Eat Because You’re Bored? 6 Healthy Ways to Change


One bag, one sitting. A whole bucket of ice cream...gone. Bet you can’t eat just one.

If you’ve ever sat in front of the TV because you’re bored and gobbled up piles of snacks, you’re not alone. But when you’re older, you’re probably not as active as you used to be. And too many calories can lead to weight gain and other health problems.

So what should you do if you’re a repeat offender of eating because you’re bored? Here are 6 healthy tips to help you change your ways:

1. Drink up

Fill a glass or water bottle with water, and drink up. When you’re dehydrated, it’s easy to think you’re hungry when you’re really just thirsty. Before you binge on a bag of chips, drink a glass of water...then decide.

2. Put it on a plate

No more eating out of the bag, out of the container, or standing in front of the fridge. When it’s time to eat, dish up an appropriate serving size and put it on the plate. Take your time to eat and enjoy your food. It’s a good way to prevent overeating or mindless eating.

3. Walk it off

If you’re trying to manage your diet, but keep getting sidetracked by giving in to cravings, stop. Instead of reaching for the nearest snack food, go for a walk instead. Do something that doesn't involve food to distract you for a while. Then decide if you’re still hungry later.

4. Read

It’s another distraction tactic to take your mind off food. Pick your favorite book, website, or magazine and read for a few minutes. Or skip the fridge, pantry, and do something else like drawing, coloring, ping pong, or your favorite hobby.

 5. Chew gum

Sugar, or decide. Keep some gum in your kitchen, pantry, car, purse, or even near the TV. When you get a craving, chew on gum instead. It’s another distraction tool that can help quench your thirst and curb cravings.

 6. Choose healthy snacks

If you actually are hungry for a snack, skip the chips, pastries, candy, and sugary sodas. Instead go for healthier snacks that will actually satisfy your hunger like:

  • Hummus with fresh vegetables
  • Greek yogurt
  • Popcorn
  • Nuts
  • Cheese sticks
  • Fruit

If you want to improve your diet, managing cravings and snacks is a good place to start. For more healthy eating ideas, check out the Senior-Friendly menu of meals made from fresh ingredients.