For those spending more time around the house these days, boredom can become a significant health factor. Not only does it impact your emotional and mental health; boredom can lead to overeating, weight gain, and all of the associated health problems. And the fact that baking became one of the top “pandemic hobbies” of the past year probably doesn’t help!
If you’re feeling bored while social distancing at home, follow these tips to prevent overeating.
Understand the mechanisms behind “boredom eating”. Eating foods that you enjoy produces endorphins in the brain, and those endorphins lead to feelings of happiness. Luckily, food is not the only thing that prompts endorphin production. Exercise, yoga, and any activity that you enjoy can produce the same effect.
Substitute healthy foods. Plenty of healthy foods taste great and make your day more interesting. A bowl of fresh strawberries, a goat cheese omelet, or a warm bowl of savory vegetable curry are some good examples of healthy but pleasurable foods.
Avoid stocking up on tempting items. One benefit of our new shopping options is that you can stay out of stores entirely if you wish! That will reduce the usual temptations that you feel when strolling through the bakery or snack aisles. Arrange for grocery delivery of healthy items and avoid purchasing large quantities items like ice cream and potato chips that tempt you to snack too often.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol consumption has skyrocketed over the past year, for reasons everyone understands. Unfortunately, alcohol packs empty calories into your diet while also lowering your inhibitions, which can lead to overeating. It is also linked to numerous chronic diseases, so take the steps to lower your alcohol consumption or give it up entirely.
Wait it out. Most cravings disappear after about 20 minutes. When a strong urge for unhealthy food choices strikes, find something else to occupy your mind for a half hour.
Stay in touch with healthcare professionals. Keep regular appointments with your physician and discuss issues such as your weight and nutrition. They can offer tips and suggestions to help you keep your habits in check and reduce your odds of weight-related diseases.