Do you eat when you’re bored, tired, angry, happy, sad etc? This is often referred to as mindless eating or emotional eating and not really beneficial to you. You may become reliant on food to make you feel better.

You may not necessarily be hungry and you might turn to foods that offer no nutritional value. What can you do instead of eating if you’re feeling emotional? Find out more.

What is mindless eating?

Mindless eating means basically any time that your brain is distracted and you may not be aware of what or how much food you are consuming or the type of food you’re consuming.

Have you ever opened a block of chocolate, a bag of chips or bag of candy, saying you’ll only eat a bit then before you know it, the whole lot is gone?

This can happen if you’re not truly aware of what you’re doing while you’re eating.

At times like sitting in front of the television or hiding out in the pantry while no one is looking, because you could be feeling stressed, are examples of times when you could over eat without knowing it..

woman eating chocolate in front of fridge

Why isn’t it good for you

Mindless eating, if left unchecked, could turn into a whole range of eating disorders and ailments. It also plays havoc with your mental health because you are relying on food (often unhealthy) to make you feel better instead of dealing with the underlying issues.

Binge eating, purging, weight gain and other health related disorders can all be a result of unchecked mindless or emotional eating. These conditions may all lead to other chronic illnesses.

What to do instead of mindless eating

There are so many things to do instead of eating when your bored, tired, angry, happy, sad or depressed.

Food should be used as a fuel to add nutrients to your body. Sure, the odd treat here and there (remember, there are no restrictions here) does no harm from time to time.

In order to avoid long term bad habits and possible chronic health issues arising, there are so many other things you can do instead of eating. I have compiled this list of 101 things to do other than eat.

What will you choose to do from this list?

  1. Learn how to practice mindfulness.
  2. Phone a friend.
  3. Send someone a message.
  4. Scroll through social media.
  5. Do an online game on your phone.
  6. Fold the laundry.
  7. Dust.
  8. Record how you feel on my Self Awareness Check List.
  9. Sweep the floor.
  10. Clean out old perfumes.
  11. Wash the floor.
  12. Clean the bathroom.
  13. Take up a craft like knitting or crochet.
  14. Read a book or magazine.
  15. Play with your children.
  16. Journal.
  17. Paint or draw.
  18. Learn about essential oils to relax.
  19. Make a vision board and include your health goals.
  20. Jump onto Google maps and visit a country you’ve never heard of.
  21. Plan an overseas trip and spare no expense.
  22. Go for a walk around the block.
  23. Go the backyard and sit in the sun (or the shade) and enjoy nature.
  24. Dance.
  25. Do an exercise routine.
  26. Learn a new dance online.
  27. Learn a new exercise routine online.
  28. Learn how to do tai chi or other relaxation technique online.
  29. Wash your car.
  30. Meditate.
  31. Weed the garden.
  32. Replant overgrown pot plants.
  33. Start a herb garden.
  34. Mow the lawn.
  35. Water the garden.
  36. Clean the windows, inside and out.
  37. Plant out a new garden bed.
  38. Make indoor house plants.
  39. Make a batch of high protein snacks.
  40. Give yourself a facial.
  41. Take a bath or shower.
  42. Get a massage.
  43. Get rid of out of date medications.
  44. Give yourself a beauty treatment.
  45. Give your feet a good soak.
  46. Paint your finger nails.
  47. Clean your shoes.
  48. Paint your toe nails.
  49. Moisturize your face.
  50. Color your hair.
  51. Shave your legs.
  52. Pluck your eyebrows.
  53. Clean your jewelry.
  54. Organize the junk drawer in your kitchen.
  55. Clean out the freezer.
  56. Organize your pantry.
  57. Clean the light fittings in your house.
  58. File your paperwork.
  59. Paint a room.
  60. Redecorate.
  61. Change the furniture around in a room.
  62. Drink a glass of water.
  63. Write a letter to post.
  64. Organize the photos on your phone.
  65. Start your holiday shopping list.
  66. Write a post it with “I AM ENOUGH” and stick it everywhere.
  67. Read a positive, self help book.
  68. Walk the dog.
  69. Give the dog a bath.
  70. Clean out the bird cage or brush your cat.
  71. Plan a delicious meal full of healthy vegetables and one you’ve not tried before.
  72. Meal plan.
  73. Look at old photos.
  74. Play a board game.
  75. Play cards.
  76. Clean behind the fridge.
  77. Play Solitaire.
  78. Wash a wall in the house.
  79. Declutter a room.
  80. Check book reviews online and start a ‘to read’ list.
  81. Book a free call with a health coach to discuss how to overcome emotional eating.
  82. Put on a load of laundry.
  83. Take a virtual tour of a worldwide landmark or museum
  84. Do a crossword or word puzzle.
  85. Give your hair a deep treatment.
  86. Knit or crochet.
  87. Sing a song.
  88. Watch your favourite artist’s music videos on YouTube.
  89. Learn a new craft.
  90. Sell unwanted items online.
  91. Flip an old piece of furniture.
  92. Schedule regular ‘me time’ in your calendar.
  93. Check the mail box.
  94. Balance your bank account.
  95. Get a head start on your taxes.
  96. Start your next grocery list with healthy snack choices.
  97. Declutter your shoes.
  98. Match the socks in your sock drawer.
  99. Clean the fridge shelves.
  100. Declutter your makeup.
  101. Know that you are worth living your best, healthiest version of your life.

Click here or on the image below and print out to stick on your fridge or pantry door.



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