Sunday, May 17, 2009

Prevent Emotional/ Bored Eating

So we’ve all heard the tricks of the trade for avoiding eating when you are not really hungry, but are depressed or bored.
So, I shall compile some here:

• Keep Busy. Its easy to eat when bored, so try to plan out activities for the week. Make plans with friends, plan out time to workout, sign up for a class, get a temp/ quickie job, take on a new hobby.
• Make a to do list/ list of goals. Try to think big, and small. Think of your life goals, and weekly to do tid bits. Once you realize how much you have to work on, you probably won’t be bored anymore! If the problem was that you were stressed out, take this time to break down your to do list into manageable chunks. I always feel so much better after I know when I will do things, rather than just having my seemingly endless list of things that never seem like they will get done.
If you are looking for some ideas for long term/ life goals check out:

• Think about what you want. My friend Jake keeps giving me this advice, in regards to dating, and life in general. Figure out what you want and work towards that. For instance, I want to feel comfortable with my body, so I know that if I eat a whole bag of chips, that is not going to help me achieve that goal. If you know what you want its easier to follow through, whereas if you just keep living each day on a whim its easy to lose sight of the bigger picture.
• Plan healthy meals and snacks. I personally never do this, but I should probably try. Plan out a week, or a few days of healthy meals and snacks. Then go grocery shopping and stock your fridge and pantry full of fruits, veggies, whole grains and tasty healthy treats. If you already have these foods in mind and at hand you will be much more likely to stick to eating them, than if you rely on your cravings to drive you eating.
• Ask yourself if you are hungry. It gets said a lot, but when you start reaching for food, ask yourself if you are really hungry. If you acknowledge that you are just eating to eat, you may be more apt to not do it.

• Keep your hands busy! Inevitably, you will be bored, or just relaxing at some point, whether you are watching TV, online, reading etc. These things are fine! (in moderation). But if you are like me, you will need to keep your mind and mouth and hands busy. So pick up an activity that will occupy a few senses, for instance do a cross word puzzle while watching TV, go through your mail, or take up knitting, or (something I never seem to do …) practice guitar!

• Chew gum. I hate gum! Or really I hate that no one seems to have any gum chewing etiquette. Chew with your mouth closed and don’t pop it! But I hear keeping your mouth busy with something should take your mind off food.
• Brush your teeth and floss. If you have a craving, or just want to put something in your mouth, brush your teeth. You’ll be less inclined to dirty up your freshly cleaned mouth.
• Go for a walk/run. If you are stressed out, depressed, or bored, use that energy for something productive, take a stroll or jog. Plus, working out releases endorphins which should also help the situation!
• Call/ find a friend. Such as last night, I was lonely. But since no one was around, I just ate to fill that void instead. When you feel bored or otherwise, give someone a call. Or better yet, if they are available meet up with them. It will be much harder to eat if you are busy talking!
• Talk to someone positive. Friends are great, but we all have our fair share of Debby Downers. I personally have made it my mission to become a born again optimist. And I find that when I talk to my pessimistic friends, I can VERY easily fall back into my own ways. So when you are really depressed, don’t call one of your depressing friends, even if they are your best friend. Sometimes you need to talk to that obnoxious person that sounds like a self help book (which is what people have compared me to lately haha )
• Drink. No, not alcohol! Water. Or tea if you prefer. Most people cannot distinguish between their hunger and thirst cues, so if you feel the need to eat, try drinking a couple cups of water, or other preferred beverage. It will also satisfy that need to do something with your mouth, and once you are full of water it will be harder to go overboard if you do decide to emotionally eat anyway.
• Keep a food blog! Or food journal! If you write down what you eat, or better yet take pictures of everything, it makes you feel much more accountable for what you eat. This can get mundane though, I’ve been keeping food journals, pretty much forever, and the whole picture blogging only lasted about a week (I hope to get back to that!) enlist a friend to keep you accountable, or post online (and don’t become a slacker like me!). If someone is expecting to see it, you are more likely to keep it up, and thus be successful.

• When all else fails, eat in moderation. If you are going to eat. Try to do so in moderation. If you really just want to be chewing something, try to stick to health options, such as baby carrots, or light popcorn etc. But who am I kidding, when you are sad and all you want is some chocolate to comfort the blow, carrots will never do the trick, so go ahead, eat some chocolate, or whatever your comfort food is. But portion out a reasonable amound before hand (don’t grab the whole pint of Ben and Jerry’s, you know you’ll just feel worse afterwards.)

• Don’t beat yourself up. If you do have a slip up, remember a lapse IS NOT a relapse. Even if you were trying to be good and healthy and not binge eat or anything of that nature, if you get mad at yourself for giving in, you are just going to feel defeated and be more apt to do it again. Get back on the horse, and be nice to you.

Does Anyone have any other suggestions??

Happy Eating!

1 comment:

  1. I normally try not to deprive myself, because if I do, I just end up eating a candybar or something later on in the day. I have been trying to rid the house of bad snacks and just replace them with fruit and yogurt. I have been craving sweets lately though, so I keep making cookies...even though they never turn out. Maybe I just need to find a healthy cookie recipe...if there is such a thing.