I work nights as well. I sit in a little office all by myself so food is always on my mind! I've found it easiest to keep healthy, snacky type foods available at all times...both at home, and at work. I try to stick with things higher in protein and lower in carbs...things like hard boiled eggs, string cheese, mini turkey sausage links, mixed nuts...etc. I take the time to preportion things out and put them in to snack size ziploc bags or containers. That really helps when I'm mindlessly looking for something to snack on.
Fitness Minutes: (4,986)
12/27/13 8:20 P
hi i feel ur struggle i work and go to night school to be a teacher and most time i am tired from work.then when i look around my class mates are snacking like crazy from the schools vending machine.....oh boy some times i give in its so hard some times i bring carrot sticks or apples .i to am looking for help also...... dont worry we r in this together we cant give up
12/26/13 11:30 P
The question of eating when we are bored is answered quite simple, DON'T LET YOURSELF GET BORED! There are so very many things to do when we have a quiet moment, and I sometimes wish for a quiet moment so I could be bored. My eating is never from boredom but from the fact that it is a bad habit that I cannot control. I smoked and quit many years ago and that was horrid. But I did it. Why in the world can't I control what I put in my mouth. Every morning I wake up with the same thought, today I will try to at least get through one day. It has not worked in many years. I will not give up. I love spark people and all the people that belong. It is like family and I do not have enough time to be on as I wish I could but I will make the most of the time that I can. So no, I guess it is NOT boredom, but a bad habit.
I try to keep my hands busy by knitting! Problem with this Christmas holiday is we have experienced an ice storm. Beautiful as it may look with all the trees covered with nearly an inch of ice, the branches are breaking off and falling on hydro lines so we are experiencing power outages! I am eating when the power comes on as I don't know when I will eat next! Of course, it is Christmas goodies. Today, I was going to be careful with what I was eating but then the power was out for 4 hours so it was sandwiches for lunch and canned soup I had warmed up from the thermos!
12/26/13 3:23 P
Like someone else below said.. I chew gum. Much like a "Chain smoker" .. I guess I am a chain chewer. Helps take my mind off of food. Although after a few years its not that hard to think about other things.
What makes it easiest is looking in the mirror and being happy with the shape I see.
12/26/13 12:37 P
This is still a huge problem for me. I try to do activities that are incompatible or at least difficult to do while eating such as visiting a museum, writing, going to a lecture/event, reading, or even taking a shower! I'm also working on finding projects where I can be more involved so I won't be bored.
All sound advise and good ideas, I know I need to keep my mind and hands busy. I am a multi-tasker, always have been, so I think if I could learn to focus on one thing at a time and give it my all, I might find I can do with out those chips or sweets.
Fitness Minutes: (21,255)
12/24/13 5:00 P
I quit all my vices in one fell swoop after experiencing IBS symptoms. I do keep up on hobbies and that really helps with boredom. I seldom can't find something else to do. I really liked the idea to paint your nails when watching TV! thanks!
Fitness Minutes: (171,153)
12/24/13 6:51 A
I try to drink extra water, chew gum and keep my hands busy with other things.
Fitness Minutes: (75,961)
6,367 12/23/13 9:46 A
Your being hungry again an hour or so after having eaten sounds like your blood sugar is going up pretty high and then crashing. Try eating protein and avoiding the carbs. Maybe get yourself some beef jerky and peanuts.
It might also be something you're addicted to that you do at work but don't do as much at home, like drink coffee or tea or eat chocolate or even chewing gum or sucking on mints. If you can figure it out and carry it over to home, the eating might slow down.
One thing I do when I'm home and hungry but shouldn't be is exercise. Instead of going to the kitchen go somewhere else and do three sets of ten jumping jacks and squats. That goes a long way toward dulling the appetite.
Fitness Minutes: (16,395)
1,280 12/23/13 8:18 A
I have to fight boredom eating like crazy, it's really a tough fight sometimes!
I use to find a VERY good book and read all night. Also found some DVDs I liked.
12/17/13 7:21 P
I hated night shift for the very same reason. I would plan regular meals and eat every three hours even during the night like it was day. It helped some. Tough if you're not getting the required 8 hours of sleep on the time you are off. Hoping the best for you.
12/17/13 8:42 A
I need to get my body in sinc with boredom eating, it accepts rather than rejects. I am trying to work on this.
Fitness Minutes: (33,834)
12/16/13 10:19 P
Just tried to eat something and it was out of boredom I guess I vomited...I felt dizzy like nausea...my body rejected my attempt to sooth it with food.
Fitness Minutes: (171,153)
12/16/13 6:56 P
For long hours of study maybe try some crunch...celery is great for getting in some extra water. Carrots are great for crunch and are so sweet. When I munch on these rots of things I feel better. I'm trying to get away from sugar, but it is really hard. We've been sold a lousy lifestyle in the name of convenience and commerce. It's time to take back our health. We can do this! I also like popcorn with chille powder, garlic powder and a little Parmesan. Yum, crunch, fiber and I make in healthy fat rather than air pop so the flavors stick.
Fitness Minutes: (720)
12/16/13 11:59 A
You could start slow, start swapping out some of the bad foods you are eating for healthier versions. You could make it interesting too, not just the ole carrots and celery. You could make homemade kale chips, you could make hummus and dip a wide variety of vegetables in it. Really, the most important thing is to think about what your body is really asking for when it gives you craving for certain foods. What is your biggest "weakness"?
Fitness Minutes: (243,570)
23,647 12/16/13 11:29 A
I also empathize with a lot of what's being said here. I am a graduate student, which means I spend long, long hours reading, writing, and working on data. A lot of times I am sitting here wishing desperately that I can go to something fun, but instead I have to write a paper. Eating keeps me going. Not just eating something, but continuous eating. It's like my comfort for the stress of working and my entertainment for the boredom of working. I'm trying to find things to replace this behavior with (tea helps) but I don't seem to be getting anywhere. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Fitness Minutes: (171,153)
12/15/13 2:16 P
I eat compulsively...boredom is as good a reason as any. Gotta keep hands and mind busy to stay out of trouble.
Fitness Minutes: (18,503)
12/15/13 12:34 P
I struggle with that too COOKIEMON13...only away from home though.
I'm a boredom eater to. I find that if I keep my hands busy like playing a hand held game, coloring, or reading I get past the "I am not really hungry but I'm eating anyways" phase.
Fitness Minutes: (2,867)
12/14/13 8:59 A
I'm a boredom eater too poor on my days off if I take a nap the minute I wake up I'm looking for something to it. I'm not hungry when I get up in the morning only when I take a nap or when I'm bored. I can't eat when I'm upset,angry, or stressed.
I actually have a lot of thoughts on your post and some of the comments there after. I agree with pretty much everything suggested thus far. Find something to do to help with the boredom (ie. treat the problem at its source). Find people who keep similar hours to spend time with can also accomplish the same thing.
Russell I think brought up a potentially valid point about this sounding like binge eating. That is personally something I have had to deal with and I would often sugar coat it to myself and say I'm just bored and eating is something to do. While that was true, what I was really feeling was lonely. Admitting that was hard for me for some reason, but the point is it is most helpful to understand the root cause. Finding a solo hobby to fill your time may help with boredom, but if you are using food to soothe a need for friends and company as well then you may not be completely successful. Since relapses can be frustrating and discouraging I wanted to put that out there.
It might be helpful to think about what triggers you to get up and go to the kitchen. If nothing jumps out at you right away you could try keeping a log. Non-judgementally consider what/who you were thinking about when you got hungry or decided to look for munchies. Write it down. Write down how you were feeling, happy, sad, bored, etc. You could also write what you would rather be doing (for example - I really want to be hanging out with so and so watching that TV show we like), what in an ideal world where all the cool people weren't asleep would you be doing instead of raiding the fridge? Rather than try to immediately yell at yourself or criticize yourself for what you are doing, take some time to actually examine your motivations.
If it is just boredom then you can find something to do that requires your hand. There are also lots of delay tactics you can use. One example would be whenever you think you are hungry take a 10 minute walk. Bring a 16oz bottle of water and drink the whole thing by the time you finish. If you still feel hungry then pick a reasonable snack and portion it out. Rinse and repeat as necessary.
Hope any of this helps!
12/12/13 12:12 P
I struggle with stress eating. One thing that really helped me out was setting rules, so I do not allow myself to eat items that might potentially come out of a vending machine. Also, I have taken up knitting - keeps my hands busy while I wait for something to happen.
12/11/13 3:08 P
Right now I should be cleaning my house for my family's visit at Christmas. I thought I should get a head start on it, but what do I do instead? I head to the kitchen and trawl around looking for things to nibble on. I started the day telling myself that today I would only put good things into my body, around noon I screwed that one up!
Every day is the same, I start out well and then slide into the same old habits.
I am a boredom and stress eater, I work in an office with several women who have candy all the time plus we have snack machines. It's really hard when you get stressed over your work and are bored with your desk job.
12/11/13 6:44 A
Sometimes even fruits seem to add to the calories. snacking is getting in the way of my goal of having a slim waistline.
Fitness Minutes: (3,119)
265 12/10/13 7:47 P
Munching at work can be a problem. We have one person that brings in candy and junk food. It's hard to stay away for me when I am stressed and walk away from my computer. I have started bringing in bowls of fruit to keep out--and I have to talk to myself to avoid the chocolate "you don't need that!!!" . I also keep lots of mint gum with me. If you do cave--first check the serving size and count that out into a cup or plate--it will discourage the mindless munching if you are not sitting with a whole box of crackers. If your job allows, try something to keep your mind or hands busy when you don't have any tasks to complete--crossword puzzles, knit? do your nails?
12/10/13 3:30 P
I am a boredom eater so I understand your problem you need to find something you like to do at night that does not involve food maybe reading maybe journialing maybe playing games on a tablet. or a computer. That is what I try to do when I'm bored is find something else I like to do that has nothing to do with food. I hope this helps.
12/10/13 12:07 P
I too have a problem eating out of boredom. My problem is it's always when I am at work. I know I need to get a new job because mine is so incredibly boring but it's really hard in this climate. Unfortunately I can't do things I would normally do at home when I am bored. Read, craft, etc. So any ideas in the work environment would be great!
I agree with Azulviolet's post in general. If you are eating from boredom, get rid of the boredom.
The one thing I did note was that you eat until you are miserable, and then are hungry again in an hour. This doesn't sound as much like boredom eating as a binge. The fact that you are hungry again in an hour, may be physical/chemical, and not just that you are bored.
I used to eat 10 bean burritos from Taco Bell, and a 2 liter of pop + snacks at midnight, and by 2 a.m., I would be eating 3-4 bologna sandwiches, with 4 slices of bologna each.
Simple changes in what I ate helped me get past these cravings, which I was powerless to stop once i started eating certain foods. This may be a bigger issue than boredom, and if you are eating huge meals, and feeling hungry right after, you should talk to your doctor about this problem, and if they are reluctant to give advice, ask for a referral to a dietitian.
Fix the cravings, and the boredom, and hopefully you can get things under control.
Fitness Minutes: (74,443)
3,293 12/9/13 10:42 P
It sounds like you need to make your life more stimulating in general. Can you work on developing some new hobbies and interests?
I don't have this problem...I can always seem to find something interesting to do/try/learn/read/experience.
Fitness Minutes: (1,404)
1,455 12/9/13 9:52 P
I eat out of bordem a lot. im glad to know im not the only one.
I started painting my nails while watching tv. With my nails wet, I can't eat. My nails always look good when I'm trying to lose a few pounds. lol
I also make sure I track in my munchie foods. I'm a grazer big time. Popcorn (100 calorie bag) and honey nut cherrios 1/2-1 cup (always measure them out) can be eaten slowly and if already tracked I know it can fit in. Gum is also something that keeps me chewing and helps.
Getting a hobby is really important .
Fitness Minutes: (62,273)
12/9/13 7:51 P
HADLEY - you made me hungry and I never thought of cinnamon on popcorn. I have done parmesan cheese and lemon-pepper seasonings though. I just found out that I am an anti-sodium person. Meaning I gained 18 pounds in a month from eating salty foods. Not even bad things, but my mother has been cooking (retired) and is a salt-aholic. So we have argued it out and she can have her salt AFTER she cooks food.
I have had to go back to eating fruit and veggies when I "retire" for the night. Meaning I take a plate of cut up fruit and veggies into my room when I go to watch TV, blog, or read some time between 8 or 9 pm. It really has helped.
My favorite snack right now is sliced bell peppers of all colors. They are crispy, crunchy, refreshing, and DIFFERENT, which is my favorite part of it all. And I just quit smoking again, so it has been extremely difficult at times.
Fitness Minutes: (3,954)
12/9/13 6:38 P
When I worked nights, I did lots of the things suggested here - crafting, taking up an instrument, etc. The one thing I really loved to do was to make complex meals and store them up for later. Spicy baked beans, vegetable calzones, chili, etc. in big amounts. The precut veggies are a great idea too if you're doing mindless snacking. The reason chips are so attractive is because you just open the bag and you're eating. Making the veggies ahead of time so that they're just as easy is so SMART! I also like air-popped popcorn tossed with a little cinnamon when I have to have a snack.
Fitness Minutes: (5,853)
12/9/13 6:17 P
The best thing I did was purged my kitchen!! Results is that I got to purge my closet of one size of clothes I no long can wear..the, are too big!
Keep fresh cut veggies in your frig and when you get a snack attack...snack healthy!
I am not always great..I do splurge every once in a while...but it is usually when I am out and then I only buy one small piece of something. I have also purchased a small amount of something ...ate one or two small pieces and give it to a friend to enjoy. The main thing is that I don't have the stuff to splurge on in the house, that way I have to go out and get it...sometime I totally forget I wanted it by the time I go to the store and get distracted by something else.
Fitness Minutes: (4,508)
12/9/13 4:46 P
Get a puzzle book, like crossword or word find or sudoku
1. make sure your meals are really filling. some meals just don't keep you as long as others and avoiding those should help some. also, try starting your meals with a broth based vegetable soup and a salad. or if you're having something like pasta, load it up with vegetables so that you're getting half a cup of pasta and a cup of vegetables along with whatever sauce and protein you have when you serve yourself a bowl. 2. keep telling yourself that food will never touch not food hunger. in other words, there is no amount of food that will go any way to making you less bored. it's like needing gas in your car and you go in and buy a slurpee. the slurpee isn't going to make your car go anywhere. food will not make you less bored. and i am not trying to be condescending or anything, this is just the way that i keep outlining things to myself when i know i am doing something that doesn't make any sense. 3. get a hobby. cleaning or eating or being bored are hardly the only things you can do. you could get a penpal. you could take up crochet, papier maiche, knitting, jewelry making, painting, drawing, sewing, really just head to your local craft store and see what they have. there are tons of options. you could read or write short stories or poems. you could learn a musical instrument. you can also look for some late night friends. see if you can meet people who are or want to be in bands. bartenders are another option as are other people in your profession. look for them online or drive around and look for places where the lights are on. see if there are any groups in your area that revolve around astronomy. if you live near the beach what about sea turtle rescue groups? don't think there isn't anyone else up at this hour. instead think of what people are up at this hour and how can i meet some of them. i know there is a group by me that runs in the wee hours. and by runs in the wee hours i am talking 50+ people around a track, i've passed them in the 4:30-5 am range and they certainly didn't look like they were just starting. i think some of them start at 3:30 or 4 am, especially those that do distance and have to get to work. 4. also try blocking out your night instead of letting it loom over you. so you might plan to watch a tv show from 8-9 pm. then from 9-10 you might want to do meal prep for the next day. from 10-11 it might be catching up on your email. 11 pm-12 am might be watching the news to see what is going on in the world. 12 am til 1 am might be your workout. 1 -2 might be showering, settling in, and a little basic cleaning up after yourself. 2-3 am might be looking for an online class or other way to get ahead at your job or find a new one. 3-4 am might be reading. 4-5 might be prepping and eating your last meal before bed. if you're at a loss for what to do, start to keep a notepad with you at all times. when you're busy jot down the things that you mean to do but don't have time for right then. this way, when you do have time you can go down that list for things to do.
Fitness Minutes: (0)
12/9/13 3:01 A
Ok. I work night shift and especially on my days off I can't help but feel starved. No more than an hour after supper I am rooting around for something else to eat. Then I eat til I'm miserable, and another hour later I feel starved agian. I know it is boredom eating and I don't like doing it but I just can't stop myself. The worst part is the being up all night, there is nothing to do, all my friends are asleep, and I can only clean so much before I get bored or angry. I guess I am just reaching out for some support or ideas to try and step away from the fridge and cabinets so maybe I can finally lose some weight.