How To Stop Snacking When You're Bored
If you’re someone who is constantly snacking all the time, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing!
Snacking can be a sign that your body is craving nutrition, so it’s important to choose healthy snacks that will satisfy you.
Where many people run into trouble is they mindlessly snack on foods that aren’t so good for them. This can happen at any time of day, but particularly late at night.
This type of snacking can derail your intentions to stick to a healthy eating plan, especially if you’re snacking on convenience foods that can be highly processed.
How to stop eating when you are bored
Snacking that happens when you aren’t really hungry — when you may be anxious or looking for something to do — is the kind of snacking that you want to change.
Here are some tips to help you develop healthy snacking habits and stop boredom snacking.
Keep a journal
If you are worried about your snacking habits, you could start by keeping a journal of what you are snacking on, why you are choosing that snack and whether you are feeling hungry when you get a snack.
Doing this can help you to identify what triggers unhealthy snacking. You might notice that you snack in the evening while watching TV.
Take note of how you feel emotionally when you snack. If you’re eating for reasons other than being hungry, there might be another natural way to manage your emotions.
It’s okay to enjoy your food, but you want to be enjoying it for the right reasons!
Once you know what’s behind your snacking habits, you can plan to break bad habits and make healthier choices.
Eat regular, satisfying meals
Sometimes the desire to snack is your body telling you that it needs more nutrients! By increasing the amount of healthy food you eat at meals, you may find that you no longer need to snack.
If you want to stop snacking, your meals need to have enough of your key macronutrients: protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrate to keep you going until the next meal.
However, if you find that you feel uncomfortable eating a big meal, then breaking it down to smaller meals and snacks across the day is perfectly fine!
Something I often ask women who are wondering how they can stop snacking is “how much water are you drinking?”
The answer is often, “not very much!”. If this is you, then make a point of increasing your hydration. You should be drinking at least two litres of water each day!
When we get dehydrated, this can sometimes be interpreted by our bodies as hunger. This means that we might be tempted to snack when what we really need is a glass of water.
Tick something off your to-do list!
If you notice that you want to have a snack, but you aren’t really hungry, try finding something else to do.
You might do some cleaning, take a walk, call a friend, or even paint your nails.
Sometimes an intense workout session is exactly what you need to release stress and tension after a rough day.
Exercise releases endorphins and can help you to feel better. Regular exercise can also increase energy levels and allow you to sleep better — two things that can help you to snack less!
Create a bedtime routine
Rather than watching Netflix right up until bedtime, you could try setting up a nighttime ritual to help curb that late-night snacking.
Sometimes we’ll eat because we are tired. Then the sugar rush keeps us awake for longer and we can’t get to sleep.
Rather than snacking to get more energy, why not just go to bed a little earlier?
Even if you don’t feel like going to sleep right away, having a routine of stretching, sipping some chamomile tea and spending time relaxing in the evening can help you to get a better night of sleep.
This decision can even have a positive flow-on effect the next day! When you’re feeling tired it can be tempting to snack to get extra energy — if you’ve had an early night you won’t need to snack just because you’re feeling tired.
Choose healthy high fibre foods
When you choose foods that fill you up properly, you won’t feel like you need to snack as much!
Wholegrain carbs are high in fibre and keep you full for longer. Having wholegrain carbs with your dinner can help to keep you full and reduce the chance of late-night snacking.
If you always feel hungry after breakfast then you might benefit from making your breakfast healthier with fibre and protein to keep you fuller for longer.
Go for spicy snacks
Most of us can’t eat too much spicy food so they make a good snack if you need something small in between meals. Plus, spicy foods can help to boost your metabolism!
Try these spicy baked chickpeas next time you want a savoury pick-me-up!
Don’t keep junk food in the pantry
Eating highly-processed foods often doesn’t satisfy your hunger, so you might eat more than you intend to.
Junk food gives you a quick burst of energy that doesn’t last long. Your blood sugar levels rise quickly, then fall, leaving you feeling flat and wanting another sugar rush.
Trick yourself into eating healthy by increasing the effort it takes to get junk food! If you don’t keep any junk food in the house, but you have plenty of healthy food, I bet most of the time you’ll just grab a healthy snack instead.
Not all snacks are bad
Choosing healthy snacks at the right time can help to prevent overeating at the next meal.
Having snack options ready to go will help you to snack on healthy foods that keep you fuller for longer!
My tip for when you are craving something sweet is to eat a piece of fruit or a treat like a bliss ball — you get that sweetness along with plenty of fibre and nutrients to truly satisfy you.
Be kind to yourself
Depending on your life situation right now, you might not be able to make all of these changes.
That is perfectly okay! Just do what you can to make one healthy choice at a time. By being persistent, you can break bad habits and start moving towards a healthier lifestyle.
It’s okay to treat yourself sometimes!
I truly believe that having a treat now and then when you want one is part of living a healthy and balanced lifestyle!
You should never completely deny yourself the foods that you enjoy! The important thing is to eat these foods in moderation to stick to a balanced, healthy eating pattern.
Have you got a tip for stopping boredom snacking? Share it in the comments!
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.