Independent Online

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Like us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView weather by locationView market indicators

Are you really hungry or are you just bored? Here’s how to break the thought pattern of thinking about food

IT IS is so easy to fall into the habit of eating your emotions rather than eating to feed physical hunger. l PEXELS/KETUT SUBIYANTO

IT IS is so easy to fall into the habit of eating your emotions rather than eating to feed physical hunger. l PEXELS/KETUT SUBIYANTO

Published May 27, 2022

Share

Do you struggle with emotional eating habits? Finding yourself eating when you know you are not actually hungry?

It is so easy to fall into the habit of eating your emotions rather than eating to feed physical hunger.

Story continues below Advertisement

I know if I am feeling bored I find myself eating. If I am sad I find myself reaching for food, and many other emotions too. If you find you are like this too then here are some alternatives to help you stop boredom eating. When you are feeling hungry just try one of these instead.

Learn to distinguish between ‘real’ hunger and ‘boredom’ hunger

First things first; learn to distinguish between “real” hunger and ‘“boredom’” hunger. Sometimes, we feel hungry when in reality we aren’t really hungry.

Our body often sends us the wrong signals and it is crucial to be able to distinguish when you are actually hungry and when your body is just playing tricks on you.

Thankfully, there is a way to check this. Next time you feel hungry, try drinking a glass of water or a cup of tea. In most cases, your “hunger” will disappear.

Story continues below Advertisement

Keep a food diary

Now, this might sound overly dramatic, but one of the best methods to prevent boredom eating is one of the oldest methods – a food diary.

Story continues below Advertisement

Physically having to write down what you eat in a day can be a wake-up call into just how much mindless snacking you are taking part in.

Too often we feel we look back on a day and have absolute amnesia in terms of exactly what went into our mouths. If we consistently have to face our bad habits and own up to them, we are less likely to continue these bad habits.

Create a food-free zone

Story continues below Advertisement

We can be really habitual about where we feed our bottomless pit of a belly. Maybe we always snack at our desks at work, in the car, or on the couch in front of the television.

Just like certain activities can trigger us to want to eat, so can certain places. Create spaces in your work and home that are food-free zones, and swear to yourself that you will never eat in those places, including meals. If you are in the habit of snacking or eating lunch at your computer, try only eating in the cafeteria area.

Chew gum

May seem rather simple, but can be effective. If you really just need something to chew without adding to your waistline, then sugar-free, mint gum can do the trick. I also find that the minty taste left in my mouth decreases my appetite for other tastes.

Share