bored

This is a very useful exercise that will keep you away from food for a moment. I’ve done it myself and below is a list of some ideas:

  • Do you have pets who need to spend some energy? Play with them, it will keep you busy and they will love the attention.
  • Clean your home, hoover, dust, mop the floor etc – It’s not necessarily an appealing activity for everyone but it’s very rewarding when done.
  • It’s Christmas in a few months, why don’t you start browsing ideas online?
  • Brush your teeth – The feeling of having a great oral hygiene will put you off food if you’re not hungry.
  • Is there a friend you haven’t talked to for a long time? Time to connect!
  • Read a good book, it’s a great alternative to social media
  • Play mobile games (I love Angry Birds…)
  • Listen to music
  • Go for a walk and take some fresh air
  • Invest time in a blog to discuss topics close to your heart
  • Create your own list, I’m sure you’ll have more suggestions!
glass of water

How to identify real hunger

Still thinking of food? Maybe you are hungry for real. But make sure it’s not just boredom and try the exercises below first:

  • Drink a glass of water and wait for 20 minutes, that’s how long it takes for the brain to register any satiety information. Sometimes you think you’re hungry but you just needed to hydrate!
  • Rate your hunger from 0 (I’m stuffed, really don’t fancy food right now) to 5 (I’m so hungry that my stomach is making funny noise and my I feel light-headed).
    • If you rate is below 3, avoid unnecessary snacking, especially if you’ve eaten not so long ago. Drink instead, water, tea or even diet sodas.
    • If you rate is 3 or above, then maybe you do need some food! Your body knows, listen to it.

Knowing how to identify when you’re hungry is key to weight management. Signs of hunger include: stomach rumbling, lack of energy, feeling light-headed. If you really listen to your body, it’s difficult to miss these signs. Also, remember that food tastes so much better when you’re hungry! Eat only when you’re really hungry (but not when you’re starving or you’ll binge) and stop eating when you don’t need any more food (don’t wait until you’re about to explode!). The way to achieve this is to eat slowly to let your brain register every bite. Easier said than done, I know… But master this and you’ll never have to diet anymore.

What do you do to distract yourself when you’re bored?

Big Girl x

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