Of movies and bad habits...

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    Of movies and bad habits...

    I have developed this habit of eating while we (me and my husband) watch a movie after dinner.

    And it's all hunky dory and everything - except it's not. And I need to stop doing it because its just before bed, and I'm not even hungry when I do it. It's just boredom eating - a compulsion.

    Any advice?? It's usually tea, popcorn and an apple. And later it might be followed by a sandwich.

    If I try not doing it... I just can't stop thinking about it until I give in and eat something.

    #2
    I would think of a different option. It is possible that your body wants something and just is conditioned to think of something that it knows.

    Generally speaking if I am hungry I try to kill it with a nut butter first, as those things are packed with nutrition. Not saying that it would work for everyone, but if you did the sandwich first with a nut butter then it might work better.

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      #3
      Nevetharine, well, maybe you should just replace usual snacks with healthy analogs? Like celery, wheat bran, cucumbers, pears, nuts, seeds etc. Tea is not a bad option unless there's too much sugar in it; chicken sandwich is not bad too. This way you could add more vitamins and fibers to your ration without much trouble.

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        #4
        You may not even need to replace it with healthier food. Since it is just a compulsion, try filling a water bottle and keeping that with you while you watch a movie, that way every time you feel the impulse, you crack open the bottle and down a couple of ounces. I find that ice-cold water can soothe an eating impulse sometimes.

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          #5
          Nevetharine , here's something to consider. You have a good understanding of this. It sounds like "habit eating". Breaking the stimulus/response might help.

          When you sit down to watch the movie, drink 2xs the water/tea, then wait 15 minutes. Consciously remind yourself, the snacks will still be there in 15 minutes. When the time is over, enjoy the popcorn and apple but eat them sllloooooowwwlllyyyy. Drink lots of water too.

          Over the following days, extend the time further: 20, 25, 30 minutes, etc.

          Remember, enjoy the popcorn and apple after the waiting time. It's not about denying yourself but about breaking a habit (if that's what it is 😋).

          When you find that you can put it off at least an hour, then see if you can watch the movie w/o feeling that nagging sense that you need the popcorn and apple.

          I hope this helps. It works for those who want to quit smoking, so it's been tested.

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            #6
            Great advices already.. I wanna just share my very first thought to your post: I'm sure there are a ton of people who would be proud of themselves if their "problem" is drinking tea, eating popcorn (probably without sugar) and eating an apple in front of the TV... But of course it's great to set goals and try to reach them

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              #7
              Thanks for all the responses! Lot's of good advice. Specially thanks for the ideas on breaking the habit stimuli. That's what I was looking for - because I know how the habit loop works but I wasn't sure how to change this one. I'd tried reducing the treats by small amounts but that didn't work so well.

              And yes, I suppose the foods I snack on are quite healthy, but I'd rather not be mindlessly eating if you know what I mean. They do add unneccessary calories. The apple and popcorn are fine sometimes - but more often than not they also lead to a peanut butter sandwich which is basically a fourth meal.

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