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Episode 88: Do You Eat When You're Bored? Here Are My Top 5 Ways to Break the Habit!

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Sometimes I feel like it comes across as if I don’t ever struggle with cravings, or emotional eating, or portion control. But trust me, even this nutrition coach still faces the same challenges you do from time to time.

Case in point, just a few days ago, as a rather uneventful weekend came to a close, I found myself bored as f**********ck. Again and again, I kept hopping off the couch to go peer into my pantry, looking for something to munch on. 

Ya’ll let me tell you, had I been relying on my willpower in that moment, I would have been screwed. But I didn’t have to, there was nothing to be found in my cupboards. So I had no choice but to sit in the discomfort of feeling bored, and deal with it. 

But this is not the only strategy for overcoming boredom eating (it’s just the most effective one for me). So I compiled this list of 5 ways I coach my clients to get off the mindless munching train. I hope it helps!

1. Change your location during ‘witching hours’.

Location and time both have memories and can be powerful triggers for habits (both good and bad). If you know you tend to snack at 3 pm on the couch, make the living room off limits at 3 pm. 

2. Have a new habit, routine, or activity planned for snacking hours.

Part of boredom snacking is habit, and studies show we don’t do well breaking habits, we need to replace them instead. So if you tend to gravitate towards the pantry around 7 o’clock, plan on using that time for something very specific. Go for a walk, get a workout in, take a shower, plan out the following day. 

3. Create a list of hobbies you enjoy that don’t involve eating. Keep the list somewhere visible.

If you know the root of your snacking is boredom, you have to address the root cause. Your brain is telling you it isn’t stimulated enough and so you reach for the bag of pretzels. Instead, give it other things to reach for. Make a list of 3-5 fun activities you can turn to anytime you find yourself falling back into your boredom eating habit.

4. Keep ‘red light’ foods out of the house.

Red light foods are foods you know you can’t stop eating once you start. If you know you have no self control with certain snacks, don’t put yourself in that situation! Have kids that want treats? Just buy the things that THEY like, but YOU do not.

5. Have an intentional snack!

Do you find you tend to reach for snacks around that mid-afternoon slump? It may be that you’re low on energy and are in legitimate need of fuel! Instead of mindlessly munching on a bunch of random crap, put together a true, well-balanced snack. Grab some fruit and nut butter, or veggies and hummus, or a small protein shake. 

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