Mindless eating is something pretty much all of us do every once in a while. The compulsion to eat can creep up when you least expect it, and also the cravings that follow can be quite intense.
The pattern usually strikes immediately after work or as we’re winding down before going to sleep. Oftentimes it’s on the weekends when we get some down time and don’t get sound advice.
Excessive mindless eating can cause you to overeat and gain weight. If you’re struggling from the urge to snack, consider the following distracting activities instead.
Healthy Mindless Eating Distractions
Clean and Organize Your Space
There’s always something to be done to tidy up your surroundings. If you’re in your own home, try switching gears to complete the dishes, put away laundry or vacuum/sweep. In case your pantry, cabinets or closets are disorganized, assign a designated place for everything. If you’re at work, re-organize your desk drawers or clean up the files on your computer. Other great tales!
Take Time for Physical Self-care
Turn your focus from food and onto your body. Try taking a shower or an aromatherapy bath. Trim your nails or whip-out the razor for any quick shave. Grab your favorite lotion and moisturize. Pluck any unwanted hair on your face, floss your teeth or use a soothing face mask.
Move to Release Excess Energy
This doesn’t mean you have to hit the gym. Even a short walk down the street or a set of jumping jacks might help. Try dancing to an upbeat playlist or perhaps getting some yard work done.
Do Something Creative with Your Hands
This can be playing a musical instrument or opening an adult coloring book. You can also try painting, knitting or any other artsy craft. If you need an outlet to process your emotions, try journaling in a quiet place to express what you're feeling.
Get Out of the House
Your home environment can sometimes fuel mindless eating. Try running some errands on your To-Do list or going browsing. Visit a friend or neighbor. Walk to a nearby park or take your car for a scenic drive. This could even be as simple as walking your dog!
Slow Down and Pause for a Minute
We start to slip into bad habits when our behaviors are faster than our thoughts. When you start to feel bored, anxious, stressed or scared, stop and ask yourself why. Then have time to process your thoughts and really feel your feelings. This process might be uncomfortable at first, but it’s a healthy exercise in mindfulness.
If your thoughts and temptations continue, look for a distracting outlet like one in the above list. Try this for at least 10 minutes, but don’t feel bad about taking longer. Also, don’t be embarrassed to communicate what’s happening with a family member. Sometimes a friendly voice is enough to calm the raging waters. When it all comes down to confronting mindless eating, it is important you can do is to find a healthy outlet which will re-set your mind.