What’s The Verdict… Are you Hungry or Bored?

If “overeating out of sheer boredom” was a bonafide crime, could a jury of your peers ever find you “guilty-as-charged?’

Keep in mind that the scene-of-the-crime doesn’t have to take place in the kitchen. It can transpire at a vending machine, in a fast food drive-thru lane, at a tedious social event, in the car during a monotonous drive, at our desk, or anywhere else, for that matter.

I believe most of us can confess to eating when we’re not truly physically hungry. In our society, food has become much more than a survival mechanism. We eat for all kinds of reasons, so it’s not surprising that many turn to overeating in hopes of alleviating boredom. Don’t get me wrong–it’s not a crime to enjoy food. I do and I hope you do,too. But, experts believe that boredom can lead to weight gain and other health issues if you use food as a weapon to fend it off.

When you’re bored, search for something productive or interesting to do.  Sure, it takes time to come up with a compelling idea and no time or thought-process at all to reach out for food. But, if you can find something else to occupy your mind, body or soul, you’ll be a healthier, happier, and a more physically-fit person for it.

My suggestions:

  • Take a walk or go to the gym. Exercise is a great use of time and an excellent way to release anxiety that can result from boredom.
  • Read a book—something that will hold your interest. It doesn’t matter if it’s a mystery, romance, biography or comic book. If it grabs your attention, grab it.
  • Take up a new project. Painting, drawing,  writing and pottery are all great ways to occupy your mind, use your body and soothe your soul.
  • Make a list of all the things you ever wanted to do. The process of compiling your dreams is a wonderfully creative way to spend time. After you’re done with the list, start crossing off things off your list by actually ‘doing’ the things you wrote.
  • Experiment with healthy cooking and food preparation.. Cut up fruits and vegetables focusing on the presentation. Whip up a recipe you never tried before (one that is nutritious, of course.) It could be one of the next day’s meals.
  • Volunteer your time and talents to a worthwhile organization. Find one you’re passionate about. So many health-related non-profits, food banks, political organizations, and religious or community groups would welcome your help.

Don’t let boredom hold your mind and weight-loss goals a prisoner. Break-free and seek out fun and adventure.