20 Things to do instead of eating when stressed or bored

  • 2 Minutes Read
Brenda Braslow
Brenda Braslow, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES - Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES)

Top reasons people eat mindlessly are boredom and stress; however, there are plenty of things to do instead of consuming extra calories. Check out what to do instead of eating when bored or stressed for alternative activities. And your life will be much more full as a result!

Things to do instead of eat

20 Things to do instead of eat

  1. Go for a walk. Ask a friend or neighbor to join you. Getting out of the house and into the great outdoors can be refreshing and invigorating and will redirect your focus. Plus, you’ll burn calories instead of taking in more!
  2. Do a 10-minute exercise video. There are endless options for short videos on YouTube, from cardio to strength training to yoga. No access to videos? Move the furniture and do exercises or dance to your favorite tunes.
  3. Meditate. Get out the yoga mat and perhaps a pillow and blanket. Breathe deeply and ground yourself, and you will be more in charge of your emotions.
  4. Do a crossword puzzle or word game. There are plenty of free ones available on your phone. Keep puzzle books close by when you’re bored. It’s best to do these away from the kitchen area.
  5. Treat yourself to a bubble bath. Light some candles and relax. What a luxurious way to pamper yourself!
  6. Call a friend. If comfortable, talk about how you feel and get ideas about how your friend handles emotions outside of eating.
  7. Run an errand. Get out of the house to remove yourself from the kitchen. You will feel accomplished when you check it off your to-do list.
  8. Read a book in another area of the house, away from food. You’ll get absorbed in a good read and realize you weren’t even hungry.
  9. Tend your plants. Even if they don’t need watering, you can dust, prune, or just talk to them.
  10. Do a favorite hobby that keeps you occupied, like knitting, crocheting, practicing an instrument, painting, crafting, etc.
  11. Clean the house. Vacuuming, sweeping, and mopping are excellent calorie burners.
  12. Look at your photo collection. Send a special memory to a loved one so you can both cherish the memory.
  13. Journal your thoughts. You may learn things about yourself. Write about how you are not hungry now and reflect on how eating is best for satisfying true hunger and is meant to nourish your body, not to stuff down emotions or fill time.
  14. Plan your next vacation. Even if you are not actually going on a trip, it can be fun to dream and explore destinations.
  15. Make a bucket list of all the wonderful things you want to do in your life.
  16. Organize your closet. Make a pile of donation items. Helping others can be very fulfilling.
  17. Make a fun weekend plan. Reach out to a friend you haven’t seen in a while to plan something.
  18. Jot down 10 things for which you are grateful. Gratitude is very powerful. It is associated with an improved sense of well-being, such as greater happiness and life satisfaction.
  19. Write down the positive lifestyle habits you practice. Seeing your accomplishments on paper feels good but also motivates you to continue with healthy habits.
  20. Sign up for a new class at the local recreation center. Ask a friend to join you so you can encourage each other.

Yes, there are many other things to do instead of eating. Make your own "what to do instead of eating" list, and soon, you will have a life more balanced and broad than food alone.

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Weight Loss->Behavior Weight Loss->Emotional & Mindful Eating
Jan 1, 2024
Disclaimer: The information provided here does not constitute medical advice. If you are seeking medical advice, please visit your healthcare provider or medical professional.

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