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Put the Brakes on Mindless Eating
And reconnect with real hunger signals; your scale will thank you

By Regina B. Wheeler
HealthDay Reporter

TUESDAY, May 30, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- We've all come up with excuses for eating when we're really not hungry, like dealing with a difficult boss or a bad breakup. But what's worse is pigging out because you've got nothing better to do.

Sure, eating when you're bored can light up the pleasure center in your brain, giving you a temporary high. But, it can also add some unwanted -- even permanent -- pounds on the scale.

What's the cure for boredom eating? Rachel Begun, a Los Angeles-area registered dietitian and nutrition consultant, suggests you practice mindful eating instead of mindless eating.

That means knowing your body's cues for real hunger. So before you raid the kitchen for a quick fix, ask yourself, "Am I really hungry?"

Know the true signs of hunger:

  • a growling stomach.
  • a headache.
  • lack of energy.

To stop food temptations, give your pantry a makeover, and get rid of unhealthy packaged foods. Eating salty, fatty or sugary treats when you're bored can train your brain to want them every time you're bored.

Next, devise a plan B for boredom. Make a list of activities you can do to keep your mind off food and your hands out of the fridge. Take a walk, call a friend or watch a movie. Crossword puzzles and knitting are two activities that can keep your hands busy, too.

Also, make changes to your everyday routine to keep from getting bored. Take a different route on your daily jog or eat outside on a warm evening. After all, variety is the spice of life.

More information

For more tips on how to practice mindful eating, visit Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=722475

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
Hunger
Brain
Boredom
The list of medical terms above are retrieved automatically from the article.

Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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