Do you ever have those days when you feel like a bottomless pit and snack on everything in sight?
I know my body sometimes requires more calories, but I also know sometimes I eat out of sheer boredom. Here’s what I do when I want to ward off those boredom munchies.
1. Plate It
When I want to eat everything in sight, it’s sometimes for a good reason: I’m hungry! If my breakfast, lunch, or dinner doesn’t satisfy me, I inevitably end up aimlessly snacking. Instead, I prepare a snack with a mix of healthy carbs, protein, and fat, and place it on a plate before I eat it. That way, I see how much I am eating instead of mindlessly chomping away.
2. Drink Up
I drink water throughout the day, but I also sip right before and during my meals to help satisfy my hunger. And if I’m feeling extra snacky, I’ll chug eight to 10 ounces of water and then wait a little while before I decide whether to eat something. Most of the time, water does the trick.
3. Take a Walk
A brisk 10-minute walk around the block with my iPod almost always cures my boredom munchies. Plus, I get a little extra exercise in my day!
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4. Phone a Friend
When I’m bored and feel like snacking, I call a friend who I haven’t spoken to in a while and catch up. A good conversation always gets my mind off of food.
5. Paint My Nails
When I can’t seem to keep my hand out of the potato-chip bag, I break out my nail polish and give myself a manicure. My snacking usually stops right there because I don’t want to ruin the fresh coat of polish.
6. Organize Something
Instead of standing in my kitchen snacking away, I do something more productive with my time: I organize! My bedroom closet, my wallet, the junk drawer in the kitchen—it doesn’t matter, as long as it keeps my hands busy.
7. Chew Gum
I know I’m not hungry if I feel snacky after eating a big meal, so I chew a piece of gum to prevent myself from overeating. Usually my mouth just needs a distraction.
Tina Haupert is a healthy lifestyle blogger who writes a weekly feature for Health.com as part of the Feel Great Weight plan.