Maybe you’re trying to lose some weight, or even overcome an unhealthy bingeing habit, and need some ways to take your mind off food. It’s a funny thing that you tend to think more about food when you know you don’t really need it, or you’re not even hungry. First off, let me say that if you really are hungry, then these tips don’t apply to you. If you're hungry, then eat! Yet, if you’re depressed and eating out of loneliness, or you’re just bored and have a mad sweet tooth, try these simple ways to take your mind off food. After all, food really does taste so much better when you’re really hungry and not just snacking for kicks!
1 Paint Your Nails
I love this tip because it is one of the best ways to take your mind off food, along with your hands! One of my pet peeves is to paint my nails and then have them mess up because I’ve become impatient and tried to touch something or do something before they’ve dried. So, use this helpful and beautifying tip next time you get the munchies! You won’t want to mess up your new lovely nails by snacking and having to redo them. Plus, you’ll have a cute little manicure when you’re done!
2 Walk Your Dog (or Yourself!)
One other trick that is very helpful to take your mind of food is to go for a walk. I know not all weather permits for this, so if you’re stuck indoors, do a YouTube video of yoga, Pilates, HIIT, or even meditation. However, if you can get outdoors, do it! Being outdoors in nature naturally depresses your appetite, especially if you’re not truly hungry. Plus, walking is fantastic for your mind and body. It produces endorphins in the brain that many of us turn to food to get an endorphin rush from, usually in the form of fat or sugar. Walking your dog is even better since the experience with your pup will satisfy you in a way a bag of chips or cookies won’t, and it will give both of you a nice little workout!
3 Drink Some Tea
Many times, we’re just thirsty, not even hungry at all. If you’re stressed and wanting to eat, or you just want to taste something besides water, have a cup of tea! Tea is one of the best ways to fight stress, food cravings, and a bad mood. It’s also a great way to stay hydrated, as long as you choose decaf most of the time. Choose any tea you like and savor the experience of tea, without the need to eat out of boredom or sugar cravings. If you need to sweeten the flavor, just add a touch of stevia and some cinnamon or lemon. Both make your tea incredibly cozy and delicious.
4 Drink Some Cocoa
I personally love making healthy cocoa when I want to taste chocolate, but I’m not really hungry. As a bonus, it gives me a mood and energy lift since cocoa is naturally energizing. The best way to keep your cocoa healthy is to brew some hot water, stir in 2 tbsp. of regular or dark cocoa powder (unsweetened), or raw cacao, and then stir in some stevia. Whisk this until it’s completely dissolved, and then add a touch of almond milk on top to add a creamy flavor. You can also use almond milk instead of water as the base if you want an extra creamy taste. Or, if you’d like to actually brew some cocoa in your coffee pot, purchase my daily indulgence, Crio Bru, which is 100% roasted cocoa beans you brew in your coffee pot. I drink this daily and have tons of energy, no caffeine cravings or withdrawals. Plus, it's only 10 calories a cup, and tastes like a chocolate dream. You can learn more at: criobru.com.
5 Go Shopping
While this might not be the cheapest option, it sure is a fun one! Plus, shopping is a great way to stay active and get your booty off the couch. I’m a frugal shopper, yet I still love to shop, even if I only spend a teeny bit when I go. Just being out and browsing and interacting with others can take your mind off food and get you moving, which actually halts your cravings, despite the fact that you’re being active.
6 Call a Friend
If you’re lonely, bored, or just need something to make you smile, don’t turn to the Doritos or the nut butter jar! Instead, call your friend up and chat for a while. Even your mom is a great person to call if you’re close to her. If a Skype date or FaceTime call with someone is your preference, these are great ideas too that can help take your mind off food. Many people who turn to eating out of boredom, loneliness, or for no good reason can benefit from this, and it will make the other person smile to hear from you, or see you, as a bonus!
7 Read a Book
This might not work if you’re stuck in the house by yourself and have a hard time concentrating, but if you simply can’t get anything else to work, it’s worth a try. Or, if you can, visit a bookstore and plunder around, and perhaps grab a coffee while you're there. If you're at home you can also try one of my favorite things to do, which is take a book outside during the fall season when it’s nice and cool and read under a tree. Or, hop in the bathtub and read something. The luxury of taking a bubble bath and reading is one most women don’t enjoy enough. Plus, you’re not likely to take that snack with you in the tub either!
8 Grab Coffee with a Friend
If you just need to get out of the house, go down to your local coffee shop and grab a friend to take with you if you can. Or, ask them to meet you there. Many times, some of us can eat because we’re stuck indoors and need some external stimulation. The best way to fight this urge to eat is to spend time with another person and grab a coffee. Both offer a naturally stimulant effect, through interacting with others and a slight caffeine buzz!
9 Write It out
Lastly, if you’re a writer like me, try one of my favorite things to do- write out why you want to eat, and what’s really bothering you. This is a great way to explore if you’re really hungry, or if there’s something else bothering you that you’re trying to numb yourself from feeling with food. This doesn’t even have to be an actual food journal, unless you want it to be. You can simply use a small notepad to write out notes here and there when you need to fight the urge to eat for your emotions.
If you have a tip for ways to take your mind off food when you’re not really hungry, please do share what it is! I don’t suggest watching television, since food ads are all over the tube, which will only make things worse. Also, remember if you really are hungry, have something healthy and not full of unhealthy fats and sugars that will only make the cravings worse. What’s your best tip for avoiding eating when you’re not hungry?