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How to manage bad eating habits that surface when you’re bored
This very official statement is something that often proceeds a sugar gremlin moment.
To be bored
So what does it mean ?
Officially – in this specific moment, you’re feeling somewhat dissatisfied, a little restless and unchallenged.
In a word, you have NO PURPOSE.
The fix……….. you need to do something more meaningful.
You do have options.
You could read something, watch something or eat something.
- Reading something – is too much work.
- Watching something – what ? Finding the right something, is potentially too much work.
- Eat something. Definitely the most appealing option.
So what should you eat ?
A sugar gremlin moment
It’s not going to be salad.
You’re seeking meaning. To feel more meaningful you need to FEEL something.
Eating a salad, might be more healthy, but it doesn’t FEEL fun. Eating a slice of lemon meringue pie. Feels FUN. Feels decadent. Feels sensational.
You’ve just indulged in a sugar gremlin moment.
A bad habit
This moment, wasn’t driven by biology, this sugar gremlin moment is a bad habit. You ran your bored habit loop.
The CUE – feeling bored
The ROUTINE – eat something sensational
The REWARD – the taste and texture of lemon meringue pie, need I say more.
Is there an alternative ?
Habit loops need to be re-written
You cannot delete a habit loop…………
When you experience the CUE, you will execute a routine.
The current routine is to eat something EXCITING. EXCITING and UNHEALTHY.
What if you went for EXCITING and HEALTHY ?
Actually, highly do-able.
A group of researchers from the University of Limerick in Ireland demonstrated it can be done without applying heap loads of psychology.
Watching paint dry
The team enrolled 44 university students in a study that required students to watch paint dry or cry.
The students were assigned to watch a fish based movie. The movie came with snacks.
- The watch paint dry group – endured 15 minutes of how to set up a fish farm. FUN STUFF !
- The cry group – watched a clip on dolphin abuse. OUCH !
The accompanying movie snacks included
- A bowl of sweets
- A bowl of cherry tomatoes
- A plate of crackers
It was a case of eat as much as you like of the snacks. Of course…………………. there is no such thing as a free lunch. The team carefully tallied up, what was/wasn’t eaten.
Now this is exciting
The food choices had been carefully selected to provide
FUN and HEALTH.
- The sweets were the FUN and UNHEALTHY option
- The crackers were the NOT so FUN, but HEALTHY option and
- The tomatoes were the FUN and HEALTHY option.
There was a run on the tomatoes in the group who watched the seriously BORING movie.
Confirming BOREDOM causes people to reach into the feeding bowl, but SUGAR is not the driver, FUN is. If it’s FUN it can and will be consumed.
Averting sugar gremlin moments
The lesson – IT CAN BE DONE.
When the I AM BORED cue sounds and you’re going to run the EAT SOMETHING routine.
If you include an option of a FUN HEALTHY FOOD – the healthy food can be selected, thus avoiding the sugar gremlin moment.
There is no need to feel embarrassed at the fact that you have doodled a masterpiece during a boring presentation, the doodling actually kept you focused.
Eating green leafy vegetables causes sugar gremlins to turn a little GREEN. And when your sugar gremlin turns green, it is not in the mood for MORE SUGAR.
Your brain is not the only organ weighing in on culinary decisions, your tongue’s preferences impact too. So what does the tongue like ? Soft and smooth, please
Interested in learning more about the chemistry behind “I am hungry for nice things”
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