Wondering how to stop boredom and emotional eating? In this post I’ll cover 10 tips that my clients and I have used to put an end to emotional eating that’s caused by boredom.

Written by Jenn Hand, Holistic Nutritionist, Board Certified Health Coach, NBC-HWC, Emotional Eating Coach

Boredom eating was a big trigger for me when I struggled with emotional eating.

I didn’t learn what to “do” when I felt bored, so I usually ended up eating. One of my clients really struggled with feeling bored when she traveled for work. Every night at the hotel, she ended up bingeing because she felt bored (and lonely.)

I tasked her with an experiment: see what boredom actually FEELS like.

Go in, explore it, and get comfortable with its sensations. When she reported back, she said, miraculously, she didn’t binge. She hadn’t ever actually felt the boredom before—she had been eating to prevent the actual feeling of the emotion. It’s amazing what can happen when we go IN to explore.

Here are ten tips that have helped me and my clients break free from emotional eating caused by boredom: 

See if you can identify the situations or emotions that lead you to eat when you’re bored so you can make a plan for what to do instead of eating. 

Take a deep breath, get quiet and go inside to see what the emotion feels like.

Where is it in your body? What textures does it have? Is the consistency heavy or light? What is your mind saying in response to the feeling? This can help you “meet” the boredom so you can experience it without needing to escape it. 

If you do eat, be mindful and present.

Give yourself the gift of enjoying and being in the experience of eating. Oftentimes, being present can allow you to have just one of something and move on. 

Distraction isn’t always a bad thing!

Sometimes a simple plan to get out of the house to go for a walk, meet a friend for coffee, take the dogs out, or window shop at a local store can help get your mind busy so the desire to eat passes. 

Try a few rounds of square breathing (one of my favorites!) Inhale with a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4 and then pause for 4. Do it a few times to calm your body and mind, so you’re more relaxed and don’t need food to calm you. 

Journaling was my greatest tool on my path to food freedom.

Vent your frustrations, feelings, thoughts, and emotions via pen and paper to clear your mind and gain some clarity. 

How To Stop Boredom and Emotional Eating

Common Questions

Why am I eating when I’m bored?

It’s not uncommon to turn to food when you’re bored.

In our society, we learn to always be busy and distracted, so we don’t learn “how” to be bored. But boredom can spark creativity, so keep an open mind next time boredom hits! 

How can I avoid eating when I’m bored?

My favorite thing to do is to grab my journal to explore what’s going on inside.

Another way is to go IN to see what boredom feels like. Boredom can often be a precursor to a great idea, an innovative solution, a yearning to learn something or some other creative spark. 

Are there quick ways to identify if I’m eating out of boredom?

Check in with your body to see if there are any physical sensations in your body–if you feel an emptiness in your stomach, low energy or slight fatigue, growling in your belly, or irritability, it might be physical hunger. 

What are easy ways to keep myself occupied without food?

Learn something new, get outside, train an animal, do something active, read your favorite book or watch a movie!

Read More:

🌷How to Not “Give In” to Emotional Eating

🌷How to Stop Emotional Eating

🌷How To Realistically Stop Emotional Eating

Work with an Emotional Eating & Holistic Nutrition Coach

Overcome Bingeing and Emotional Eating, and Break Up with Yo-yo Dieting

Working with an emotional eating coach and holistic nutritionist can help you get free from the frustrating binge and restrict cycle and stop yo-yo dieting.

You don’t have to be obsessed with food or have a million rules around eating to find your natural weight and learn to love your body. Ready to actually see a lasting change and experience true freedom?

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About the Author: 

Jenn Hand has been helping women like you become normal eaters since 2015.

She’s worked with thousands of women, helping them to balance their bodies, end bingeing, stop obsessing over food, and start feeling amazing again.  As a board-certified health coach and holistic nutritionist, Jenn knows how to support you in making real positive changes that last.

Her articles have been published on Mind Body Green, Tiny Buddha, Thrive Global and other local and global media platforms. She’s the author of How to Be a Normal Eater and the creator of The Normal Eater’s Club program. Listen to Jenn’s advice and tips on the Cake Doesn’t Count Podcast, or read more of her articles for free on the Food Freedom Blog.

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