By March 6, 2012

Food Shouldn’t be Used to Kill Time

Food is a sustenance from which we obtain energy to live and be active. It’s a life source, not a time-killer. Eating out of boredom is a very bad habit. It’s extremely easy to pick up, and hard to quit; like all dangerous habits.

Eating because of boredom occurs more frequently for most individuals than it should. But why does it happen so often? It’s partly because it’s such an easy way to find enjoyment. We like eating, everyone does; we’re programmed that way. Food sustains life, so we have natural reactions in the brain that make us feel good when we eat.

Before the age of supermarkets and household refrigerators, the automatic association of eating and pleasure acted as a way to help encourage us to eat and avoid starvation. But now, food is very easy to obtain for people in most countries. With food sources readily available, it’s easy to over-indulge in the pleasurable sensation of eating; a left over function in our heads from tougher times.

Besides the more subtle feeling of joy that come from eating, there is also the more obvious pleasurable sensation of taste. When we eat out of boredom, we naturally go for something that tastes good to us.

Eating is simply an easy way to feel good. Perhaps even the easiest pleasure of all, in ratio to the amount of pleasure it brings versus the amount of effort required to obtain it. This is what makes it so easy to overindulge. Especially when you have time to kill. If there’s nothing else to do, you can always eat; right?

Nothing good on TV? Grab a sandwich or make some popcorn.

Long wait in a business lobby? Snack machine is right over there and a candy bar sounds good.

Power went out? Well, at least you can always eat.

The first step to kicking this habit is realizing how dangerous it is. Most people have this habit on some level or another. Having it occur too frequently can be deadly. It’s easy to not even realize you’re doing it; it just happens by… well, habit. You have to be more self aware and realize when it’s happening, and how often.

If you have this problem, you’ve become aware of it, and want to break it… The next step is finding better ways to occupy your free time than packing on extra pounds with thoughtless calories. Otherwise not even the best way to lose weight can help.

Lot’s of people eat while they’re watching television. Eating is so easy that you can even do it while you’re paying attention to something else. It’s even unheard of to go to the movies without grabbing buttery, salted, popcorn and sugary sweets. Why? If you have to indulge in other sensations just to sit through the film, and the movie itself wasn’t enough to keep you entertained; then why was it worth the price of the ticket to begin with? Same goes for television. If what you’re watching is mediocre enough that you have to eat to make the experience more enjoyable; then maybe there’s something better you could be doing.

A great way to stop the snacking habit is to get busy. Do something that requires action. Trying to snack while you’re riding a bike or jogging is tricky. Can you eat nachos while you’re playing tennis?

Reprogram your brain. Fill your extra time with activities instead of snacking.