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5 ways to stop mindless eating when working from home

How do you stop mindless eating? Here is 5 way to overcome this when you have more access to food when you are working from home.


Hi guys, it’s Cameron here from Core Health Coaching. Hope you’re having a good night and isolation is not sapping your energy or your mental energy anyway. Look, we’ve got a really great question today from one of our clients that is working from home. And I thought it’d be really good to just address that in this format so everyone could actually benefit from the answer. And it was around mindless eating at home. She’s finding that she’s actually eating a lot more. So obviously there’s access to it, but there’s a couple of reasons why that actually happens. So I didn’t want to just sort of say, “Hey look, just stop doing it”, because that’s not really the answer. That’s a discipline sort of approach and when you’ve got access to all the time might not be the right answer.

1. You might be thirsty

So the first one is that as a technique is have an understanding that when you’re actually hungry, it might not be the hunger that’s the issue. You might be thirsty. So before you actually grab any food, what I actually want you to do is actually think about having a glass of water first. And you may find that hunger actually dissipates. As the body sometimes gets that feeling between hunger and hydration confused because it might be under hydrated and that thirst mechanism isn’t switched on. So that’s the first thing that I would say is before you actually eat something, have a glass of water and that may change that desire for hunger.

2. You might be bored 

So the second one is obviously when we’re sitting at home, sometimes we might be extending our day out, we might be a little bit bored, okay? So when we’re sort of bored is where we’re not really thinking, we’re saying, “Okay, what else do we need to do”? Sometimes we’re look at food as a bit of a stimulant to feel good to pick me up, because that’s what food does.

There’s a reason why we like chocolates. It makes us feel good. It stimulates us, and actually then that’s one of the reasons what we’re looking for is when we’re actually kind of bored. So that’s not the case for everyone. But that could be the case. And the thing with that is then to do something different, okay?

So it’s a trigger about doing something different. And what that might be is just doing some squats. Just doing something that might be go out in the backyard and run up and down some stairs. So it’s just doing something different than going to the pantry or the fridge, okay? So most people will have a preference, either pantry or fridge. But it’s when you’re actually in that mindless eating sort of component. Just thinking about doing something different.

So we talked about the water, we’ve talked about actually doing something different. Maybe some exercise. Could be actually phoning a friend or something along those lines. Hey Rob, how are you mate, thanks for joining us.

3. You might be stressed

So the next one is actually the complete opposite of being bored. What we might be is actually increased stress. So when we’re actually sitting in a chair, it might not seem like we’re doing a lot of exercise, but we’re using a lot of mental power and the brain actually uses a lot of our nutrition and it’s looking for sugars to pick me up, okay?

So we might be, because we’re sitting there for longer is that we’re actually looking for a pick me up again and what I would sort of suggest is that those two things in regards to water, a little bit of exercise, even some vitamin stuff. I love concept of Berocca but like you know, it’s about a pick me up sort of stuff and vitamin B, vitamin B6 and B12 are really good around stress, so they’re really good to have.

Any foods that are really high in magnesium are really good around relaxing, but it might just be stopping and having a cup of herbal tea just to break that mindset of feeling overwhelmed or just feeling in denial about how much stuff you’ve got to do. I know I’ve been experiencing that in the last couple of weeks and in talking to my wife tonight, she’s definitely in that space as well.

So the third reason why you might be having that mindless eating is in kind of increased stress. We talked about being bored and then also that your body might actually be thirsty rather than hungry.

4. Access to junk food (swap)

Another one is about access, okay, look, I’m all or nothing type in regards to my personality. So if I’ve got chips or if I’ve got Coke or something in the fridge or in the cupboard mate, not a lot’s going to stop me.

So the thing is to really deny access to a lot of that. I’m lazy enough not to go out and get it. And especially with isolation and you probably won’t. But at the same time is if it’s not in the cabinet, okay, you can’t eat it. So have those healthy treats as substitutions because if you haven’t got access to the garbage sort of stuff then you’re going to have something else. So as an example, if you like that salty sort of flavour is what you might do, is actually have some root vegetable chips. So there’s beetroot, kale chips that you can actually get from health food shops that have that sea salt, which is a better quality salt anyway. So, and that’s actually might be when you’re stressed.

So when you’re actually eating of course, is make sure that you’re very mindful about that. So don’t go back down to the computer and in front of the front of the computer is because what’s happening is that your taste buds aren’t going to stimulate and the brain is not going to recognise you’ve had food and all of a sudden you’re going to have a whole packet of chips even before you know it. So if you’re going to take a break, sit somewhere, really enjoy the food you’re going to have, even if it’s garbage food, enjoy it because then the body’s actually going to feel like it’s actually had some food, okay?

So that fourth point is around access is if you’ve got access to it, you have to be disciplined. And to be honest, I’m not that good. So it’s kind of like if it’s there, man, I’m in trouble. If it’s not, I’m not in trouble. So just think about that as that the fight is actually not in the moment. The fight is actually when you go to shops and say, “Oh look, I’ll buy that packet of chips or I’ll have that chocolate, I’ll put it in the cupboard or the fridge just in case”. And what do you know just in case happens the following day. All right?

So that’s if you’ve got some discipline issues. I know some people that are awesome in that space and congratulations, but they’re not the ones that we’re probably talking to with this.

5. Mindful Eating

It’s about that mindless eating that you’re not even really thinking about it. And that’s my last point is that if it’s mindless eating, you’re not thinking about it is to actually then go into mindfulness. So a couple of triggers for you around being able to switch on your brain is on your cupboard, on your fridge is put some sort of like note, like stop or think, or do I need it?

So that what happens is in before you open the cupboard, you’re looking at this thing saying, stop and then it might be okay, I want to do some squats or I want to grab a drink of water before you then grab that food. So what that does is switch on your brain just saying, okay, well do I really want this? And the answer generally is no. But then what happens is you can then make a considered thought rather than a mindless thought.

So hopefully that has actually helped you in regards to that additional eating that might be happening through isolation and lockdown. So, but there’s the five things there we’re talking about. You might be actually thirsty, you might be bored, you might be stressed, you’ve got access to it, so don’t rely on your discipline. And the last one there is about being mindful in relation to making those choices. So giving yourself time to actually stop thinking about it and making a better rational decision. So hopefully those points help. So have a great night and hopefully we’re not going to the fridge in the cupboard as much as we have been. So goodnight.


Cameron Corish

Cameron Corish has been caring and achieving results for the local Wishart, Mansfield and Mt Gravatt community for over 10 years. Together with the Core Health Coaching Team, he takes a multi-disciplined and holistic approach to health and fitness addressing the physical, mental and emotional aspects of one’s health.  

Ready to feel and look your best?  Book a time for a FREE chat and see how we can make a difference in your life.  Book here or email Cameron at


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