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things to do instead of eating, boredom eating8 Things To Do Instead Of Eating - Pin

Eating really is fun, isn’t it? It is probably the most agreed upon expression of culture and community around the world. No matter where you go or what you celebrate, food is almost always the center peg around which everything else revolves.

Boredom Eating - 8 Things To Do When Boredom Strikes

It’s not surprising that we immediately gravitate to thoughts of food when we’re bored. After all, food is where the party is! But there’s a problem with running to food every time you have a lag in activity…food has calories and typically “fun” foods have even more calories. And unfortunately, our bodies just can’t process an overabundance of calories without turning them into fat storage.

So, it’s time to come up with a plan B for those times when our brain tries to tell us that food is the answer to our boredom. Here are some suggestions of things you can do instead of eating when boredom strikes.

Boredome Eating - 8 Things To Do When Boredom Strikes

8 Things To Do Instead Of Eating

1. Go for a walk.

Remove yourself from temptation and flee from the fridge. It’s time to get the blood pumping a little bit. Walking helps to clear your head and it stimulates your other senses as well. Plus, walking actually provides a fitness benefit, so you are essentially killing two birds with one stone.

2. Call, text or tweet a friend.

Your mind drifts to food because you want stimulation, so you need to search elsewhere than the kitchen. Use your food cravings as a reminder to reach out to others. A good conversation can do wonders for redirecting your attention.

3. Clean something.

It’s funny how quickly our mind turns to food and how slowly it considers cleaning the kitchen floor ;)!

4. Organize something.

Consider that stack of old pictures, the pile of shoes in your closet or jumble of plastic containers in your kitchen cabinets. Taking the time to organize something bring order into your life in some small way.

Actually, an increased sense of order can also spill over into your own thinking. Some people turn to food because they can’t take the messiness or chaos of things around them. By taking control of some aspect of your life, even if it is only matching the proper lid to its corresponding container, you gain a sense of accomplishment that eating a bag of chips can’t supply.

5. Research an upcoming vacation.

Find something else to get excited about that doesn’t involve food. Start researching for an upcoming vacation. Look for hotel deals, attraction discounts and tourist reviews.

6. Paint your nails.when boredom strikes - 8 things to do instead of eating

Painting your own nails takes time and concentration. Not only that, but you can save a good bit of money by doing them yourself. You can use the money you save to go on that vacation you’re planning!

7. Give Yourself A Facial.

The internet are full of natural concoctions for various facial scrubs, moisturizers and masks. Instead of going to the kitchen for a snack, round up some food options and do a DIY facial.

8. Look through your closet for new wardrobe combinations.

For women, clothes are one of the few things that can run a close second to food and may even inch it out from time to time. Look through your closet for new wardrobe combinations. Mix and match different separates that you have never tried before. You can also look at your favorite blogs or Pinterest boards for inspiration. Find inspiration outfits and then try to copy them with items you already own.

You Have To Short Circuit The Immediate Eat Response

All of these are great ways to get your mind off food, but first you have to short circuit the immediate eat response.Β The time to come up with alternative activities to eating is BEFORE you put any food in your mouth. Snacking is often an unconscious activity. You grab a bag of chips and before you know it half the bag is gone and you can’t hardly remember it going in.

The good news is this…once you have trained yourself to recognize your tendency to eat when you’re bored, you can actually develop a habit of listening to your stomach for cues of when to eat.

~ Shellie

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(This post first published in October, 2015)


  1. Thank you so much for sharing this! I needed this today. Pinning

  2. Kathleen says:

    Well done. This post was in the TOP TWO most clicked on Fridays Blog Booster Party #29. It will be featured on Friday.
    Shared on G+ and Twitter

  3. Esther says:

    I eat a lot just because I’m bored, haha. These are great ideas, and what also works for me is chewing gums. Thank you for sharing your tips, have a great week!

    xo, Esther


    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Hi Esther! Yes, gum is a great idea or I have even heard people say they brush their teeth. I appreciate you taking the time to leave a comment!

  4. Stephanie says:

    Great suggestions! I usually find myself looking in the fridge when I feel anxious about something. Distracting myself with things I have to do anyway is a good way to stop me from eating, and I try to get out for walks or hikes as often as I can.

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Hi Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. Honestly I find that mind tricks work well for regulating my weight. In the end I have found lasting success by addressing my mind and how I think about food. So yes, distraction is a perfect way to take your mind off of food!

  5. I’m definitely going to keep an eye on your weight journey posts. I struggle so much with this, it honestly depresses me at times. Thanks for the motivation!


    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Hi Alicia, I am so glad that this post inspired you in some small way. I totally understand how those blue times can feel when it comes to the weight struggle.

  6. Kathleen says:

    Great suggestions Shellie. You have been there and understand the battle. Thanks so much for helping us all at Fridays Blog Booster Party #29

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Yes, and I guess that’s one reason I am so passionate about it. Thanks Kath.

  7. Michele says:

    Good suggestions. I am about to be stuck home after knee surgery and I know when I am bored and can’t get up and around I am going to want to eat. Texting and phone calls would be a better choice!

  8. Sometimes when hungry hits me is when I am just going to bed, really tough to go to sleep, and 95% of the time, I will not give into any urges to eat. I just drink a bunch of water.

    Thanks Shellie for sharing your post on the #OMHGFF his week!!
    I also appreciate that you Co-Host with us on #OMHGWW

    Hope you have a great week!

  9. Excellent ideas, Shellie. I found that taking a nap also works. You wake up not feeling hungry.

  10. Janice Wald says:

    I’m over from the link too. I think eating will make be not be sleepy…

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Yes, I’ve heard people say that. My husband always eats sunflower seeds when he’s sleepy; especially when he’s driving.

  11. Miranda says:

    Cleaning and organizing are sure fire ways to stop yourself from eating. Thanks for the reminder. My house sure could use the cleaning and my waist doesn’t need the eating!! Haha.

    I would love for you to link up this post to my Fitness Friday link-up. I think it would bring great value to my readers!


  12. I needed to hear this today! Thanks for the very good reminders, timely and right on the money. I’m over from the linky.

  13. Such great, practical advice! I work at home and it’s just too easy to wander into the kitchen to do some mindless snacking as a diversion when I’m stuck on a writing project. These are SO much more productive alternatives…I’m going to write them down and stick them near my laptop! Thanks!

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Yes, I am guessing that would be a pitfall of working from home…the kitchen is way to close to the office πŸ˜‰

  14. Linda Hobden says:

    Doing a fun exercise/aerobic/pilates session also helps – investing in a DVD or a session on wii fit will while away some time, is a giggle as well as the benefits!


    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      I haven’t ever had the chance to try the Wii Fit, but I bet it would be fun. Thanks for stopping by, Linda!

  15. I’m only on day two of my clean eating plan, but writing down my goals and re-reading them helps me.

    • Shellie Bowdoin says:

      Christine, I am excited for you…branching out on something new! Writing and journaling really did make all the difference when I made the decision to lose the weight AGAIN last November. I found it helpful to take stock of my thought process at the end of each day. What was harder or easier, why was it and did I uncover any long-held thought patterns or expectations today. Thanks for stopping by!