Do you struggle with emotional eating habits? Finding yourself eating when you know you are not actually hungry? It is so easy to fall into the habit of eating your emotions rather than to eat to feed physical hunger.
I know if I am feeling bored I find myself eating if I am proud I find myself reaching for food, and many other emotions too! I needed to find something else to pass the time. If you find you are like this too then here are 101 alternatives to help you stop boredom eating. When you’re feeling hungry just try one of these instead.
Try these instead of emotional eating
Paint your nails.
Sort out something you no longer need for charity.
Phone a friend.
Write a letter/card to a friend or family member.
Write a to do list of all the things you keep putting off.
Sew, knit or crochet something.
Sort out and tidy your jewellery and accessories, you could even look for a new charm online for a bracelet or just treat yourself to something nice? If your jewellery box is anything like mine it always seems to need sorting out! Keeping your hands busy really helps.
Relax in the Bath.
Watch rain run down the windows or butterflies flying in the sun – so relaxing!
Walk a dog or play with a pet, yours or someone else’s.
Find articles to read online, the BBC website has lots or a blog like mine!
Chat to your children about how old they think people are, this is always funny or perhaps a friend or siblings children.
Sort out your make-up bag/box and throw away old things to prevent infections etc.
Write some memories down about your life or your children’s to look back on in the future. Remember the board games they always cheated at, write it down while you remember!
Write a love letter.
Work out a family budget and see if there is anywhere you can save money.
Make a meal plan for the coming week including healthy snacks so you don’t struggle next week.
Clean the bathroom – dull I know, but you can’t eat at the same time!
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I struggle with my self-esteem and I know a lot of you do too. Maybe this self-esteem challenge will help you to focus on working on your self-esteem a little more even if it is just a little step at a time.
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More alternatives to emotional eating
Go for a drive to explore somewhere new.
Learn to juggle or learn a card trick.
Go an feed the ducks on a country walk – it is not just for kids!
Download an app for your phone so you can see which planets you can see in the night sky or the planes flying overhead.
Listen to music and put together a new playlist.
Get some PVA glue (easy if you have kids!) and paint it on your hands like you did at school then when its dried peel it off!
Go out for a walk to take photos of nice areas around you.
Listen to a podcast or find something on “catch up TV” to watch.
Look on local estate agent websites and peek at the most expensive houses in your area, or for more of a wow factor look at central London! Below is one I saw in a window in London.
Sing along to your favourite songs and have a dance around the living room.
Volunteer your time or services to help someone.
Learn how to make something with origami from a tutorial online.
Write a letter to complain or compliment about a service you have received.
Read some celebrity gossip online.
Stack coins or buttons and see how many you can stack up before they fall over. Alternatively buy cheap dominoes for when you want something like this to do!
Look through your recipe books or my recipes for something new to make next week and pop[ it on the meal plan.
Enter some competitions online – be careful not to enter any that cost you though, these are usually scams!
Go to a cafe and watch people go by enjoying the peace and change of scenery.
Still struggling with emotional eating?
Search online for coupons or offers to save you money on your shopping.
Visit someone you haven’t seen for a while.
Look for a new craft to learn or try out, the local college often have classes.
Sort through your printed photos and make sure they are all in albums and accessible when you want them.
Find a game to play on your phone or with some playing cards.
Chat to friends or join a new group on social media to make new friends.
Do some research into your family tree or look for someone you went to school with online.
Have some fun with your partner (sex burns calories!).
Go to a charity shop and see what bargains you can find.
Read a magazine.
Start writing your own book, they say everyone has a book in them.
Watch videos of your favourite comedian.
Write a letter to your children or grandchildren for when they are older.
Look at local attractions and hidden treasures in your area and plan a visit.
Rearrange a room or area of a room, perhaps you could make it more Instagram worthy with ideas from Pinterest?
Start an online wish list ready for Christmas to give you ideas of what to ask your loved ones for or what you can buy for others.
More alternatives to comfort and boredom eating
Go to the library.
Write a letter to your future or younger self.
Start writing a journal or diary. Many people love to bullet journal.
Listen to a radio programme with discussions on to really get you thinking.
Look online at maps of places you have visited or lived and reminisce.
Edit some photos using an online photo editor. Whether it be removing red-eye or making your photo brighter it is fun and easy to do. Then you can order a canvas perhaps for the wall and brighten up a room?
Look into a new hobby and what you would need to buy to start it.
Phone an elderly family member or friend or someone who may feel lonely.
Look at recipes to learn to cook your favourite restaurant meal.
Have a nap.
Feel better about yourself with my help
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If you like funky leggings, or maybe you have never bought any but would like to treat yourself then you should definitely consider Locket Loves. They are so comfortable and go up to size 26 and in my experience are very true to size. If you use my referral then you can get £5 off and I get some money to spend on more leggings too! I practically live in them now so a new pair will never go amiss!
Write a bucket list.
Do some batch cooking for the week ahead.
Meditate or do some mindfulness.
Do a random act of kindness for someone.
Write a poem or song.
Learn a dance from a video online, it wont be easy but trying is fun!
Sort out your smartphone deleting apps you no longer use and making more space on it.
Write a letter to a sick child or their sibling through the charity Postpals.
Start learning another language online with videos or Google translate. It might be really handy on your next holiday.
There are so many ways of avoiding boredom and comfort eating
Clean something that is so rewarding when it is done like the windows, oven or your fridge freezer.
Do some online shopping on Amazon, it could come tomorrow!
Sort out your fridge and freezer throwing away expired food or things you did not label and don’t know what it is!
Watch YouTube videos of animals or small children doing funny things instead of emotional eating.
Find a new book to read online or one from your bookshelf you have never got around to reading that is non-fiction about something that interests you.
Watch something you don’t usually watch on TV.
Upcycle something after looking for ideas on Pinterest.
Send something to staff at a hospice or ward of the hospital where staff work hard and have a emotionally challenging job.
Sort out unopened toiletries or food you do not need for the food bank.
Look at life hacks online – it is so addictive and there are such funny ones!
Read the Facebook page “Angry people in local newspapers” it sounds bizarre but it is hilarious!
Go for a walk, even if it is just around the area you live for a few minutes it will get you out and thinking of something different.
Find a puzzle online to do such as a crossword etc.
Colour something and doodle.
Light a scented candle and sit and relax smelling it and moisturising your hands if you feel just relaxing with the candle isn’t enough.
Look through your herbs and spices and then hunt for recipes you could use them in.
Make a hot drink. They’re usually less calories than a snack and maybe you are just thirsty or looking for something to consume. Try to drink water instead of eating as well.
Watch your favourite film, mine is Dirty Dancing.
Book a haircut, manicure or similar. If you are feeling down this can help you feel more positive.
Keeping track of your goals is really important
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Still struggling with emotional eating?
Or perhaps if you really can’t find anything to stop you wanting to eat your emotions then ration yourself and just have a small bit of what you enjoy?
Whatever you do just remember one day of eating something you shouldn’t won’t make you fat in the same way that eating well for one-day won’t make you thin. It is all about habits and a long term healthy lifestyle. Don’t be angry with yourself if you slip up. It is OK to struggle.
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