Do you eat out of boredom?


Chips, pizza, ice cream and so much more. While locked in at home, there isn’t much to do. Especially during a worldwide pandemic. Houses with stocked pantries and bored families are a recipe for unhealthy eating habits. There are both physical and mental consequences that come with such habits. While there are some people, such as athletes and fitness lovers, who work out most days, there are also those who don’t play sports and who might not know what to do with their time.

“It’s pretty simple, calories should not exceed calories out. When this happens, you gain weight and not good weight. [Y]ou want to treat metabolism like a furnace. You keep the fire going by movement (heat), then when you throw fuel into the fire, it gets burned up. If you’re not moving, fuel doesn’t get burned and is stored as fat. Sitting is also bad for you physically, try to avoid it and get up and move. Find stuff to do. There is plenty of time to explore new things. Cleaning your room is better than sitting around!” Athletic trainer Russ Schellhase said.

“Eating out of boredom can have a lot of physical consequences, especially when you’re in season. If you aren’t eating what you should be before and after games, it can cause you to feel sick and fatigued. All it takes is one bad day for someone to take your spot. Instead of eating out of boredom, you can drink a glass of water or distract yourself with something else. Make sure you’re still practicing and focusing on getting to where you want to be,” sophomore Bridget Trainor added.

As you can see, there are many other things you can physically do in order to keep from overeating and forming these bad habits. But there are more than just physical aspects of this situation. There is a mental side to this issue as well.

“Eating when bored is used as a way to cope, as snacking raises levels of dopamine in your brain! Simply said, eating out of boredom increases a person’s level of dopamine, which is known as the ‘happy hormone’ and is responsible for experiencing happiness. Also, eating when bored can help as a distraction from the experience of being bored. Often, we will continuously snack because it provides short term excitement and breaks up the monotony of boredom,” Prevention and Wellness Coordinator Amy Winkelman said.

“If you gain a lot of weight by eating out of boredom, you might have negative views of your body, which can cause a lot of stress. In order to keep from being bored, start a new hobby, or continue doing old ones. Reading books can be good, but also talk to your friends,” sophomore Olivia Field said.

During this time, there are many physical and mental activities that you can do to keep from being bored, and eating should not be one of them. Whether you go for a walk or run or you plug your headphones in and paint, there’s always something you can do to keep yourself occupied when you’re bored.