Sometimes, the urge to eat that second (or 17th) cookie is so intense it feels like there’s this crazy battle in your head about eating vs. not eating. This usually strikes in the evenings after work and/or on the weekends. And it’s helpful to have some alternatives in lieu of finishing the gallon of ice cream. So, here you go!

10 things to do instead of eating:

things to do instead of eating

1. Get out your journal. Grabbing a pen and a notebook can be an amazing tool to begin to take you deeper into what’s going on inside. When you’re feeling all jumbled in your mind, journaling forces you to slow down and sort out what’s going on. Because when you want to eat, there’s often much more going on than just being hungry.

2. Turn on your favorite hilarious TV show. Sometimes laughter is just what we need to snap us out of wanting to eat everything in the pantry. There’s nothing like big belly laughs to make you forget that you wanted to have a date with the Dorito bag on the couch. (PS-if you have Netflix, watch Aziz Ansari’s stand up. It. Is. HILARIOUS)

3. Take a walk. Whenever I’ve had dinner, and still feel that “I kinda want something sweet” urge start to hit, I try to get out and go for a walk. There’s something about getting out of your house and into the world that snaps us out of our “I want food. Now.” thought patterns.

4. Do something mindless. For many people knitting is calming (I took a knitting class with my mom a few years ago. Epic fail). For others, jigsaw puzzles, Sudoku, or other word games are soothing. Find something meditative, mindless, and calming and do it!

5. Get lost in your favorite book. When I’m in the middle of an addictive book, I turn into this anti-social hermit who doesn’t talk to anyone until the book is finished. So, maybe choose a semi-addicting book that still allows you to engage in the world? Getting lost in a book is a great way to “escape” reality for a bit 🙂

6. Yoga, yoga, and more yoga. If someone asked me what has been the biggest catalyst for change in my life, I would say yoga.  This is an amazing tool to get you OUT of your head and INTO your body. Which is what a lot of crazy-all-over-the-place eating is: spending a shit ton of time in our heads and not in our bodies. Try a yoga class and see how those deep yoga breaths can transform your life!

7. Put on your fave music and belt it out sista! I can’t think of a better way to elevate your mood then to blast your favorite song and sing your heart out. If you can’t do it in your house, then go take a drive and do it! My best choices: Disney tunes, the Rent soundtrack, some good ole Whitney Houston ballads, Kelly Clarkson slow jams, Dixie Chicks “Not Ready to Make Nice” (This one you can seriously get in to). Bonus: blast it loud enough so you’re feeling like “man, I sound really good and totally could try out for American Idol” 🙂

8. Clean. Are you groaning at this suggestion? Don’t roll your eyes just yet. Cleaning out your garage or closet or underneath your bed (or anything else in your living space) is a great way to distract yourself from wanting to eat. Plus, you’ll end up being productive and crossing off some things on your to-do list!

9. Facetime/Skype/Call a friend. Is there someone you’ve been meaning to catch up with? A friend or family member you haven’t talked to in a while? I’m sure they’d love to hear from you. We get so busy in our lives that it’s hard to find time to catch up with old friends. Now is a perfect time. You could even call a grandparent! (I sound like my mom now, nagging me to call my grandparents every month 🙂 )

10. Go to a store or somewhere where there’s people around. This one definitely works like magic on diminishing the desire to eat. Being out and about in the business of the world gets you out of yourself. It forces you to focus on what’s going on around you and on all the other things there are in the world besides housing the box of Wheat Things.

Next time you feel that “hmmm I wanna eat some Oreos or cupcakes or chocolate or…” (and being that you aren’t physically hungry), use one of these suggestions on the list!

Because, sometimes,  you just need a quick distraction to stop thinking about food.

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below. What’s your favorite number from the list? Do you have other ideas? Share away!

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