This Trick Stopped My Mindless Eating

You're bored, so you eat. It's a tough habit to break, but if you continue to mindlessly reach for food every time you have the slightest desire, you'll end up eating all day long, and we know how that story ends.

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Whether you're trying to keep the pounds from piling on, or you have some pounds you're trying to ditch, this trick worked for me. When you know you're not hungry, and you just need a little distraction to get your mind off eating, create this new habit: reach for a hobby instead. Mine was playing guitar and singing. When I didn't have anything better to do, and my mind started to wonder what snacks were in my kitchen, I would pick up my six-string and start belting out Indigo Girls (this was in my folk-music-loving, hippie college days). It totally worked! After a couple songs, I was so into playing that I forgot all about eating, and when I was done, I realized I wasn't even hungry.

Find a hobby or activity that works for you. Maybe you like to paint, sew, crochet, garden, or make beaded necklaces. Give yourself a pedicure, read a chapter in the latest book you picked up, throw the ball around to your pooch, have a dance party in your living room, or take a walk. An obvious suggestion is to avoid any hobbies that involve food, so maybe now's not the time to bake a batch of cookies. You could also turn that boredom into calories burned by doing a set of burpees, push-ups, and squats. Be sure to make it something fun — cleaning your house isn't the best choice, unless cleaning is your personal passion, then clean away those cravings! Whatever it is, do it for at least 10 minutes to really shift your perspective and get your mind off food.

Think of all the calories you'll save by skipping out on unnecessary noshing! And who knows, if this is something you battle with a few times a day, think of how much you'll accomplish. It's a much more positive way to handle nibbling and much more effective.