Battling Boredom Eating and Mindless Munching

I’ll provide some tips and strategies I use on how to battle boredom eating and mindless munching.

A week from now I will be in Los Angeles to attend The Biggest Loser Season 14 Live Finale. (Thank you Planet Fitness!) As anyone who knows me well can attest, I have been a huge fan of the show for over a decade and have hosted countless viewing parties throughout the years.

Battling Boredom Eating and Mindless Munching - The Lemon Bowl

The show has had a major influence in my own Weight Loss Success Story and continues to inspire me to keep the weight off every single week. Jillian Michaels is not only the reason I gave up Diet Coke in 2009 but her book, Master Your Metabolism, is the reason I gave up all artificial sweeteners and focused on eating foods that come from the ground or have a mother. (PS: In 2010 she also came out with the Master Your Metabolism Cookbook.)

The Biggest Loser - The Lemon Bowl

Recently, a friend asked me to write a Healthy Habits post regarding a battle many of us face: snacking out of boredom, not hunger. As I begin to pack my bags to head to the LA, I can’t think of a more appropriate post (and I hope my tips are Jillian approved!) 

How to avoid boredom eating:

Evaluate Hunger Levels: 

Before eating a snack, I always ask myself “Does an apple sound good?” If an apple doesn’t sound good, you’re probably not really hungry.

Battling Boredom Eating - The Lemon Bowl

Follow Stomach Cues, Not The Clock:

We often get in the habit of eating at the same times every day, regardless of hunger. If 3 o’clock rolls around and you automatically reach for that granola bar without thinking it might be time to stop and assess hunger levels. (Does an apple sound good?)

Are You Bored? 

If that apple doesn’t sound good and you find yourself reaching for food when you’re not really hungry it is time to step back and find out why you’re mindless munching. Are you bored? Lonely? Upset? Rewarding yourself? Bonding with others? Angry? Disappointed in weight loss progress? If you’re not eating to cure hunger, you’re wasting your hard earned calories.

Distract Yourself:

Instead of eating out of habit or boredom, step back and distract yourself. Call a friend, make a cup of tea, write in a journal, go for a walk, play with your kids, read a book, take a bath, paint your nails, etc.

Smoky Baked Corn Tortilla Chips - The Lemon Bowl

Snack Time:

If 20 minutes have gone by and you’re still hungry, EAT! By all means…eat. :) The ideal snack is around 150-200 calories and provides both protein and fiber. My favorite snacks include: bean dip and baked tortilla chips, string cheese and tomato juice, sharp cheddar cheese and an apple, hummus and carrots,  almonds and dried apricots….did I mention I love snacking? ;-)

Sharp Cheddar and Granny Smith Apple - The Lemon Bowl

Last but not least, I must make the disclaimer that I LOVE snacks and feel it is important to eat every 2-3 hours. However, if you’re looking to lose weight or maintain your weight, mindless snacking and munching can be a big waste of those hard-earned exercise calories. Cooking Light has a great list of Snacks Under 150 Calories if you need more ideas. Healthy snacking after a workout or between lunch and dinner is key to healthy living but mindless munching all evening out of boredom is a sure way to derail your efforts.

Keep up the good work.

xoxo,
Liz

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Hi, I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones. I believe in the power of real, wholesome ingredients that are bursting with flavor and won’t break the bank. Whether it’s a traditional Lebanese recipe from my family or a culinary creation from across the globe, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to discover that nutritious food can be exciting, affordable, and easy to prepare.

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23 responses to “Battling Boredom Eating and Mindless Munching”

  1. Ally's Sweet & Savory Eats Avatar
    Ally’s Sweet & Savory Eats

    Can I just say I am SO jealous you get to go to the finale!!!! What an awesome opportunity. Have fun!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I went this past May – it was incredible!!! :) Thank you!!

  2. Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats Avatar
    Alaina @ Fabtastic Eats

    I love this..its so helpful! Im a HUGE snacker, but like you said, mindless snacking is not going to help my weight loss! I love that thought…does an apple sound good? What a great way to think about it! Thanks for the tips, your blog is helping me so much with this darn baby weight!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I love the apple rule too!! I literally use it daily!!

  3. Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe Avatar
    Amanda @ Once Upon a Recipe

    These are great tips, Liz. Thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      So glad you liked them Amanda!!

  4. Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking Avatar
    Stefanie @ Sarcastic Cooking

    Oh my gosh! I always use the rule of if it doesn’t sound good to you, you aren’t hungry!!! That was one of the rules in my house growing up. If we turned down carrot sticks or celery or even an apple, my Mom would say, well I guess you aren’t hungry then! I still live by that.

  5. Hannah Avatar
    Hannah

    What a marvelous post, Liz! You’ve shared some very helpful tips – thank you. I love the apple question. And thinking about if I’m truly hungry vs eating out of habit at a certain time is something I’m trying to be more aware of. Have fun in LA!

  6. Alyssa (Everyday Maven) Avatar
    Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    Liz – how exciting!!!!!!! I am a huge BL fan and love Jillian as well – that is sooooo awesome for you :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh man me too!!! I love that you are also!!!! I’ll be live tweeting!

  7. Jamie | Thrifty Veggie Mama Avatar
    Jamie | Thrifty Veggie Mama

    Great tips Liz! Snacking is definitely a problem of mine. Especially TV snacking!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Oh man TV is the worst – it’s so mindless! I’m the same way!

  8. addie | culicurious Avatar
    addie | culicurious

    great tips, Liz :) Have so much fun in LA!!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thanks so much friend!!

  9. Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking} Avatar
    Rachael {Simply Fresh Cooking}

    I’m well known for being a hardcore snacker. Since I’ve been recovering from surgery, my snacking started up again, but now I’m getting more back to normal. It took about a week to get rid of the emotional attachment I had, but I’m back on track now and only craving healthy foods again! Yay!

    I really enjoyed this post, Liz!! I can’t wait for the next one, and I’m going to use that apple test every day now… Thanks!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      You are so sweet- I’m so glad you enjoyed this post!!

  10. Anne @The Cooking Campaign Avatar
    Anne @The Cooking Campaign

    I love the idea of waiting 20 minutes to see if you’re still hungry. Also, I love that you have Extra Sharp Cabot Cheddar Cheese in your last picture. Is there a better cheddar cheese? I don’t think so!

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      It is the best cheese on the planet!!!

  11. Jacqueline Avatar
    Jacqueline

    That is a great way of thinking about it, I must keep it in mind :)

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      Thank you!! I’m glad you enjoyed the post!!

  12. Jen @ Savory Simple Avatar
    Jen @ Savory Simple

    What a great post, thank you. I’ve battled with boredom and stress eating for years and it can be a difficult habit to break. The apple test is such a smart idea.

    1. Liz DellaCroce Avatar
      Liz DellaCroce

      I live and breath by the apple test. It is always spot on because when I’m hungry, an apple always sounds good!! Glad you like the post!!! :)

Liz Della Croce eating black bean dip

Hi I’m Liz!

Hey there, I’m Liz Della Croce and I’m thrilled to have you here! My aim is to motivate and ignite your passion for cooking amazing meals for your loved ones.