I was a lucky winner of Laura’s giveaway in which I received Tosca Reno’s Eat Clean Diet “Stripped” book, amongst other things. I started reading it and I came across a very important part – one that affects me the most and is probably the main culprit behind any weight gain I experience or plateaus I come across in my healthy living journey. While I eat healthfully and cleanly for the most part, cravings are what really get me off track and often lead me to eating too much. I often eat out of boredom. Even though in theory I have a lot going on: with school, work, photography, blogging.. a lot of this work is done in front of a computer during which time I am able to stray and think about other things. Yes, I often get bored. It leads me to thinking about food. Maybe I just don’t have enough activities to do in the day – I do get bored a lot. I really need to find things to do to distract myself when I notice myself getting bored.
Tosca says “When I am exhausted or bored I find myself reaching for food. Most people I have talked to verify that this happens to them too. Some of us like crunchy things and others want creamy things. This is definitely the time to recognize you are either tired of bored or both and get yourself busy or to bed, and fast. Otherwise, mayhem will break out in your kitchen and you won’t be able to stop yourself from the munchie attack about to unfold.” (pg. 50)
Amen, Tosca, amen. I must take control over my boredom eating. Boredom and tiredness cravings lead to eating and that leads to weight gain which is something I absolutely want to avoid. I also don’t want to sit there bored and stressing over food, wishing I could eat and struggling with myself – having an internal battle whether I should eat or not. I will obsess about food when I’m bored or tired and that’s equally as unhealthy as actually eating it. The thing to do here is: prevent the cravings from arising! Do not get bored. Easier said than done…
The thing I am going to focus on in this post is Tosca’s second point of conquering cravings. To conquer boredom/tired cravings, you must distract yourself from said cravings. Don’t let the cravings arise – don’t get bored! So here are some things I can do to distract yourself from thinking about food or getting cravings which may arise from being bored:
- Do something productive – finish a homework assignment, write a new blog post, get some work done and actually focus on it. Don’t get distracted. Get it done!
- Go for a walk – activity tends to diminish cravings – I don’t usually get any cravings when I’m staying active and going for a walk may be a great way to prevent these cravings from arising.
- Exercise – go for a job or do a fitness class – the intensity will be sure to smash any thought of food; and being at the gym will surely lead any thoughts away from food as I look at desirable bodies of beautifully sculpted females in the gym. I want that body, dammit!
- Turn up the music and dance – I find that listening to music quietly simply doesn’t get me as pumped up as turning it up a notch. Feel the music, get up, dance around the room – get some activity in and enjoy yourself. Activity (as stated earlier) is bound to get the blood pumping and thoughts of food should diminish.
- Research a new recipe to try out and make it – I personally tend to not eat things I bake until the next day (usually because I make them at night and I want to take pictures of the outcome… daylight is much better for that). I like the act of actually baking something new, as long as I promise to myself not to eat it during/after the act – I usually stick to it. It may be a dangerous one for some people though, it depends on your own self control, I guess. Some days are easier to control than others.
- Read a book – actually read it and put all of your attention into it so that my mind doesn’t stray to thoughts of food.
- Watch a new movie – it has to be new because if it’s a movie I’ve already seen, I tend to get distracted… I can only pay full attention to movies I haven’t seen.
- Go shopping – if it’s daytime, go window shopping, try some clothes on. I use this one a lot when I’m bored. Not only does it add extra walking activity into my day, it also gets my mind busy by shopping around – I just have to be careful not to spend too much money (or any money, if I’m broke).
- Do a photoshoot – well, this one is usually more difficult to do when unplanned but sometimes it helps. If any friends are bored and willing to meet up right then and there, we can do a shoot.. or just go outside and take some photos of the city. Get those creative juices flowing.
- Go to sleep
I’m not even going to mention the obvious here – obviously drink water or make some tea to make sure your cravings aren’t actually thirst. I am very good about drinking water though and I know when those cravings hit that they aren’t actually thirst signals. Obviously, these are the things that are specifically made for myself – your own boredom crusher points may be totally different. Now, I’d love to hear your feedback and your own experiences about boredom cravings:
Kammie wants to know:
What are your own tips for beating cravings?
Do you ever turn to food when you’re bored?
Let me know in the comments below!