Eating for entertainment is something I still struggle with, but I have learned a lot about the causes and dealing with it the right way. In a world where food is advertised in a every corner and became an inseparable part of entertainment it’s no wonders we tend to eat for fun. The problem with fun is that we rarely want to interrupt it. Whereas having fun is definitely a great experience, food shouldn’t be the part of the show.
Let’s get inside your body and mind:
first station: hunger
It’s a mystery.
There are days when you just eat normally and don’t exceed your nutritional requirements. However, there are also days when your stomach seems to be a black hole. Food “disappears”, you don’t get full. In worst scenario, you keep eating even if you are full. You can be proud of yourself if it never happened to you.
Whenever this happens, you don’t experience physical hunger and you aren’t in starvation mode. You already feed your body with all necessary macronutrients and there is no risk of starving yourself.
What you feel is:
You eat to entertain yourself, you eat because it gives you pleasure, you do it because it became you’re habit – coded deeply in your mind. Making a decision to eat delicious food is a no-brainer, unfortunately. Controlling intake of eating such food and consciously deciding when you eat it and when you don’t is much more complicated.
When you consume tasty food you feel instant pleasure. People obviously prefer feeling good over feeling uncomfortable, so it’s easier to just eat instead of controlling it. The problem is to keep yourself feeling better, your mind craves more. It’s important to notice that it’s your mind that is responsible for it, your body is already satisfied, but your mind craves constant gratification in the form of food.
All the bad emotions and moods, like feeling bored, take you out of your comfort zone. You just want to feel better again. Many times, you are too bored to actually start doing something productive even though you know a lot of ways to spend your time on something that matters.
The truth is, things that make a difference in a positive way are not always delightful, and you don’t want to experience discomfort. So, once again you grab something to eat.
That’s a straight way to become overweight and miserable.
Over time, you’ll develop a habit. The more you repeat the process, the harder it becomes to get out of this trap. Even though you feel satisfaction when you fulfil your emotional appetite, what you are going to feel in the long run, however, is regret and disappointment.
Kiss this bad habit goodbye
Here is how to stop eating when you are bored:
It won’t happen overnight and you’ll probably fail many times, but finally you’ll overcome it, believe me.
First of all, recognize which situations lead you eating for entertainment. Finding the root of the problem will simplify solving it. Take a sheet of paper and write down when it happens that you start eating out of boredom. Is there any situation that you can completely eliminate from your life? Perfect, get rid of that. For the rest, you’ll need to adjust your strategy. This can be done by learning how to entertain yourself other than by eating.
For every bad habit you developed, you can create a counter-habit. So, it doesn’t mean you should give up feeling great and pleasurably. The key is to cause that feeling by performing other activities.
When you start working on this problem, take small steps. Wise man named, Lao Tzu, said that a journey of thousand miles begins with a one step. Developing new habits is a long process, and you want to adjust yourself to a new situation and develop a new pattern.
Take small steps and track the progress
Let’s say you eat daily out of boredom. You’d probably want to stop at once, but this attitude leads to constant disappointment caused by your failure. Better approach is to print a planner or take calendar and plan your month. In the first week, you will control yourself every alternate day.
So, you will still let your bad habit take place but you’ll reduce it by 50%. See how it works after a week. If you are ready to add one more addiction-free day, go for it, if not, just stick to the first option. It’s still better than losing control every day.
Take that planner or calendar and put it on your wall, or ideally on your fridge. Whenever you’ll go in the direction of a bad habit, remind yourself about your yesterday’s progress and how bad you’ll feel if you ruin it today. It will also give you an overview of your progress. You can see when you started and how far you went already. Celebrate that win, think it through and let it be your motivation for further improvement.