Food & nutrition

How to break out of the boredom trap

Do you turn to food when you’re feeling bored? Create a new habit loop with these top tips.
Published 4 July, 2019

For many people, eating can provide a temporary distraction from boredom, and can even be a source of entertainment. However, if you do it repeatedly, your brain can start to associate the feeling of boredom with eating, and it becomes an unhealthy habit.

The urge to turn to food during dull moments can feel strong, and it can knock your SmartPoints® Budget off track. You might feel angry or guilty afterwards, which can make things worse. 

Creating a new habit loop – by intentionally doing something other than eating when you feel bored – can keep you moving towards your weight loss goals. Here’s how to do it:


Create a distraction


Identify a time when you are likely to eat due to boredom. Then, think of an activity you can do instead, such as chat with members on Connect, or go for a walk. When you notice yourself reaching for food, follow these steps:

1. Tell yourself: ‘I am experiencing an urge to eat because I feel bored.’

2. Spend 10-15 minutes doing one of the diversion activities you have identified.

3. Check in with yourself. Do you still have an urge to eat? If not, carry on with your day! If so, you can either try the activity for further 10 minutes, or go ahead and eat – you’ve already disrupted the pattern by trying something different. Repeat as often as you can to create a new habit loop.