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Question
Posted by: Aisha | 2010/08/13

Eating when bored

How does one combat eating when bored / in a bad mood. Chocolate is always so good as a ''''pep-me-up''''. How does one break that cycle?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageEating Disorders Expert

Hi Aisha,
First, you don’t combat the eating. Try to get into a healthy routine of three meals and small snacks in between the meals through the day. Like I answered Jody in the question before yours, try and distinguish your appetite from your emotional hunger so that you keep you eating to your physical requirements and your emotions away from the kitchen. I have suggested to my patients that boredom is a very good clue that they have turned off their radar to creativity. Therefore, when feeling bored, turn up the creative juices and do something inspirational and meaningful, rather than reaching for your favourite chocolate bar. Why do you get the " pep-me-up" with chocolate? Well, the sugar goes straight to your brain and your blood sugar spikes. That does not mean abstain from chocolate, but be careful on quantities and don’t eat it to prop up your emotions. There's also the notion that certain chemicals in chocolate will release endorphins (the natural feel good drug), but be careful of using food like a narcotic. So, eat moderately and on a routine with some exceptions, and remember to live life creatively so that boredom does not have to remind you to notch up a gear. Hope that helps.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Eating Disorders and Obesity Expert | 2010/08/14

Hi Aisha,
First, you don’t combat the eating. Try to get into a healthy routine of three meals and small snacks in between the meals through the day. Like I answered Jody in the question before yours, try and distinguish your appetite from your emotional hunger so that you keep you eating to your physical requirements and your emotions away from the kitchen. I have suggested to my patients that boredom is a very good clue that they have turned off their radar to creativity. Therefore, when feeling bored, turn up the creative juices and do something inspirational and meaningful, rather than reaching for your favourite chocolate bar. Why do you get the " pep-me-up" with chocolate? Well, the sugar goes straight to your brain and your blood sugar spikes. That does not mean abstain from chocolate, but be careful on quantities and don’t eat it to prop up your emotions. There's also the notion that certain chemicals in chocolate will release endorphins (the natural feel good drug), but be careful of using food like a narcotic. So, eat moderately and on a routine with some exceptions, and remember to live life creatively so that boredom does not have to remind you to notch up a gear. Hope that helps.

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