Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise Thompson: Overcoming emotional eating: boredom

Do you eat when you're bored? Photo / Thinkstock
Do you eat when you're bored? Photo / Thinkstock

Continuing from last week, let's look at another reason we typically overeat - boredom.

We use food as entertainment. We use food to distract ourselves from feelings of boredom. The snack at the desk even though we just had lunch. Picking bits in the kitchen while getting the kids' dinner. Chips in front of the television. Cheese and crackers, even though dinner will be ready in an hour.

We end up using food as a way to change up our activity, regardless of physiological hunger. And that means we will overeat, because we won't get the "satisfied" signal from our tummies, as we were never hungry in the first place.

What is this all about? Remember, when we use food as something other than fuel we are trying to change our emotional state. Here we are trying to feel something other than bored.

If eating for entertainment is your issue, then take back control. Figure out what you can introduce into your life in the moment, that will bring interest, fascination, learning, variety: whatever it is you really crave, rather than food.

Ask yourself: "what am I really hungry for?"

To do something different, just for a bit? To be doing something less mundane? Conversation that stimulates the mind? To be engaged in something less repetitive? Or it might be to use your imagination or creativity.

What could you do that would create those feelings for you, rather that entertaining yourself momentarily with food? Play with the kids? Write that report? Read the book that's been on your bedside cabinet for a year? Go for a walk? Create a new playlist? Call a friend? Tackle that project you have been putting off?

Change up what you are doing. Boredom comes from too much of the same stuff. So change the mode you are operating in. If you have been doing something analytic, do
something creative or physically challenging for 20 minutes. If you have been doing something mundane and routine, try something creative. If you have been
doing something physical try doing something intellectually challenging.

The urge to eat will disappear when you replace that feeling of boredom with engagement, interest or purpose. Because that's what you really wanted all along. It will fill you up.

Louise Thompson is a life coach, yoga teacher and corporate escapee. For more from Louise, visit or connect on Facebook.

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter

Inspirational advice to rock your life with energy, passion, happiness and balance.

Louise is a corporate escapee turned wellbeing pro. After 17 successful years on the commercial side of media a serious health crisis led to a complete lifestyle overhaul and a brand new direction. As a life coach, and the first Martha Beck accredited coach in New Zealand, she loves nothing better than to help her clients get inspired, get happy and make their own rules for a connected, passion-fueled life. Her first book, The Busy Woman’s Guide to High Energy Happiness, aims to motivate people with practical solutions to step up and live their best lives. A qualified yoga teacher she also runs her own yoga studio and leads corporate wellness seminars. Louise loves to run, cook and dance, and is an incurable travel junkie.

Read more by Louise Thompson

Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

Sort by
  • Oldest

© Copyright 2016, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf05 at 01 Oct 2016 14:29:22 Processing Time: 589ms