Things to Do Instead of Eating

Published on: 06/16/2023

Would you consider yourself a “bored” eater? Meaning whenever there is downtime or you feel bored, you go straight for a snack or food to fill your time? Do you wish you didn’t always go straight for food even when you know you aren’t actually hungry?

While eating is an activity, if you are looking to lose weight, eating out of boredom can add additional calories that you might not really need which may slow down your weight loss progress.

So if you want to lose weight and finally stop eating when bored–check out some of the ideas below!

A dog looking bored

How to Stop Eating when Bored?

1. Identify if there is a common day or time this happens. Is there a certain time of day that you might do this such as after work, on the weekend when you have more time, or otherwise?

2. Identify your associations. Do you aimlessly scroll on social media while chomping down on a bag of chips, or do you sit in front of the TV while munching? Do you sit in rush hour traffic on a long commute home and eat because its something to fill your time? Start by eating your meals and snacks at the table away from distractions.

3. Create a list of 1-3 things you can try instead the next time you feel bored. Bored eating happens because you need stimulation and something meaningful to do. It may take some time to figure out what you enjoy doing outside of work and eating, but it is possible!

4. Before eating a meal or snack check in with your emotions prior to eating. Am I hungry or am I bored? Taking the extra 5 seconds to check in with our emotions can help us better understand what we need as sometimes we do need food, and other times we need something else such as rest, connection, stress relief or a good laugh.

Remember eating can provide a temporary activity, which is great when you are bored. However, if its getting in the way of you meeting your weight loss goals, then it is ultimately not helping you and you need to find things to do instead of eating.

  • Go for a walk
  • Listen to a new podcast
  • Read a book or visit a bookstore
  • Paint your nails
  • Coloring book (yes! they now have them for adults)
  • Call or text a friend or family member
  • Complete a crossword puzzle
  • Journal- I like these free prompts from Grateful Living
  • Look up local events in your area and plan a few activities for the month
  • Volunteer locally (especially if weekend boredom eating gets the best of you)
  • Invite a friend out for coffee
  • Organize a closet or a junk drawer
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Find a hobby you want to get better at (pottery, rock wall climbing, refurbishing furniture, singing, guitar, piano etc the possibilities are endless)

2 Comments

  1. Robin Godwin

    Thank you for snack ideas. The chopping can be too much.

    Reply
    • Laurie Thenedy, RD

      of course!

      Reply

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Laurie Thenedy is a Registered Dietitian and expert in heart health and habit changes. 

She has helped dozens of clients change their eating habits and develop better lifestyles for themselves so they can improve their quality of life.

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