Diet Tip: Divert and Redirect

There are lots of reasons why people head to the kitchen to eat.  Sometimes they are hungry or thirsty.  Sometimes it can be from habit or boredom.  And sometimes it can be it can be from an emotional response or just feeling off.  I cannot tell you how many times I headed for a cookie because I was struggling with starting a hard project or just not feeling myself.  Even though a cookie might make me feel better for a fleeting moment, I often feel worse because I was eating junk food.  Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between eating when hungry and eating for other reasons.  So what can you do?

If you are not really hungry then all you need is a short diversion.  Just like with my three year old daughter, if we can change her focus for just a little while, she will often forget what she was fighting for in the first place.  The same trick can be used with dieting.  Here is how it might work.  When you head to the kitchen to get a snack, drink a big glass of water instead.  Then leave the kitchen and do something you like for twenty minutes like shop online, watch a few videos, or play a distracting game.  Any activity will work so long as you spend about twenty minutes doing it.  Most of the time you will find that you have forgotten all about the snack.  And if you don't, well then maybe you really needed it.  Either way you will have won a small victory by waiting and won't feel as bad when you do eat the snack.

Using this method might be difficult while at work since most bosses, including myself, frown on playing games or watching videos while you should be working.  But there are other productive ways to distract yourself.  You could take a brief walk while thinking about how you might tackle that tough project or you might take on a different small project that will feel good when completed.  The truth is it doesn't matter what you do as long as you are not thinking about eating a cookie.  And if you still eat the cookie, well then you earned it by at least having the discipline to make yourself wait twenty minutes.  Maybe next time you will forget the cookie altogether!