As part of my Happiness Project inspired project, I’ve decided I need to get my act together when it comes to food. I’m a big comfort eater. And a boredom eater. I’m also known for going to the fridge/pantry, looking for something, not finding what I want, going back to my room and then repeating the process an hour later.
I also hide chocolate and biscuits in my room. I know, it sounds like I have an issue but that’s because if it’s in the pantry, it gets taken before I even have a chance to enjoy it.
How do I stop this though? I want to be one of those people who enjoys food, and good, quality food but only when I’m hungry. I tend to crave sugar as most people do and I’m sure a diet change would help.
More protein as my old trainer would say. Lots of protein. But protein takes alot of work. I mean protein for breakfast is fine when I have eggs but I can’t have eggs every morning. I can’t stomach salmon early before work, only when I’m at brunch or at lunch. I went through the protein shake phase but it didn’t really stick. I obviously need to get more creative with my foods but as someone who doesn’t cook, I’m generally just not that interested.
How do you stop the comfort/boredom eating? Do you replace the habit with something else or is it a mindset change that needs to happen? Personally I don’t think replacing is the way to do it. It’s like when a friend quit smoking, she replaced cigarettes with lollipops but then got hooked on those!
So much of my getting together with friends and good memories are centered around food. Birthday dinners, Christmas dinners, special events generally involve food and it’s usually really good food. Food is such a good way to celebrate and get together that I find I try to recreate that when I’m alone or bored.
I know when I’m comfort/boredom eating that I’m not hungry. I *know* this! Yet somehow my brain can’t comprehend that and I still go to eat.
I guess it’s about learning the signs. Am I actually hungry or is it emotional or just boredom? Distinguishing between the three is actually a huge help because learning to recognise hunger with comfort can cut back on alot of unnecessary calories because lets face it, no one reaches for a salad when they’re feeling sad or upset.
Keeping a food diary can help you learn the signs. For a period of time (7 days usually) you can write down everything you eat, as well as notes associated with why you’re eating. Did you have a shit 10 minutes at work so you reached for that chocolate? Was traffic really bad in the morning so you grabbed yourself a muffin for breakfast? It’s important to be able to distinguish your emotions and situations you find yourself in and how they relate to food.
Planning meals cuts down on reaching for that Kitkat at 3.00 pm I find that when I’m prepared I tend to snack less for the hell of it because I know what I’m having next and when. It’s also important to ensure that you are eating enough calories for your body. If you aren’t meeting your minimum requirements then you probably will be more prone to eating junk to make up for it. Remember that when exercising, your calorie intake should also increase.
Eating regularly also helps. 5 – 6 small meals a day is ideal however it’s not always practical. Try to have a routine where you can at least eat at the same time everyday. Again, not always practical. When I worked shift work I’d be eating dinner at midnight some nights whilst others I was eating dinner at 6 pm.
Although these tips are helpful and can work, I find that after awhile I lose the energy to keep it up. I also find it difficult as I stay at my partner’s place alot and his family don’t seem to believe in healthy foods and snacks. Dinner can be anything from a roast to a few biccies and cheese with wine. I also find I rely on food far too much as a reward to myself. Mostly because it’s cheaper than buying myself something and alot less cluttering.
I am committed to changing this and will be starting a food plan. Although I can’t control what my dinner will be, at least I can control snack times, breakfast and lunch!
Also, drink lots of water. Most people confuse thirst with hunger and will eat when a glass of water is all that they really need. Staying well hydrated can cut back unnecessary snacking.
What is a good way to stop this? Does anybody actually know or have any tricks they use?