Thanks for all the suggestions!
Chewing gum or otherwise keeping my mouth occupied seems like a great idea. I hadn't thought of that although I do carry sugar-free peppermint gum in my purse to chew mid-morning [when boredom hits]. Sorting the mail or otherwise doing small chores also seems like a great way to be distracted but still watchful of boiling things on the stovetop.
I also recently read that there are some scents, like peppermint, that make you less hungry so I might try burning a peppermint candle or otherwise introducing the scent while I cook. I don't know if this will work, but I figure that it should have a great placebo effect if I can engage my mind to believe it.
I have already taken the junk food out of the house. In fact, my household buys as little processed food as possible (mostly because of cost and the fact that it seems to be not at all filling). Thus, my sweet cravings are often for frozen fruit, etc. To anyone else out there that has this issue though, cleaning out the pantry was fundamental in losing (and keeping off) the weight I lost last year (18% total body weight).
If you cannot completely change what enters the house, perhaps you could get some opaque storage bins that can be labeled with the names of other family members. Then each family member can store their special snacks in a sealable bin that you can't see into. For me, it was out of sight, out of mind. If my significant other had something I particularly wanted, I could usually avoid it because of the guilt I felt at "stealing" from him.
I'm comforted to know that others get snack cravings while preparing meals too. I had thought it was a strange place / time to feel stress hunger. I think it's always nice to know that you aren't alone in your problem and that other people might be able to help you out with their own experiences.
| current weight: 127.2