How to Not Eat When Bored

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How to Stop Eating out of Boredom

It’s really tough when it’s a habit to learn how to not eat when bored. When you are feeling lazy, unmotivated, depressed, anxious, or overtired it is so easy to reach for a snack when you aren’t even hungry.

Planting chip after chip, kernel after kernel, or more mindlessly into your mouth.

We ALL fall victim to eating out of boredom. You might be aware of this behavior and feel guilt or shame, or you might do it completely unknowingly out of habit.

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how to not eat when bored

How to Identify if You are Eating from Being Bored etc.

Imagine this.

It’s late at night. You are about to pop on Netflix and catch up with your favorite show. You snuggle up under a blanket.

But then suddenly you realize you need a big bowl of a snack to get you through this movie.

It could be chips, popcorn, or pretzels. I guarantee you’re not going to grab an apple right now.

Now do you think in that scenario you were really hungry? Probably not. You, like me, like most of us, are probably conditioned to think we need a salty snack to mindlessly munch on until our hand is hitting the bottom of the bowl while watching a movie.

Let’s act out another scenario.

You are stuck at home because there is a pandemic. Normally you would be hanging out with your friends or shopping or something other than sitting at home AGAIN, but here you are anyways.

After cleaning up your lunch you sit down and watch TV and after another hour, find yourself channel scanning. There’s nothing on anyways.

So you head back to the fridge and stare into it until you finally pick something to munch on.

Think you were really hungry that time?

If you guessed no in both scenarios you are right.

We all have a tendency to eat for reasons other than hunger. Some have trouble with this more than others. But we all fall guilty at times.

My weakness? Exhaustion. I have 3 kids, and none of them has ever come close to sleeping over 2 hours at a time until around 18 months. Right now I have a 9 month old. I’m usually pretty exhausted. Those days when I can barely keep my eyes open are the worst! Sugar cravings anyone?

What is your weakness?

Whether it’s boredom or even anxiety, depression, something else, or some combination, there are steps you can start taking now to stop eating when you’re bored!


How to Not Eat When You’re Bored

1. Get Moving

As humans we are meant to be in motion a lot more than our lives allow us to be these days.

An object in motion want to stay in motion. An object at rest wants to stay at rest.

This is completely applicable with us humans. The more you sit, the more you want to sit. And the more you have mindless bored time sitting, the more time you have to grab for snacks that you don’t need.

Once you get moving it’s so much easier to move more for the rest of the day. Stream your favorite workout app and get up off the couch for 30 minutes. My favorite is Beachbody on Demand because it costs about $.40 a day and has thousands of choices. Seriously, you could find that in your couch. You can try if free for 2 weeks here.

It feels hard to start moving. Really hard, when you are feeling lazy. Nothing sounds worse.

That moment when you finally decide to pull yourself up and get moving is HARD! But I promise, an object in motion wants to remain in motion. 

Once you start moving (and push past that first rough 5 minutes) the time goes faster.

Or you could go for a walk, go for a run, go play a sport.

Once you finish a workout, or go for a walk or run, it is so much easier to then get outside and garden, walk around the house and finish your checklist of chores, or maybe even go for another walk later.

If you find a new activity you enjoy set goals with it. Practice for a 5K. Complete a 3 week workout program. Practice your free throws.

Making regular activity part of your daily routine is one of the best tricks to stop snacking from boredom because it sets your activity in motion.


2. Read.

Not talking about reading on your phone. That is another thing we all tend to mindlessly do in down time. Swipe on that phone and start mindlessly scrolling through social media. Which you can do with one hand and leaves the other open for what? 


I’m talking about reading a magazine, or dare I say… a book? 

Reading can teach you new skills, or just keep you entertained. 

Plus when you’re flipping pages you can’t be grabbing for unneeded snacks!


3. Try Handy Hobbies.

When you are keeping your hands busy you can’t be grabbing for snacks from being bored. Actually when you are keeping yourself busy at all that ends up happening!

Try new hobbies like gardening, crafting, painting, etc. Sewing, Kitting, those adult coloring books.

Things that keep both your hands and mind occupied.



4. Stay Hydrated!

Many times even when we think we are actually hungry, we are simply thirsty. 

So there’s another opportunity to be eating more when you actually don’t need to at all.

If you stay more full from drinking, you will snack less.

Drinking TONS of water can get monotonous though so try to switch it up with healthy unsweetened options. (You can always sweeten with stevia, monk fruit, or xylitol if you want!)

    • Try infusing a big pitcher of water with fruits, vegetables, and/or herbs.
    • Make lemonade with a healthy sweetener.
    • Try any of the endless varieties of teas.
    • Even coffee in moderation is totally ok.


5. Spend More Time Outside.

Going outside improves your mood, gets you moving, and helps you connect with nature.

Being outside can release endorphins.

I suppose you could go outside and just sit and relax in a chair, but it is also a lot easier to keep moving when you are outside.

You can hike, fish, walk, garden, etc. Watch the clouds, watch the stars.

Outside is always changing. Embrace that and let it keep your mind and self more busy and less bored.


6. Try Meditation.

Meditation is a lot more than just sitting there. Meditation is making a point to control your breathing, to control your mind.

This can be a helpful tip for boredom, depression, anxiety, and all of the reasons that we mindlessly eat while we are bored. 

Meditation can be really difficult when you first give it a try. It can help you strengthen your mentality and anxiety.

The Beachbody App I mentioned that I use to get active every day JUST released a meditation channel this month! 

They are mostly 10 minute meditations and I completely failed at remaining still and calm and focused on my first try. But I am getting better and seeing improvements in being able to better control my own mind as I continue using them.


7. Find Accountability.

There are two main forms of accountability that can help you not eat when bored.

First you can track your food. If you know when you last ate, how much you should eat, and you see it written down you will know when you definitely are not hungry and are just feeling the need to eat from boredom.

THEN when you see that, instead of snacking use one of the other tips on this list! Get moving, go outside, do a craft, etc.

You are keeping yourself accountable and aware by tracking your eating.

The second form of accountability that can help you to not snack when bored is to find an actual accountability group. There are some amazing groups online (I actually run one and you can learn more about that here.) of gals and guys all on their own health journeys learning to improve their nutrition, fitness, and/or mindset.

With a personal coach, weekly or daily check ins, lots of information on nutrition and mindset every single day, and new friends each on their own journeys:

the accountability group atmosphere is such a huge thing because IT WORKS.

Keeping yourself accountable is amazing if you can do that but it’s really hard if not impossible for most of us.

Having others improving themselves right along with you, can help keep you accountable so that you stop snacking when bored.


8. Organize Your Life.

Cleaning and organizing your things can help clear your space and mind. It also helps keep your hands and mind busy.

You can organize your digital devices. Organize files on your computer, old pictures, unsubscribe from emails, and more.

Our technological lives get so unbelievably cluttered, it can be freeing and refreshing to organize them to keep yourself busy so you don’t find yourself bored and snacking yet again.

Of course you can do the same in your house, closets, drawers, and garage.

If cleaning or organizing feels too overwhelming try doing it a bit at a time. One desk. Or 5 minutes.


Wrapping Up How to Not Eat When You Feel Bored

Overall the best tips are to get moving, get outside, and keep yourself from being bored in the first place.

Build new habits instead and remain hydrated.

Feel free to reach out in the comments if you still need some more suggestions.



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