No Wellness Wankery

55: HELP! I can't stop eating when I'm bored.

April 11, 2023 Lyndi Cohen
55: HELP! I can't stop eating when I'm bored.
No Wellness Wankery
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No Wellness Wankery
55: HELP! I can't stop eating when I'm bored.
Apr 11, 2023
Lyndi Cohen

Mindful eating is paying attention to the food you eat & when we don’t eat mindfully – we are much more likely to overeat. We eat quickly, not enjoying our food as much as we can.

Eating when you are bored is a great example of mindless eating.

But why do we do it? And how can we stop?

Ps. If you've listened to this episode and are interested in learning more about the hunger scale, check out how to use the hunger scale.

❔ Are you a binge or emotional eater? If you feel out of control around food, or can’t stop eating once you start, PLEASE take my quiz to find out if you display signs of binge or emotional eating. I’ll promise to hand over helpful guidance to help you create a normal relationship with food.

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide. You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

Show Notes Transcript

Mindful eating is paying attention to the food you eat & when we don’t eat mindfully – we are much more likely to overeat. We eat quickly, not enjoying our food as much as we can.

Eating when you are bored is a great example of mindless eating.

But why do we do it? And how can we stop?

Ps. If you've listened to this episode and are interested in learning more about the hunger scale, check out how to use the hunger scale.

❔ Are you a binge or emotional eater? If you feel out of control around food, or can’t stop eating once you start, PLEASE take my quiz to find out if you display signs of binge or emotional eating. I’ll promise to hand over helpful guidance to help you create a normal relationship with food.

Looking for more support to feel in control around food? I'd love to support you in my Binge Free Academy


Want to feel more in control around food? Check out my Stop Struggling With Food Guide. You’ll also find 50 of my favourite recipes to get you inspired!

If you don't already - come follow me on the gram at @nude_nutritionist (no nude pics, sorry).

Want to share some feedback or have an idea for an episode, I'd LOVE to hear from you - hit me up at hello@lyndicohen.com

 00:00:00:05 - 00:00:24:09

Lyndi

Okay. I would like to tell you, your your weight is not the problem. It really isn't. I know you've been made to think your weight is a problem your entire life, but honestly, it's just been a red herring making you focus on diets that really suck and your weight is not. The problem is the title of my new book and I would really like you to read it if you've ever been made to feel like you need to worry about your weight that you're fixating on your weight is going to help you lose weight, which is nonsense.


00:00:24:16 - 00:00:49:11

Lyndi

This is the book you need to read. We tackle body image. We help you with practical strategies to feel normal, relaxed, and freedom around food, which are all fabulous things you also deserve. Please go to my website, Lyndi Cohen dot com and check out my new book. It's available from all great retailers. Please check it out. Hello everyone and welcome to today's episode of the new Wellness Wankery Podcast.


00:00:49:11 - 00:01:00:13

Lyndi

I am your cohost Lyndi Cohen, dietitian, nutritionist. And I'm joined by the very lovely, very likable, by the way. You haven’t met her yet but very likeable. Jenna D’Apice


00:01:00:14 - 00:01:22:04

Jenna

Hello, everybody. Yes, my name is Jenna and I join Lyndi each week to just wade our way through the wellness world and kind of decipher things so you can have a little bit more clarity. And today, huge topic. Everyone is the big thing. People come to Lyndi and say all the time, Lyndi, help me. I can't stop eating when I'm bored.


00:01:22:04 - 00:01:28:04

Jenna

And I think this is a big one for me as well, so I'd love to know what we should be.


00:01:28:04 - 00:01:46:21

Lyndi

Doing, especially since lockdowns, especially since people have started working at home more. There's this sense of, Well, I have a break, so I'll just walk over to the kitchen and I'll get something. And then I feel really guilty about this behavior of this kind of like it's mindless eating. And I feel like I know I'm going hungry. I know I'm just bored and I'm doing it.


00:01:47:04 - 00:01:51:16

Lyndi

Why am I doing it? Please help me. What do we do about this? But you have an interesting theory about it. Yes.


00:01:51:16 - 00:02:20:20

Jenna

So for me personally, I used to eat a lot when I was bored because I was obsessed with food. So whenever anything wasn't stimulating me, whenever anything wasn't around, whenever I was by myself, whenever I didn't have an activity because my default was to think about food, I instantly wanted food. So I found since working through intuitive eating and just not being obsessed with food, I stop eating as much when I'm bored because I'm not thinking about it as much.


00:02:20:21 - 00:02:25:02

Jenna

That's what I've found has been super helpful. It's not like my default thought.


00:02:25:14 - 00:02:35:17

Lyndi

I'll back that up and say I used to a lot of boredom eating as well and I don't want a meeting at all. I want to say no, I don't think I do any boredom eating. I wait, you know.


00:02:35:17 - 00:02:37:18

Jenna

Sometimes I'm hungry, I eat. Yeah.


00:02:37:19 - 00:02:53:20

Lyndi

Or sometimes seems to be tasty. And I want something. Yes, different thing, though. This what we're talking about is that just like I need something to do so I could get a handful of knots or whatever it is. And I think I think this is a very valid feedback that that something someone someone wrote to me inside my Keep It Real program that I think is really useful.


00:02:54:24 - 00:03:09:24

Lyndi

And what she wrote is I signed up to your Keep It Real program a few days ago, and I've read your book and all that kind of jazz. And I just like to say that I was at home all day on my own, and yet I didn't reach in the cupboard or go searching for food like I would have in the past.


00:03:09:24 - 00:03:28:13

Lyndi

I actually turned in my into my hunger cues and eight when I felt hungry in the past, I would get bored and I'd get up no matter what I was doing and go for food many times during the day. So your content is already helping me start to tune in with my body and I'm so grateful. I can't wait to see what other progress I make while working through the program and book.


00:03:29:09 - 00:03:48:03

Lyndi

And the reason for sharing that with you is just to reiterate that you might think, okay, well, I need to employ more control in my life. I need to, you know, remove all these foods from the house. I need to change things drastically. I need to set meal times. And when I'm allowed to eat, there's this gut reaction to try and create more control.


00:03:48:03 - 00:03:56:12

Lyndi

And what we actually need to do is get more intuitive and reduce some of the diet noise that's that's making it really compelling for us to go and do this board meeting.


00:03:57:02 - 00:04:03:00

Jenna

So for those who are boredom eating, what do you think, step one?


00:04:03:20 - 00:04:29:10

Lyndi

Well, I also think beyond the obsession, which I certainly think is a huge contributor to board meeting and the primary one, there's also conditioning. So the habits we have around food. So, for example, it's very common to have a conditioned response to eating in front of the TV and eating or noticing, watching TV and eating. So it's almost like when you turn on your favorite TV show, your brain starts to condition that is going well.


00:04:29:10 - 00:04:56:22

Lyndi

This is what I normally eat and therefore I now feel like eating. Have you ever heard about Pavlov's dogs? Is is that that classic experiment? Well, Russian scientist hundreds of years ago noticed that every time he rang his bell to feed his dogs, they'd come running. They already knew the food was on its way. And then he noticed, well, even if I didn't feed them and I just rang the bell, they would start salivating already, which is just a sign that their body had already started going the first stage of digestion simply by hearing the bell.


00:04:56:22 - 00:05:18:23

Lyndi

And so you flicking on that TV is very similar to you salivating like Pavlov's dogs. We've conditioned ourselves that this is when we do this, we eat regardless of our hunger. And so it's just a really nice thing to become mindful of, is what are your patterns around conditioning? Is it when you a certain time of the morning where you kind of go, Oh, this is normally where I feel like I get a bit foggy.


00:05:18:23 - 00:05:37:09

Lyndi

My brain gets a bit foggy, and this is when I go eat or I sit down on my laptop and I like to have, you know, a number of things around me so I can function when I go to pick the kids up from school in the afternoon, I like to have something to munch. What is it that could just be a learned habit where you can go, I know I'm not hungry, but this is just something that I feel I'm automatically doing.


00:05:37:09 - 00:05:48:08

Lyndi

And the first step is just to become mindful of this. I'm going to go, okay. You know, the big difference between mindless boredom eating and and mindful board meetings is humungous. So let's just become aware of it.


00:05:48:21 - 00:06:09:19

Jenna

Because I know a part of me like I at some points in the morning at work, I just want to go and get a coffee. I don't really feel like a coffee. I don't really need a coffee. It's just this habit of I want to go and get one. And then I've very much to a point. Just then I found myself in the last few weeks drinking it, being like, Why am I drinking this?


00:06:10:07 - 00:06:21:24

Jenna

I don't really feel like this, but I'm just so conditioned to want to go for walk out of the office and want to stretch my legs. So it's like, if I don't want to coffee, I can also just go for a walk and come back.


00:06:22:13 - 00:06:40:22

Lyndi

It's really nice to ask yourself those questions and to start to become aware of it. And I think what you said yes. And really pinpoints it's kind of the crux of it all is you like I don't really feel like it's this very different from I shouldn't be doing this. Yeah. So, so different so it's not I'm boredom eating.


00:06:40:22 - 00:06:59:07

Lyndi

I need to stop all of meeting. It's a I don't know if I really need this anymore. Like, it's, it's not bringing me joy. I'm just doing it because I am. What if I tried something else? And I think understanding the motivation behind won't change. We can't come from a place of I need to control my weight. I need to lose weight, I need to try and be healthier.


00:06:59:07 - 00:07:14:01

Lyndi

This is really bad for me. I need to fix my bottom eating it doesn't really work that way. You have to go. I don't really know if I enjoy this habit. I don't know if I like how it makes me feel. I think I'd like to feel a different way and it has to kind of come from that source of motivation.


00:07:14:04 - 00:07:19:16

Jenna

So even just noticing habits. Lui Day Seeing where things pop up is step one and.


00:07:19:17 - 00:07:26:19

Lyndi

Noticing the judgment you're applying to that. You know, you know, you didn't go, oh, awful person today to get that coffee.


00:07:26:19 - 00:07:48:24

Jenna

I know. But then again, because it's is it like intrinsic and extrinsic, like I know my psychologist, like, you shouldn't drink that much coffee if it makes you so anxious. And I know that it does. But again, her telling me that I'm not but I want it, you know, it's like I've got to come to a place of like it doesn't make me feel good and I don't really want to do it anymore.


00:07:48:24 - 00:07:53:10

Jenna

As opposed to all advice needs to come from you actually wanting to do it.


00:07:53:10 - 00:08:15:14

Lyndi

Yeah, it absolutely does. And once you've got that solid motivation of decision choice as opposed to feeling like it's something that you should do, you'd be amazed how quickly or how easily things start to come. I think that's the other thing is with boredom eating, I think there's a temptation to be like, well, I'm going to make a change and then it's going to happen overnight and I'm going to go for someone who is doing lots of boredom, eating to no longer boredom, meaning.


00:08:15:14 - 00:08:30:09

Lyndi

And I don't think that's the way it goes for me. I used to do a lot of boredom eating and I don't anymore. And it's a very slow process of now no longer doing those things. You're going to still eat when you're bored for no reason. And I think when you're hungry can't just become another food role.


00:08:30:10 - 00:08:35:09

Jenna

No, because there's a million reasons. Sometimes we feel like eating that aren't just hunger. And that's okay.


00:08:35:09 - 00:08:44:20

Lyndi

Totally. It's, you know, sometimes things are just delicious. Like, I'm not hungry, but I'm going to eat right now. The difference is, can we be aware that we're doing it? That's a huge one.


00:08:44:23 - 00:08:58:04

Jenna

And I think the difference is also, can we have all different forms of eating without attaching guilt and shame to them? If you randomly eat one day when you're a bit bored and you don't feel horrific afterwards, it's not the end of the world.


00:08:59:05 - 00:09:22:14

Lyndi

Please don't make it into a big deal with your life making into a big deal almost perpetuated and keep that cycle going. The other thing I found very useful, which is just talking about like the reorganizing of your pantry a little bit, I have a drawer that talks about this before the podcast. I have a drawer in my pantry, my snack drawer does this just where I keep the snacks, because when I go, I don't know what to eat, you know, whether I'm bored or whether I'm hungry.


00:09:22:14 - 00:09:40:18

Lyndi

And I open up that cupboard. I want to see options. I want to see I don't want to feel, oh, there's nothing to eat. And then I just end up eating chocolate because that's all, you know, sometimes that is what ends up happening. Just because I'm I don't feel like I have the options in front of me, but then I go, Oh, I've got these little, little trail mix thing that I really like a nice cycle, crackers that I really like.


00:09:40:18 - 00:09:58:09

Lyndi

I've got my options. They're all corralled in one spot, which is so different from, I think, diet advice, which is like hide all these things and make sure you don't have access to these things. We need to make it easy for us to to have these options ready to go. And so I put them all together in your fridge.


00:09:58:09 - 00:10:13:22

Lyndi

You can do the same thing, whether it's like yogurts and, you know, your bread and you have a cutter with you keep your bread in the fridge. Some people do it and I, you know, and whether or not your fruit I mean if you find that you don't end up eating fruit perhaps it's because you're buying boring fruit.


00:10:13:22 - 00:10:18:03

Lyndi

And I urge you to get better fruit even if you end up spending a little bit more.


00:10:18:03 - 00:10:19:11

Jenna

Money that you enjoy.


00:10:19:11 - 00:10:37:03

Lyndi

If you're going to eat it, it's better than the the the apple that was cheaper never gets eaten. And then maybe you don't keep your fruit in the crisper. Maybe you keep your fruit away. You can see it because if it gets sad and moldy in the crisper, then it's not doing its job keeping things crisp. And it's better that you actually eat it.


00:10:37:15 - 00:10:45:10

Jenna

Cut it up the day that you buy it all. Sometimes that helps me a lot. If I like, buy this big bit of watermelon and I never cut it up, it's like never going to eat it.


00:10:45:11 - 00:11:02:08

Lyndi

Yeah, exactly. It's going to be cut up. Just before we're between this podcast recording, Jenner and I cut up some first. There's something very valuable in cutting up fruit. It makes it feel a lot more enjoyable. I kind of explain the science behind it. It just as a thing. It just us try it is there anything else you want to say about this?


00:11:02:08 - 00:11:24:11

Lyndi

Because I just want to end on this idea of intuitive eating and coming back to this idea of if you don't know much about intuitive eating, I would love you to start to understand listening to your hunger, hunger scale. It's something I talk about in a lot of Miami, whether it's my Keep It Real program, my Back to Basics app, and in my book, Your Weight, it's not a problem teaching you how to listen to your appetite, reminding yourself that time you are hungry, you can eat.


00:11:24:22 - 00:11:42:12

Lyndi

And I think that's the kind of thing where you feel a temptation to go, Oh, I feel like eating something I should this, you know, we'll just wait till we get hungry and then we'll eat something. And sometimes that works and sometimes it doesn't, but it mostly does because there's trust in knowledge that any time I want food, I can eat as much as I need to feel satisfied, I can eat whatever I need to feel satisfied.


00:11:42:18 - 00:11:48:04

Lyndi

And there's something very calming about that. So you don't feel that constant need to reach into the pantry.


00:11:48:11 - 00:11:49:24

Jenna

This is it.


00:11:49:24 - 00:12:11:01

Lyndi

I hope this episode has been really helpful for you. I've enjoyed sharing it with you. Thanks for joining us and I hope you have very good luck with your boredom eating. If you like this podcast, I would love you to tell your friends about it. I just go, you know what if especially if they're kind of on the diet trade and you like to know how to gently nudge them into a direction where they can maybe do less of the diet.


00:12:11:01 - 00:12:11:21

Lyndi

And I'm just slipped.


00:12:11:21 - 00:12:13:14

Jenna

Them a text with an episode link.


00:12:13:18 - 00:12:45:18

Lyndi

It's a fun title anyway. I'm sure they'll get a giggle outside anyway. And of course you can write right us on wherever you listen to your podcasts. A five star review. Be immensely helpful in helping us beat diet wellness Wankery and Drowning Out the Noise. Thanks for listening. Hey, everyone. And before we get started in the podcast episode, I just want to tell you a little bit about how I might be able to help you if you want to get a healthy relationship with food because oh my goodness, there's a whole lot of stuff that's working against us all the time.


00:12:45:18 - 00:13:02:22

Lyndi

Hello, diet culture. So if you ever wanted a little bit more personalized support, check on my program. Keep it real. Especially if you're struggling with binge eating. If you feel like every Monday you're starting from scratch, if you feel like you know what you should be eating but you just can't stick to it if you feel like you want to eat healthier.


00:13:02:22 - 00:13:25:09

Lyndi

But honestly, it just feels like you're out of control through your face planting into the fridge. All the pantry. I can help you. So you binge. And I really do. I do get it. So check out Keep It Real, use the code podcast to get 20% off if you if you get it via the the website and also I've also got my I called back to basics back to basics is an app to help you be healthy without dieting and will help you work in your body.


00:13:25:09 - 00:13:46:17

Lyndi

Image gives you a whole bunch of hundreds of recipes that are super quick and easy to make so you can just be healthy without having to get obsessed with that at all, without it taking over your life, because that's the way it should be. Plus, you get mindset support from me inside the app. You also get a whole bunch of workouts that you can do at home, or you can still just do your normal workouts.


00:13:47:02 - 00:13:58:04

Lyndi

But check out back to basics. You can get it for free for seven days. Check out Back to Basics on my website, use the code again podcast, get 20% off and I'd love to see in there. I'd love to see in there.