How To Stop Snacking When Bored
How To Stop Snacking When Bored
This is a really common question and I’m sure everyone has wondered how to stop snacking at some stage.
If you are trying to stick to an eating plan like my HELP Guide, too much snacking can seriously derail your progress as you may be consuming more food than your body needs.
Whether you find yourself mindlessly snacking while you work or you’re desperate to know how to stop snacking at night, I think there will be something in this blog to help you.
Snacking is normal and healthy!
Before I go any further, I want to explain that snacking isn’t bad! In fact, snacks are a regular part of what I eat in a day. I try to pack healthy snacks, like yoghurt and fresh fruit or sliced vegetables with dip, to take with me when I have a busy day.
A mid-morning snack can help to provide your body with energy, while also keeping the tummy rumbles away! If you find yourself eating a lot at lunch because you always feel super hungry, having a snack in the morning can reduce the chance of overeating.
The point of having a healthy snack is to nourish you. It can help to keep your blood sugar levels more stable and to stop you from feeling constantly hungry.
So, the important thing to ask yourself before cutting out snacks altogether is: what are you snacking on, how often are you eating snacks and why? If you’re trying to reduce the number of snacks you’re eating, practising eating mindfully can help. Otherwise, try some of these tips to help you quit snacking too much when you’re bored.
How to stop snacking when bored
Boredom snacking happens to most of us at some stage. The problem with snacking when bored is a lot of the time the food we choose to eat is whatever is convenient. Often these snacks are packed with added sugar or unhealthy fats.
Excessive snacking can derail weight loss efforts, especially if you do most of your snacking late at night. If you’re trying to stop snacking when you’re bored, making some small changes to your routine can help.
Watch your snack eating patterns
The first thing to do when you notice you’re snacking too often is to figure out when and why you’re eating. Is there a specific time of day where you usually indulge in an unhealthy snack, like a large packet of chips? Noticing a pattern can help you to figure out what causes that behaviour. You might find that it usually happens when you are bored or at the end of the day when you’re watching TV. Once you spot a pattern, you may recognise why you are reaching for the snacks regularly.
Try to notice how you feel emotionally before you reach for a snack. Sometimes, mindless eating is related to emotional triggers. If you’re feeling stressed, finding other outlets for your stress can help you to avoid excessive snacking. This isn’t always easy but it is definitely worth trying!
Identify your hunger levels
Once you’ve figured out when and why you’re eating, you can be proactive. Before you reach for an unhealthy snack or a second serving at dinner, ask yourself if you’re really hungry. Often, your mind can mistake dehydration for hunger, as the cues come from the same part of the brain.
Have a glass of water and wait a few minutes. If you’re still hungry, reach for a healthy snack like this make-at-home trail mix. If you’re no longer hungry after a glass of water, it usually means you’re just bored.
Avoid buying junk food
Eating lots of sugar-rich foods can make it hard to satisfy hunger. Instead, you are more likely to experience a rapid increase in blood sugar followed by a crash. That means you might feel a burst of energy shortly after eating sweets or junk food but this usually wears off pretty quickly, leaving you craving more fuel. So if snacking when bored is a problem for you, one way to minimise this is to avoid buying junk food.
This can be really difficult because there are lots of reasons for craving junk food and then accidentally overeating it. Try to get into a routine by slowly replacing the junk food in your pantry with some healthy snack options. Yes, it will take some getting used to but it is SO worth it.
Avoid eating in your bedroom
When you eat mindlessly, it becomes easier to overeat without noticing. Snacking in bed or in front of the TV means you may end up eating a much larger portion than you intended to, and sometimes you still feel hungry!
By eating at the table or making an effort to pay attention to what you’re eating, you become more aware of what you’re putting into your body. Eating a little more slowly gives your body time to sense when you are no longer hungry and you’re more likely to pick up on those cues if you remove the TV and focus on what you’re eating.
Find something to occupy you
Another way to stop snacking when your bored is to find something to keep you occupied. This could mean taking a walk, replying to those emails you’ve been meaning to get to or finding something else to keep you busy.
If you tend to snack on food when you’re watching TV, find something to do with your hands — such as painting your nails, drawing or colouring. Otherwise, switch your TV show off and find something to do around the house. Cleaning is always a great way to keep me occupied!
So, being distracted while you are snacking can be bad but using a distraction to take your mind off snacking can be good!
Eat regular snacks
I’ve touched on this already, but having a healthy snack between meal times can help keep you from overeating when you sit down to a meal. Without them, you’ll probably find you feel hungrier and then eat more for your main meals. It can also help you avoid snacking when you’re bored because there is less chance that your tummy will be rumbling!
Eating regular meals and snacks throughout the day can help you to stick to a healthier eating pattern. You might find you get less ‘hangry’ (hungry-angry) in the afternoon if you eat at regular times throughout the day.
That’s how to stop snacking when you are bored
I hope these tips to stop snacking when bored have helped! Remember, excessive snacking is something you can overcome — changing your mindset can help! Try to shift from worrying about how to stop eating so much and focus on fuelling your body.
If eating too many snacks is a habit you want to break, try finding a positive distraction instead of reaching for unhealthy snacks. It might take a little time to get used to but I know you can do it!
Love, Kayla xx
* Results may vary. Strict adherence to the nutrition and exercise guide are required for best results.