THE BLOG

10 Things to Do Instead of Mindless Eating

05/11/2015 10:09 am ET | Updated May 11, 2016

Sometimes, the urge to eat that second (or 17th) cookie is so intense it feels like there's this crazy war in your head, screaming, "Yes, yes, yes, eat that cookie!" battling back and forth with, "No, no, no, don't you dare do it!"

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...

Keep this list handy for the next time the urge hits you!

2015-05-07-1431028063-7542643-10thingstodoinsteadofeating1.png

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 can force 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.

3. Take a walk. If you've had dinner, and still feel that "I kinda want something sweet" urge start to hit, grab your sneakers and head out for a walk. There's something about getting out of your house and into the world that snaps you out of your "I want food ASAP" thought patterns.

4. Do something mindless. For many people knitting is calming. 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. Being immersed in a book is a great way to "escape" reality for a bit. Find a bestseller or a series and allow yourself to get lost in the characters and all the plot drama... it helps to take your mind off the fact that those leftover brownies are calling your name.

6. Yoga, yoga, and more yoga. If someone asked me what has been the biggest catalyst for change in my life in my healing from "food issues," 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 waaaay too much 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! 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! 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 or relative!

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!

If you're exhausted from battling those relentless food demons and tired of "starting over" every damn Monday, then grab your FREE "Must Have Guide to End the Diet Cycle Today".

For more info on how to let go of obsessing over food and your body, c'mon over and visit at www.jennhand.com.