Written by Cecilia Snyder, MS, RD top top June 1, 2021 — medically reviewed by Adrienne Seitz, MS, RD, LDN, Nutrition

If you eat when you’re bored, you’re no alone.

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It’s not unexplained to reach because that a snack when there isn’t lot else to do, also when friend aren’t in reality hungry.

Boredom eating from time come time have the right to be fully normal and also nothing to worry about. However, it might be frustrating for part people and also have health and wellness implications, including weight obtain (1, 2, 3, 4).

Here room 13 an easy tips to save from eating as soon as you’re bored.


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There are many reasons why you could be eating once you’re bored.

Often an external trigger, such as the vision or smell of food, renders us reach because that a snack.

One method to avoid boredom eat is to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.

A diet that pipeline you feeling full and satisfied end the course of the day leaves much less room for wondering around whether you should have a snack as soon as you’re bored.

1. Eat frequently throughout the day

Try to spread out out your calorie intake throughout a constant meal and also snack schedule. This might keep you much more full and also less hungry 보다 eating the same number of calories top top a less constant meal schedule (5).

If you’re feeling content with your food options for the day, you might be much less likely come reach because that a snack as soon as you’re bored.

What’s more, knowing that you arrangement to eat a meal or snack in the next couple of hours can be an ideas to hold back from eating till then.

The same meal schedule doesn’t job-related for everyone. Some civilization like to have three meals and a few snacks every day, if others may prefer to have an ext or less.

Finding a program that functions for you and also sticking v it appears to matter an ext than exactly how many meals and also snacks you have each day.

2. Don’t restrict your favorite foods

If you often tend to crave or reach for certain foods when you’re bored, you could be tempted to totally stop eat those foods items to remove the temptation.

However, for part people, research shows this method might it is in counterproductive.

If you find you’re an ext susceptible come food cravings, depriving yourself of details foods might make you crave them much more in the brief term (6, 7, 8).

Rather than eliminating the foods you crave, try eating them regularly yet in moderation. This might assist reduce your urge to snack on those foods when you bored.

3. Have nutritious, pour it until it is full snacks

When you’ve just had a filling meal or snack, you may be much less likely come associate emotion bored through wanting to eat.

Certain foodstuffs are an ext filling 보다 others.

Some specifically filling foods include (9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16):

Protein: eggs, fish, meat, yogurt, cottage cheeseFoods high in water: fruits, vegetables, soups

4. Eat indigenous a plate

Sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish in between hunger and also boredom.

Ocassationally, there may still be times as soon as you reach for a snack as soon as you’re bored.

To protect against overeating and also letting boredom gain the ideal of your appetite in those moments, part your snacks ~ above a key or serving dish quite than eating them directly from the bag or container.

Visual cues, such as the key size, container size, and also even the form of dish you eat from, deserve to all influence exactly how much girlfriend eat (17, 18, 19).

Summary

Eating a healthy diet consisting of regular meals, nutritious and filling snacks, and also appropriate portion sizes might be much more satisfying and thus do it much less tempting come eat as soon as you’re emotion bored.


Researchers know that her emotions and mood frequently influence when, what, and how much you eat (20, 21).

Experts have also suggested that just how well you manage your emotions have the right to influence boredom eating. Bad emotional regulation might potentially lead to boost in eating when you’re feeling bored (22, 23).

Practicing self-awareness and also developing a better understanding of exactly how your own emotions are affecting your appetite is a great starting place to combat boredom eating.

5. Eat mindfully

To be mindful method to it is in conscious, aware, and focused top top the present moment.

To eat mindfully method to be conscious of her mental and physical states pertained to food.

Some studies have found mindfulness is an especially helpful at helping world reduce eat in an answer to emotions choose boredom (24, 25, 26).

Mindful eat is advantageous in differentiating in between boredom and also hunger, together it emphasizes paying close fist to your cravings and also hunger and fullness cues.

6. Understand your hunger signs

Being perceptive the your specific hunger and also fullness indicators may be one of the most reliable ways to identify whether she hungry or bored.

When her body is physically hungry and in require of calories because that energy, girlfriend may notice signs like your stomach growling, a headache, and also feelings of weak or fatigue.

On the various other hand, once you’re enduring boredom hunger — or another form of emotional hunger — you may crave a particular food without any kind of of the traditional signs of physics hunger.

7. Embrace being bored

Throughout 2020 and also into 2021, civilization reported feeling bored at higher rates than usual as result of the COVID-19 pandemic (27).

In particular situations, being boring too regularly may have actually detrimental health and wellness effects, together as enhanced rates that depression and also altered eating actions (1, 28).

Still, a little boredom is OK and also normal to experience from time come time.

What’s more, study has linked boredom to details benefits. For example, that may help motivate imagination (29, 30).

Trying to stop boredom or override the emotion by eating and also finding various other distractions doesn’t always work. You might find an interpretation in the downtime by trying to embrace boredom instead.

8. Take it it easy on yourself

Remember, it’s common to reach for a snack out of boredom top top occasion.

When that happens, don’t take it it as a failure.

Rather, usage it together a learning experience and also opportunity to treat yourself with kindness and compassion.

Summary

Your mood and emotions beat a significant role in psychologically induced hunger choose boredom eating. Learning to be mindful of her emotions, hunger triggers, and also fullness cues can assist prevent girlfriend from eating due to the fact that you’re bored.


Much the what you eat is affected by your environment, and the exact same goes for when and how much you eat.

Here space a few specific methods you deserve to tailor your atmosphere to discourage yourself from boredom eating when the advice strikes.

9. Know your triggers

Especially once it pertains to psychological types of hunger choose boredom eating, external determinants often cause the advice to eat.

Identifying the root cause in your life that often tend to reason the urge to eat as soon as you’re boring is vital to breaking the habit.

Some common triggers come be mindful of room stress, food availability, and pictures the food (31, 32, 33, 34).

Make note in a food journal about what you doing and your setting when you feel the urge to eat. This might aid identify — and stop — boredom eat patterns.

10. Avoid the advice to eat in prior of a screen

Eating in former of a display while you’re bored deserve to influence you to overeat once you aren’t even hungry.

Many human being turn to screen-based tasks like city hall TV or scrolling on their phone once they’re emotion bored.

Some studies have discovered that people tend to eat much more than castle otherwise would once they’re distracted or in front of a screen, such as a TV or computer (35, 36, 37).

Break associations you might have between eating and also screen time by make a point of eating meals in ~ a table — not in former of the TV — and putting your phone away while you dining.

Consider instead of mindless eating during screen time with an additional activity, such together knitting, doodling, or playing through a toy or item of jewelry, to keep your hands liven while you watch TV.

11. Adjust your scenery

Sometimes all it bring away to obtain your mind off food when you’re feeling bored is a little change that scenery.

When you’re bored and fighting the urge to snack, standing up and also moving come a new location — even if it’s just from one room to one more — might be enough to distract your mind indigenous food until the boredom passes.

Summary

External factors often cause urges come eat when you’re no physically hungry. Identify the determinants in your environment that cause boredom eating is key to break those habits.


To be bored means that you’re feeling uninterested in your existing activity. The feeling frequently occurs when the day has actually been monotonous or repetitive.

The very same goes for boredom eating.

You might eat simply as a method to escape the continuous routines that the job (38, 39).

Adding selection to her day keeps things feeling fresh and exciting, and it can fend turn off boredom eating.

12. Take a walk

When you’re feeling bored, acquisition a walk not only offers a distraction from any kind of urges to snack but additionally physically clears you from food temptations.

Sometimes a rapid 10–20-minute go is all it takes to recenter yourself and also forget about the advice to snack the end of boredom.

If you’re not able to take a walk, you could find it valuable to take a couple of minutes come stretch or do breathing exercises.

13. Make new habits

One of the upsides the being bored is the it deserve to drive you to try new things.

Next time you feel bored, take a couple of minutes to think about how you’d really choose to it is in spending that time.

Is over there a brand-new hobby you’d choose to shot or one old book that you never ever got roughly to reading?

Try to look in ~ boredom as a an are for meaningful stimulation in your day.

Summary

To prevent boredom eating from coming to be habit, shot to keep your days from coming to be too tedious or repetitive. Activities like talking a couple of short walks or regular stretch breaks during the day carry out a mental and physical break from normal routines.


Particularly in between 2020 and 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, many human being reported boosted feelings of boredom and also altered eating habits, and also side effects like weight get (1, 27).

Boredom eat in unique instances like this may be nothing to worry about. It’s typical to feel an urge to eat once you’re bored, even on a continuous basis.

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Yet, if boredom eating is affect your mental or physical wellness with side effects like weight gain and anxiety, you may be searching for a means to stop.