How to tell if you are hungry or bored

For many of us snacking has become a coping mechanism to get through this challenging time.  When you are feeling lonely or afraid or angry or sad or stressed or simply bored, the easiest thing to do to make those undesirable feelings go away is to head to your pantry and have a SNACK (or two).  Unfortunately much of the time, you really don’t need to eat.  You are not really hungry, you are bored.

We want to help you learn to tell the difference between hunger and boredom so that you can make healthy choices for your body.  If you are trying to discern if you are indeed hungry, here are a few things to consider:

  • When did you last eat?  If you are a 30 min to 1 hour past your last meal time, you are likely not hungry.  Try one of the activities listed below to see if your desire to eat goes away.
  • Is your stomach growling?  Your body will give you a physical cue that you need to eat, start listening to what it has to tell you.
  • Is your desire to eat getting stronger?  Again, your body may be trying to tell you something, pay attention to what it has to say.
  • Will a glass of water take care of the desire to eat?  We are often thirsty, not hungry.  Try drinking a glass of water, wait 10 minutes and evaluate if your need to feed is still there.
  • Consider eating something healthy then ask yourself, will that do the trick?  If the answer is yes, then you may indeed be hungry.  If the answer is no, an apple is not going to satisfy you, then you are likely seeking food as a coping mechanism.

It is also a good idea to build an idea bank of things you can do as an alternative to snacking.  Below is a list of activities you can try to keep yourself from over indulging:

  • Drink a glass of water
  • Brush your teeth
  • Take your dog for a walk
  • Give yourself a manicure
  • Listen to a podcast
  • Call or Facetime with a friend or family member
  • Crank up some music and have a dance party
  • Clean a closet, junk drawer or tackle the garage
  • Play a board game or do a puzzle with your kids or spouse
  • Create something (color, paint, draw, crochet, sew, etc)
  • Read
  • Pray

If you find something that works for you, make a pretty sign for yourself and stick it to your refrigerator or pantry door.  It will serve as a reminder to you and your housemates and give you motivation to make healthy choices each and every day!

Although the current conditions don’t allow for OCSC to open our doors, we still want to be here for you.  We invite you to share tips that have helped you stay out of the kitchen during this time of sheltering in place.  We are all in this together and want to build a community that helps encourage each other on our individual journeys!  Leave a comment below or on our Facebook page.  Your tip might be the thing that helps someone else step away from the pantry!