One of the things I learned about myself when I was "training" myself to control the appetite, was that I put on a lot of calories as a result of boredom.
For example, I remember years ago when I worked in an office, I would get to a breaking point in my work, and go take a break. But I would do so by eating. I'd go to the vending machine, or walk down to the snack bar, and get one of those oversized oatmeal cookies plus a soda.
And it would happen at home too, anytime where I finished a project, or finished watching a movie, or anything where I found myself wondering what to do, I would gravitate towards the refrigerator and stare at the food figuring out what to snack on.
Even to this day, I still fight that problem.
So what I do is create a list of things I can do anytime I feel that boredom.
Here's some of the things I've put on my list...
- Go take a walk
- Mow the front yard
- Pull weeds, trim bushes in the backyard
- Organize some stuff in the garage
- Soak in the bathtub and listen to the TV
- Play some video games (we just bought a new Wii)
- Grocery shopping
Not all of these items are things I feel like doing at any given time, such as mowing the front yard, or pulling weeds. But I'll tell myself that I need to exercise, and that these things can count as exercise. Somehow, that helps motivate me.
Grocery shopping may sound somewhat contradictory in terms of controlling your appetite, but I found it helps me out. First, I need to keep a stock of healthy snacks in my fridge so that I don't end up reaching for fatty/sugary foods, and regular grocery shopping ensures that. Second, grocery shopping helps me become a smarter eater by perusing the aisles to see what's there and reading the nutrition labels and ingredients lists.
But don't get into the idea that you cannot snack. You should actually eat all throughout the day, but eat smaller portions, and eat stuff that's fat-free and sugar-free. If you want, you can use your breaktime to eat, as long as you're not putting more fat and sugar into your body. If you're at work, bring healthy snacks with you, or identify places you can go to get healthy snacks.
So there you go, if ever you find yourself looking inside your refrigerator or pantry to decide what to eat, ask yourself how you got there. Was it because you were bored?