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Four tips to prevent overeating when you're bored

We've all been there: a full bag of chips turns into an empty one, and you say to yourself, "Wait, where did all the chips go?"

Mindless eating is one of the causes—if not the main cause—of gaining weight. Here are tips to become more aware of what you're consuming to curb overeating.

  1. Drink water.
    Every time you're sitting watching the newest episode of The Bachelorette and take a trip to the kitchen, head for the faucet first. Water actually curbs your appetite. Assuming you're not truly hungry, a glass of water can fulfill your desire for "something."
  2. Differentiate between want and need.
    You just came back from a satisfying lunch, and a colleague offers you a chocolate chip cookie. Take a 10-second mental break before reaching for the cookie. Determine whether you are already full from your meal and simply want the treat, but don't really need it. While a free snack here and there is OK, it's important to focus on what your body really needs.
  3. Adjust your pattern.
    If you and your friends go out for Sunday brunch, adjust your eating schedule accordingly and eat a smaller dinner to ensure you don't consume too many calories throughout the day. Going to a movie after work? Skip dessert if you plan on having popcorn later. These small adjustments can make a world of caloric difference.
  4. Think about the deeper question.
    Are you out-of-your-mind bored at work? Did you have a big fight with a loved one? Has it been rainy for a week straight? Recognize if something out of the ordinary has recently occurred in your life that may contributing to your eating patterns. Before you reach for a snack, take a walk or a pause to remind yourself why you feel like eating.

It's important to listen to your body and the messages it's giving you. Learning to recognize the differences between hunger and boredom can contribute to a much healthier and happier you.


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