For most people mindless eating or eating out of boredom is a common cause for extra food or caloric intake which can cause mini binges, overeating and even resulting in weight gain. Essentially an additional handful of food can take you from a calorie deficit (fat loss state) or maintenance (weight management state) to a surplus (weight gain state). No matter what you’re picking on, snacking on or eating in copious amounts food contains energy and the energy balance in your body will determine what the aesthetic outcome will be as either weight loss, management or weight gain.
So it’s a Saturday, the working week is over you’ve run your errands and are pottering around the house… You’re finding yourself constantly opening the fridge and pantry just picking away.. You realise it’s now the end of the day and you’ve had barely any meals but have spent the WHOLE day grazing and picking at food. You weren't even intending on eating much, but when you think about it you’ve had a few packets of chips, a couple of biscuits, some yogurt, bread, fruit, and nuts. It seems with everything you pick at you want something else and before you know it you feel ultra guilty for attending the dinner plans you had that night because you’ve way over done it today already.
Our Equalution client, down 9kgs and 20cms in body measurements.
Tyson has drastically reduced his body fat % while maintaining his muscle mass. This was achieved through independently selecting foods of his choice meeting our strategised macronutrient and micronutrient intake requirements set on a weekly basis according to his progress and goals.
How do you combat boredom eating? How do you beat filling your time with snacking and running back and forth between the pantry and the fridge? How do you stop hanging around the fridge staring aimlessly?
We’ve put together some tips and tricks that will help you beat the boredom eating:
1. Have breakfast and main meals: Skipping meals can make you susceptible to picking and grazing throughout out the day. Try and get some regimented structure into your eating so you’re less likely to fill the gaps with snacking when bored. Bored + being hungry can make you vulnerable to hanging inside the fridge searching for something to eat to kill time - rule out one trigger in being hungry.
2. Food prep: On the same note as above, get prepared and make some meals so you’re not without ‘meals’ and instead resorting to boredom eating and grazing. This will help with regimented eating which can remove the need to continually snack.
3. Buy single portioned packaged food: Buying the ‘right’ sort of food will minimise the ease of snacking and will help you out in not creating opportunities and making ‘snacky food’ accessible.
4. Drink plenty of water: Water can bring a sense of fullness, and likewise not being hydrated can make you feel empty and hungry. By staying hydrated and drinking water instead of boredom snacking you can reduce your visits or need to visit the pantry and fridge in search for snacks and things to fill a non-existent hunger.
5. Go on a morning walk: Aim to make small lifestyle changes that are non-invasive and realistic that will help you out on your health and fitness journey. Things like a morning walk can facilitate little changes that can become part of your every day and assist with your results. Not only this but starting off your day right with something like walking can make you focused to have a good day of nutrition and fill your time with something productive instead of snacking out of boredom. When you begin your day with physical activity you’re more motivated to have a productive day instead of being a couch potato.
6. Sweat it out: Integrate training into your routine and instead of roaming aimlessly bored you can fill your time with some recreational activity like basketball, running, soccer or a session at the gym. Positive activity will make you less likely to turn to food for comfort and fill your spare time snacking!
7. Utilise your suppressants: While not recommended in excessive volumes it's okay to curb cravings and temptations to eat outside of your calories or plan with tea, coffee (either black or with a dash of skim milk with equal/stevia), sugar free sodas or sugar free gum. These pick-me-ups can satisfy your sweet tooth and prevent overeating or ‘eating for no reason’ in vulnerable times.
8. Be busy: Boredom eating and mindless snacking comes from being bored - having nothing to do, no plans and setting yourself up for a date with the pantry and fridge. If you’re busy and leading a balanced lifestyle you won’t find yourself in situations of slugging around the house wanting to eat the house down. Fill your calendar, it doesn’t mean you need to be out of the house but even just occupied with things to do.
9. Organise your pantry risk free: De-risking your pantry can be an experience that makes boredom eating almost impossible. By not leaving things out and open and easily accessible you’re less likely to reach for it when you open the pantry looking to snack.
10. Set yourself goals: Boredom eating can come about when you’re goal less and on a path to nowhere. Setting yourself a goal or a challenge even if that’s as small as ‘not picking’ can help you in getting determined and motivated to change your eating habits for good.
Consider professional coaching…
Your mindless eating out of boredom could be symbolic of a poor relationship with food or directionless nutrition. What coaching can do is not only help you goal set but ensure you’re eating for your body and allowing you to be deterred from anything outside of those intake requirements or alternatively allowing you to incorporate things you feel like within your body’s needs.
A professional in this context like our Equalution team can:
Strategise your intake requirements for optimum results so you have direction in your nutrition and goals to meet and aren’t susceptible to eating for the sake of it.
Give you the tools to integrate lifestyle in with your goals. You might naturally be a ‘snacker’ and under strategised guidance you can learn how to eat for both convenience, preference and your body’s needs.
Help you build a better relationship with food by educating you on what your body needs and how it recognises food.
Support you on your journey with positive encouragement. This means when you’re feeling shaky or like deviating you can reach out for assistance. Our team has often been the saving grace in many vulnerable situations.
Keep you accountable for your nutrition.