We all tend to get bored multiple times a day, or at least, once a day. If you are literate enough to read this, you definitely have enough food in the kitchen to munch on. Yes, this munching habit is what we are talking about. The series of feeling bored, heading to the kitchen, opening the fridge, and eventually, getting something to eat out of boredom is common in everyone’s life. Even when a person is not feeling hungry, he is more likely to eat food when he has nothing to work on, as compared to somebody busy with his work.
The habit of munching not only results in lesser food availability at home but also increases calorie intake, which is not good for a person’s health. Every problem has a ‘why’ and a ‘solution’. Hence, it is essential to find out why we eat on such unnecessary occasions and how to put an end to this.
WHY EAT OUT OF BOREDOM?
Also known as “emotional eating,” eating due to boredom is not a physiological need. It is the phenomenon in which dopamine, a chemical produced in the body prominent for motivation and drive, is in malaise, according to a study. In order to bring it back to its excited state, we tend to eat a lot.
Certain types of food, named as junk food, release endorphins, the happiness hormones, in our body. These result in our cravings for eating such food to increase. After all, who on earth does not want to be content?
HOW TO AVOID MUNCHING?
Munching is a habit resulting from undesired events, into unwanted calorie intake. This intake further leads to weight gain and health problems. Losing these calories requires running an extra mile. Hence, it is better to avoid eating when you are not even hungry. Following are some ways to stop unhealthy untimely ingestions:
GET RID OF BOREDOM
The main reason for such unhealthy eating behaviour is getting bored. So, why not cut the problem at its roots? Begin with getting yourself engaged in activities that keep you busy. You may start with gardening, doing the dishes, cleaning your room etc at home. If you are unwilling to be productive, you can go file your nails or go out for a walk. It does not matter what work you are doing. All you need to take care of is to keep yourself busy.
EVALUATE YOUR THIRST
Before getting yourself something to eat, pour some water in a glass and drink it. We often confuse our hunger with thirst. Usually, we need water but we start eating. Whatever we eat does not feel enough because that is not going to suffice. Water is what will do the work if you are thirsty, not food. So, the next time you grab something to eat, evaluate your thirst first.
RE-EVALUATE YOUR HUNGER
When you are done drinking water, wait for some time before eating something. Think about how much time it might take for the water to go inside your body. Later, if you still feel like eating, then eat. Do not forget to eat healthily!
Once you are done deciding and you conclude you want to eat, you must eat. However, instead of grabbing a bag of plain salty chips, grab a piece of carrot, or cucumber to munch on. Unlike every time after eating a box of cookies, this time you will not feel guilty. Every time you wish to eat something for snacks, eat low-calorie food. Moreover, your malign eating habits will result in the intake of healthy food.
LIMIT YOUR INTAKE
Even after thinking about all the other options, you decide to eat salted chips and nothing can stop you from doing that, then eat while keeping one thing in mind. The more you have on the table, the more you eat. Hence, to limit this, plate your food. This will not only limit your intake but you will also be aware of how much you have eaten.
To avoid taking in many calories, you can chew something like fennel seeds. Alternatively, you may keep a pack of gums in your living room so that you can chew it while watching television. This is likely to distract you from munching on snacks.
IF YOU STILL WISH TO EAT…
In case you decide that you are hungry but it is not mealtime, you must think before eating. Following are a few snacks you can munch on while being free of health worries:
Popcorn is a healthy snack, especially when you are watching a movie on Netflix sitting all alone at home. Try not adding extra butter in order to limit calories.
Unlike other unhealthy snacks, cheese sticks contain protein, healthy fat and calcium. Hence, the nutritional value makes it one of the best snacks.
If you are craving for a little salty and a little crunchy, nuts are the best munchies for you. With their nutritional values, they are fillers for an empty stomach. Stick to a handful of nuts since they are calorically dense.
HUMMUS AND CARROTS
Unlike chips, which are high in calories and less on nutrients, carrots and hummus contain a large number of nutrients and less of calories. This healthy combination can be eaten anytime as a snack.
Even if you have unhealthy eating habits, you can always change them. Feeling guilty posterior eating and then repeating the same mistake again is not the answer. Once you start regretting what you eat, you must decide to not eat it again. According to a study, it requires 21 days to change a habit. So, if within three weeks you can get healthy, why not take the step today?