Thursday, December 9, 2010

How to Avoid Eating When You're Bored

Another action plan... I've made some comments in orange.

Are you really hungry? Or just bored? At times, we eat because we have nothing better to do. It's something a lot of us do without thinking. Here are a few tips to help you establish a new routine and new habits:
  1. Make a hunger diary. Record your daily intake. Include a list of calories, if desired. [This is really good, but hard to maintain doing it]
  2. Recognize patterns of eating. Do they coincide with boredom? Is there a time of day when you are more likely to be bored.
  3. Identify if you are actually hungry. Ask yourself, on a scale of one to ten, how hungry you feel. If the answer is seven or more, you should probably eat something. Otherwise, refrain from eating until you reach this point of actual hunger.  [If you CAN refrain!]
  4. Satisfy feelings with other interests. Find other interests that are just as rewarding. Have fun with a friend[YES!]
  5. Make an activity hat. Fill the hat with different activities and pull one out to do. This should relieve your boredom and the urge to eat.  [Hmmm...mine would say "Clean the bathroom", "Do some laundry", "Cut the dog's toenails", and other exciting stuff like that.]
  6. Find an activity that occupies your hands. Try a manicure, needlework, typing or if you do play an instrument this is a good time for practising. You can only do one activity at a time.
  7. Concentrate on what you are doing. Force yourself to become preoccupied until the hunger subsides.
  8. Go for a walk. This will take you away from the kitchen. Once your scene has changed, your cravings should subside.
  9. Avoid buying certain foods. Identify the foods that you most commonly reach for and avoid having them in your home. [OMG, for me, this is chocolate, ice cream, flavored nuts, dried fruit, the list goes on and on!]
  10. Avoid having food in your bedroom. Eat only at the dining room table. Stashed snacks can be a big temptation.
  11. Choose nutritious food. Choose replenishing whole foods. Processed foods are deprived of natural vitamins and nutrients. [Good idea, if you must snack, eat carrot sticks!]
  12. Schedule a small nutritious snack between meals. This may keep you from indulging at meals.  [This is SO TRUE!  This really helps me.  And then I'm not allowed to snack beyond that.]
  13. Eat celery or watermelon. They are mostly water, low in calories and can quench your thirst. You may burn as many calories as the celery contains just by chewing it. The sweetness of watermelon is very satisfying. They're both pretty healthy.
  14. Drink a glass of water. Water is filling and may satisfy you for a period of time.  [NOT!]
  15. Never Eat Artificial Sweetener. They are no better for you than sugar and actually increase cravings.
  16. Chew a piece of gum. It's refreshing and low in calories. It may help to curb your appetite and actually burn a few calories.

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