If you’re wondering what you can replace emotional eating with, then this post is for you. I’ve got a list of 99 things you can do instead of emotional eating.

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

What Can You Replace Emotional Eating With?

What is another word for emotional eating?

Some people label emotional eating more specifically like “boredom eating,” “stress eating,” or “comfort eating.” All of these fall under the umbrella of eating emotionally. 

What is an example of mindless eating?

Mindless eating is eating without paying attention, often while doing something else. For example, if you’re having lunch at your computer, answering emails, and working on a project, it can be challenging to pay attention to hunger and fullness signals, hear your body’s cues and be in the moment to enjoy your food. 

What can I substitute for eating?

I used to have a post-it note on my fridge labeled “5 things to do instead of eat.” The note included: write in my journal, clear out a closet or drawer, take a walk around the block, color in a coloring book, and work on my annual scrapbook. The point was to refocus my mind to do something else if I wasn’t actually hungry. Use the list of “101 things to do besides eat” to pick a few of your favorites and create your own post it note 😀 

What does “eat to fuel your body not to feed your emotions” mean?

Our bodies are designed to be fueled for energy throughout the day. Physically, our bodies need a certain amount of energy to go about daily activities. When we begin to feed our emotions and turn to food when we’re feeling something challenging, we can struggle to feel peaceful and balanced around food.

What can I substitute for eating?

What are 101 things to do instead of eating?

  1. Take a Walk: Go for a stroll in the neighborhood or a local park.
  2. Read: Dive into a new book or a magazine.
  3. Write: Start a journal, write poetry, or short stories.
  4. Listen to Music: Discover a new genre or artist.
  5. Meditate: Find a quiet spot and focus on your breathing.
  6. Exercise: Do some yoga, pilates, or strength training exercises.
  7. Garden: Plant flowers, vegetables, or herbs.
  8. Craft: Start a new DIY project, knit, or crochet.
  9. Paint: Express yourself with watercolors or acrylics.
  10. Doodle: Grab a pen and let your imagination run wild.
  11. Photography: Go on a photo walk.
  12. Puzzle: Solve a crossword or jigsaw puzzle.
  13. Dance: Move your body to your favorite tunes.
  14. Learn: Pick up a new hobby or skill online.
  15. Swim: Take a dip in a local pool or beach.
  16. Bike: Cycle around your neighborhood.
  17. Climb: If you have access, try rock climbing.
  18. Plan a Trip: Plan your next holiday or weekend getaway.
  19. Watch a Movie: Preferably one without food scenes!
  20. Visit a Museum: Immerse yourself in art and history.
  21. Tidy Up: Organize your room, workspace, or any cluttered area.
  22. Listen to a Podcast: There are so many topics out there.
  23. Learn a Language: Use apps or online courses.
  24. Play an Instrument: If you have one, practice it.
  25. Visit Friends or Family: Spend quality time with loved ones.
  26. Window Shop: Just look and enjoy without buying.
  27. Bake: If you can, bake for others.
  28. Bird Watch: Discover local species and enjoy nature.
  29. Star Gaze: If it’s night, look up at the sky.
  30. Sketch: Practice your drawing skills.
  31. Cook: Try a new recipe for your next meal.
  32. Travel Locally: Explore new parts of your city or town.
  33. Visit a Library: Discover new books or research topics.
  34. Do a Mind Game: Play games like Sudoku or chess.
  35. Do a DIY Beauty Treatment: Make a homemade face mask or scrub.
  36. Daydream: Allow yourself to drift into your thoughts.
  37. Online Shop: Try window shop without buying.
  38. Watch Documentaries: Learn something new.
  39. Visit an Animal Shelter: Spend time with animals.
  40. Hydrate: Drink some water or herbal tea.
  41. Pamper Yourself: Take a long bath or shower.
  42. Go on a Non-Food Picnic: Pack non-food items like books and enjoy a park.
  43. Hike: Find local trails and immerse yourself in nature.
  44. Write a Letter: Write to a friend or family member.
  45. Do Board Games: Play with family or friends.
  46. Build Models: Try model cars, planes, or miniatures.
  47. Go Antiquing: Visit antique shops and learn history.
  48. Art Gallery: Attend a local art show or gallery.
  49. Go to the Theater: Watch a play or musical.
  50. Concert: Enjoy live music.
  51. Go Beachcombing: Look for shells and treasures.
  52. Try Studying: Improve in a subject you’re passionate about.
  53. Try Scrapbooking: Document memories.
  54. Magic Tricks: Learn a new trick.
  55. Go Bowling: Spend time at a local alley.
  56. Go Ice Skating or Roller Skating: Based on the season.
  57. Visit an Amusement Park: Enjoy rides and games.
  58. Aquarium: Explore marine life.
  59. Zoo: Visit and learn about animals.
  60. Martial Arts: Take a class or practice moves.
  61. Comedy Club: Enjoy some laughs.
  62. Try Karaoke at Home: Sing your heart out.
  63. Do a DIY Home Project: Repaint a room or fix something broken.
  64. Go Camping: Enjoy nature overnight.
  65. Do Archery: Take a lesson or practice shots.
  66. Make Pottery: Mold something with your hands.
  67. Go Golfing: Spend a day at the driving range or course.
  68. Make Playlists: Create a new music lineup.
  69. Visit a Botanical Garden: Enjoy different plants and flowers.
  70. Winery or Brewery Tour: If you drink, enjoy in moderation.
  71. Nature Center: Learn about local flora and fauna.
  72. Drive: Take a scenic drive.
  73. Pilates: Take a class or do it at home.
  74. Snuggle your pet (or a friend’s): Groom or play with your pets.
  75. Visit Historical Sites: Learn about your area’s history.
  76. Virtual Travel: Explore a city online.
  77. Dream House Planning: Plan or design your dream home.
  78. Collecting: Start a new collection.
  79. Riddles: Challenge your brain.
  80. Museums: Visit a science or natural history museum.
  81. Flea Market: Look for unique items.
  82. Sightseeing: Tourist in your own town.
  83. Fishing: Spend a day at a lake or river.
  84. Tennis or Badminton: Play a match.
  85. Basketball: Shoot some hoops.
  86. Cook for Others: Make a meal for someone in need.
  87. Research: Dive deep into a topic you love.
  88. Indoor Plants: Care for or pot new plants.
  89. Spa Day: At-home treatments.
  90. Declutter: Donate items you don’t need.
  91. Modeling: Try clay or other mediums.
  92. Attend a Lecture: On a subject you’re curious about.
  93. Watch the Sunrise/Sunset: Enjoy nature’s beauty.
  94. Local Sports Game: Support a local team.
  95. Play Video Games: Dive into a new or favorite game.
  96. Origami: Fold paper into fun shapes.
  97. Watch Birds: With a book to identify them.
  98. Attend a Fitness Class: Like Zumba or aerobics.
  99. Visit a Farm: Learn about agriculture and animals.
  100. Write a Story: Write a story or a script.
  101. Give or get a hug: Find a loved one (dog, cat, human) and give them a cuddle.

Remember, the goal of these activities is to divert attention from emotional eating. Always listen to your body’s cues, and if you’re genuinely hungry, be sure to nourish it appropriately!

Read More:

🌷Help with Emotional Eating

🌷35 Ways to Stop Binge Eating – Tips from a Holistic Nutritionist

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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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