Louise Thompson

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

Louise Thompson: Overcoming emotional eating: boredom

2 comments
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 positivebalance.co.nz or connect on Facebook.

- NZ Herald

Have your say

We aim to have healthy debate. But we won't publish comments that abuse others. View commenting guidelines.

1200 characters left

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 16 Apr 2014 20:18:54 Processing Time: 827ms