Fork-Free Hobbies

After a long day at work, at school, in the car or {insert daily obligation here}, your energy reserves and brain power have been thoroughly zapped. You manage to squeeze in a quick workout, grab dinner, knock out some laundry and maybe answer a few emails—and then before you know it, you find yourself halfway through a bag of chips, a pint of ice-cream or maybe just a few too many crackers with hummus. You’re not quite sure how or why you started eating in the first place…after all, dinner was just an hour or two ago, and you’re certainly not hungry. It’s just that for the first time all day, you finally have some down time, your phone has stopped ringing, no one is clamoring for your attention, your mind is wandering aimlessly and the food is just right there. If this scenario sounds all too familiar, you’re not alone. Studies have shown that people are much more likely to crave food—particularly sugary and fatty snacks—when they’re bored. After observing participants who were intentionally subjected to periods of boredom, scientists found that the people chose to eat as a way to break the monotony, not necessarily to enjoy the taste or to satisfy any degree of hunger.

If boredom is eating up your goals, the best strategy is to occupy your mind and body with thoughts and activities that have nothing to do with food. (Note: This only applies when you’re not physically hungry—if your body is giving you clear cues that it’s time to fuel up, you shouldn’t deprive it of the sustenance it needs.) So, next time your belly is full and your calendar is empty, try some of these fork-free ways to fill up those idle hours. (Source) 

 

Online Hobbies:

  • Start a blog/vlog about something you are passionate about
  • Buy and Re-Sell clothes online 
    • With your rapid weight loss this could be a great way to clean out your closet and make a little extra money
    • Facebook Marketplace, Mercari, Poshmark, and Craigslist are just a few options
  • Listen to a new podcast
    • Try to find something that inspires you, makes you laugh, or makes you feel good
  • Join a support group
    • There are so many online support groups that are very welcoming and helpful
    • There are also many bariatric support groups – click here to join ours. 

Hobbies to Save Money:

  • Thrift Shopping
    • This is a great way to save money on clothes while you are losing weight, find hidden treasures, and create a unique wardrobe
  • Couponing
    • Who doesn’t love saving money on every day household products and groceries?
  • Budgeting
    • Make a monthly/weekly budget to lay out expenses and keep your finances in line
  • Clean out that storage room or closet you’ve been meaning to and have a garage sale

Hobbies for the Social Butterfly:

  • Start a club
    • Wine tasting club, book club, art club, movie club, board game club etc.
  • Start a bowling league
  • Go to a weekly trivia night
  • Check out your local farmers market
    • This is a perfect way to save money on fresh organic produce and find unique craft vendors
  • Go to a weekly bingo night

Self-Care Hobbies:

  • Have a DIY spa day at home
    • Give yourself a facial, pedicure or manicure – Fact: you can’t open a bag of chips when you have wet nails
  • Go get a massage
  • Soak up some vitamin D – this can be a walk outside on a sunny winter day or an hour at the pool
  • Tap into your spiritual side – This would mean praying, meditating or just connecting with nature, anything that can sooth your soul
  • Take a hot bath

Outdoor Hobbies:

  • Start a garden 
  • Go camping with friends or family
  • Take your dog on a walk
  • Hunting
  • Fishing
  • Ride your bike around the neighborhood
  • Go sledding with your kids/grand-kids
  • Try skiing/snowboarding

Hobbies to Get More Active:

  • Try yoga at home or join a yoga studio
    • This can decrease stress and anxiety, take tension off the body, and reduce inflammation and chronic pain
  • Find a low-intensity workout class that works with your lifestyle
    • Zumba, Pilates, hot yoga, water aerobics etc.
  • Go swimming
  • Sign up for a race
    • 5k, 10k, etc
  • Go for a hike
  • Challenge yourself with indoor rock climbing

Hobbies that Sharpen the Mind:

  • Start a jigsaw puzzle
  • Learn new playing card games
  • Listen to an audio book
    • This is great during long drives when you’d otherwise be tempted to snack
  • Learn how to draw or paint
  • Play board games with friends or family
    • You could start a weekly board game night
  • Learn a new language it’s never too late!

Hobbies for the Adventurer: 

  • Map out your next vacation
    • Have you always wanted to go on a cruise – whats holding you back?
  • Try canoeing or kayaking
    • peaceful way to connect with nature and be active

Organizational/Cleaning Hobbies:

  • Vacuum out your car
  • Plan next week’s meals
    • put today’s cravings to good use by applying them (in a healthy way) to your future menu
  • Write down or track everything you’ve eaten so far today
    • this will help you be aware of your daily nutrition and avoid snacking
  • Empty out your kitchen cabinets
    • This is a great way to start fresh
    • Pitch or donate what you haven’t used and organize what’s left
  • Clean out different areas of your house one room at a time
    • you will be surprised how satisfying this is
  • Rearrange some furniture to give your house a new feel/look
  • Pack a donation box
    • When cleaning out various rooms look for items you haven’t used in the past year and create a package to donate to your local shelter or thrift shop

Hobbies for the Creative Mind:

  • Start some DIY home projects
    • spice up a room with a coat of paint or some new decorations
  • Make your own:
    • jewelry, candles, soap, etc
  • Start scrap-booking
    • You could do vacation albums, albums for your kids, or even make albums for friends and family as gifts
    • You could also make a transformation album of yourself to track your progress
  • Take a studio art class
    • learn to paint, do pottery, draw, etc.
  • Take up knitting, sewing, quilting, or cross-stitching
  • Do craft projects with your kids

Hobbies for the Music Lover:

  • Learn to play a new instrument
  • Join a singing choir 
  • Collect music
    • Start a record collection
  • Go to concerts

Leadership Hobbies:

  • Become a coach
    • This a great way to coach a sport or activity you love while potentially earning some extra income
  • Become a tutor
  • Join a board or committee and make a difference
  • Become a mentor to a group or an individual that needs guidance

Miscellaneous Hobbies:

  • Rescue a dog
    • Dogs can help reduce stress and are a great way to get some additional exercise by taking them on a walk
  • Become a pool/billiards pro
  • Learn how to throw darts
  • Create a family tree
  • Visit local museums
  • Start a collection
    • Snow globs, coins, vintage bar ware, records, postage stamps, etc.

 

If you feel you are caught up in emotional eating and would benefit from therapeutic assistance to help identify the root causes for your eating behaviors, please feel free to contact The Bariatric Center of Kansas City at 913-677-6319 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Coker or Dr. Sabapathy to help guide you to healthier eating behaviors and practices! 

 

Sources: 

https://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=40_things_to_do_instead_of_eat_when_youre_bored