Weight Loss Support - Breaking the Habit of "Boredom" Eating...

05-18-2010, 05:38 PM
After a tip from someone on here, I've thought quite a bit as to "why" I eat.

I guess the easiest way to describe it is that I'm bored... that I have nothing else to do... and it's a habit. I don't eat because it makes me feel good. I don't eat because I'm hungry. I don't eat because necessarily I WANT to eat... I guess it's because I have nothing better to do.

I do a lot of things that keep my mind and/or hands busy. I knit, I crochet, I sew, I read, I play video games, I write, I draw, I paint, I do a lot of things... but... with most of them... food is usually incorporated into them.

So... any tips on how I can break the "need food while I do this" habit? I'm very much a multi-tasker... I can't concentrate on one thing unless I have something else going on in the background. I've tried doing homework with no sound... I go NUTS... and it takes me forever to finish it. I can't sleep without a fan on... I can't do a lot of the things I've stated without one (or two) things going on in the background.

So... any tips? I already have a bunch of gum that I chew... like... the 5 calorie a stick spearmint and winterfresh gum... and that helps me in class at school (we're allowed to chew gum at this school). But then by the end my jaw really hurts... :p So... ideas?

Cherry in STL
05-18-2010, 05:52 PM
I've found that if I keep a drink going, anything low calorie such as Crystal Light or calorie free, it helps to keep me from wanting something to munch on just because. Plain water would probably be best, but if I don't get a taste of something, I'm not as inclined to drink (unless thirsty). If you make it nice for yourself; in a pretty glass with ice and a straw it makes your beverage more exciting. Also, I have put all food away and out of sight. Everything is either in the fridge or the pantry. No food items out on the counter or top of fridge or anything like that. Not only does my kitchen look cleaner, it's less of a temptation when I can't see any food. I suppose it wouldn't hurt to have a bowl of fruit out as that would encourage healthier snack habits, but I like most of my fruit straight from the fridge.

05-18-2010, 06:02 PM
You might need to just decide that if you are doing anything else, you won't eat. Never mind multi-tasking for just that one thing. If you want to eat, then eat...good, low cal foods of course. BUT DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE EXCEPT EAT!!! I bet it will help you get in the habit of being aware of what you are eating and it won't be much fun to stop everything else you are doing so that you can munch on celery. It's so easy to inhale food when you are doing other things at the same time...even if it's healthy food...you can still overeat if you arent' paying attention.


05-18-2010, 08:43 PM
Whenever I feel bored enough to eat...I just completely focus myself on some activity. I get up from where ever I am...go out and weed the gardens, throw in some laundry, dust, go for a walk, write or read. I also tend to go for long drives or go run errands in town.

Really, you just have to decide to break the habit. Focus entirely on one thing, and your mind will be too occupied to eat. Reinforce only eating when you are truly hungry.

It's something I've had some major struggles with in the past...but this time around it's like I'm finally getting it. I'm just doing in, and not thinking about it. I've never been a positive person...ever, but I'm tweaking my attitude and I think this time will be THE time! Wish you luck with this.

05-18-2010, 09:47 PM
maybe if it's just multitasking you need, you could sew or write or whatever while you listen to a podcast/show, learn something new. trying singing while you sew or write, then you're doing something with your mouth. I've also seen menthol (like mint, I guess) flavored toothpicks, you could play around with one of those.
good luck.

05-18-2010, 11:50 PM
Thanks guys... all good ideas that I'll try. :D

05-18-2010, 11:54 PM
I think a lot of us eat out of boredom :)

I wanted to buy a book on emotional eating and the book store only had diet books, I did find one called 'The end of overeating' which is about why North Americans eat so much. I read that instead of eating :)

Try reading in the bath so you won't be able to eat without it being icky, or keeping a water bottle or some crystal light close by to sip on like those above said.

05-18-2010, 11:55 PM
I'm subscribing to this thread because bored eating is something i have struggled with my whole life.

The other one is eating while watching tv/ or movie habt. That is a killer because your hands keep moving and your brain is occupied in what u are watching so by the time the credits finished you ate a day in calories...lol

Has anyone here ever been bored but overwhelmed at the same time? I have and I still don't understand the connection between the two. So much to do and so bored with it all...hmm.

05-18-2010, 11:58 PM
chouchoubou... I'm less with the eating while watching a movie. I'll have my parents/brother eat all but like... 1/4 or 1/2 of the popcorn/drink... and then I'll eat about half of that... I don't like eating out of the same thing that other people are eating out of... while they're eating out of it... but then I decide I don't really want to eat anymore...

It's more of eating while I'm reading, on the computer, etc. :)

I'll try the water/crystal light thing. :)

05-19-2010, 12:03 AM
Serbider, I dont know if you live near a Walgreen's but mine has small boxes of Single Serving Wyler's light (Sugar Free) Singles to go for $1 (8 pkts in a box). I liked the Cherry Flavor and I have the Raspberry Lemonade box but haven't opened it yet. I've been using it whenever I've been craving "juice". But for the most part water works for me just fine on it's own

05-19-2010, 12:06 AM
I do have a Walgreens right down the street. :)

However... I'm picky about my juices. :p I'll DRINK anything... but I'd rather have certain things. haha... it's really funny... I only am just now realizing how picky of an eater I can become... easily. ;) It took me FOREVER to decide on a place to eat... because... not because I wanted all of it... but because I wanted none of it. In the end I decided upon Subway... and had a chicken breast 6 inch sandwich with a diet coke. :p I honestly am happy... I've never realized how picky of an eater I am... and it's picky... in a GOOD way. :D

05-19-2010, 12:09 AM
I totally agree with the Crystal Light idea. I keep a glass of iced tea Crystal Light (or the cheaper Wal-Mart brand) at my side almost all day. As a gift, I just received two of insulated tumblers that I use for my tea.They are so great for this purpose. It is hot here in Florida already so we drink a lot of fluids but I drink as much iced tea in the winter as I do in the summer. I think it helps with "the munchies." Plus, it's good for your skin.

05-19-2010, 12:13 AM
Powerade Zero has really helped me keep from eating while bored. I basically keep it on tap. It's not too expensive & it comes in the flavors grape, orange, lemon lime, strawberry & mixed berry.

05-19-2010, 12:52 AM
A random weird thing that helps me drink more water is putting it in my Large Dunkin Donut Iced Coffee cup. Something about the logo and an orange straw tricks me into feeling like it's a treat. LOL funny but true

05-19-2010, 01:03 AM
I think this is less "boredom" eating, and more "habit" eating. You do certain activities, and you associate eating with those activities, so that when you're doing those things, you eat almost without thinking.

The best way I know to fix that - make eating a standalone activity for a few weeks. Don't do ANYTHING else while you eat, and don't eat while you do anything else. The only things you get while doing something else are gum and water.

You'll break the associations between food and non-food activities, and you'll enjoy your food more too. And it doesn't have to be permanent...I started this way, and didn't have to hold onto it forever...just long enough to break my mental associations with TV/computer time/etc and snacking.

05-19-2010, 01:55 AM
The key to stopping boredom eating is to not let yourself get bored anymore. Find a hobby- I started crocheting in evenings, I started blogging, I did all I could to keep myself from eating. And of course instead of sitting around I work out at night- bought myself a treadmill on craigslist for $100 and I am using the HECK out of that thing :)

05-19-2010, 02:37 AM
my problem is late night boredom eating. i do great all day and then plan to go to bed early, but end up watching tv, surfing the web (like now!!!) and then feeling hungry and eating. not sure what to do. thought maybe trying to drink tea if i want to eat.