50 Things To Do Instead of Eating


Like anything else, overeating is a habit. It's easy for us food lovers to get fixated on food, and look forward to meal time. Enjoying eating is fine, unless of course you are overeating. Sometimes we eat just because we love to eat, or because we're bored it's “something to do”. Or we eat because we think we should (it's lunchtime, or others are eating).

Sometimes changing the habit of overeating is as easy as getting used to doing something else instead of eating as a pastime. And if you have something to DO, you're less likely to sit around and nosh.

If you are struggling with overeating, here's my list of 50 things you can do instead of eating. These are just some ideas to inspire you — maybe one of my ideas will make you think of something else you'd like to do.

Notice that I did not include “watch TV” on the list because it is too easy to mindlessly snack while watching TV. Also, note that these are not all things to do that burn calories. There are lots of things you can do that are just fun and enjoyable — that take your mind off of eating.

50 Things To Do Instead of Eating

1. Go for a walk. I do my best to get in 10,000 steps or more each day.
2. Lift weights.
3. Go swimming.
4. Read a book. (Best if you can listen to an audiobook while you walk or exercise or garden.)
5. Work. (If you tend to eat at your desk, institute a new rule that you can only eat when you're not working.)
6. Take a bubble bath. This is a great habit to get into at night, instead of sitting in front of the TV, where you are likely to be tempted to snack.)
7. Go rollerblading.
8. Ride a bike.
9. Take a yoga class.
10. Swing the kettlebell.
11. Clean out your closet. If you're losing weight, it's a good idea to box up some clothes you won't be needing anymore.
12. Go for a jog. I never thought I'd enjoy running, but I'm starting this week to learn how to do barefoot running.
13. Listen to an audiobook while you do something else (do the dishes, organize your closet, or what-have-you).
14. Take a dance class.
15. Take a language class — learn Spanish or French or Chinese. If you can't afford a class, join a local Meetup.com group.
16. Do a jigsaw puzzle — this is a fun thing to do with kids.
17. Go for a hike.
18. Go camping for the weekend. It's not so easy to overeat while camping — since you can control what you pack and what you prepare (and food preparation takes some effort).
19. Go see a movie. Skip the popcorn — bring a bottle of water only.
20. Start a garden. Not only does gardening burn a lot of calories, but it's a great feeling to grow your own food. If you don't have a place to garden at home, look into joining a community garden.
21. Work on your tan. I love the feeling of being tan, and it's great for getting vitamin D. I'm committed to taking 10-30 minutes every day in the summer to sitting outside and getting sunshine (this can also be done while gardening).
22. Volunteer. There are lots of volunteer opportunities online.
23. Raise chickens.
24. Play with your kids. Throw a ball, play Barbies, go swimming, read them stories.
25. Go to the library.
26. Plan a trip. Maybe you can't afford to go for another year or two, but you can start planning and saving now.
27. Buy a rental property. Instead of spending your weekends lounging around in front of the TV and snacking, go to open houses. Maybe you can't afford to buy a property right now, but you could start looking around and saving your money to invest.
28. Finish your degree. Maybe you never got your college degree, or you want to get an advanced degree.
29. Shop for new clothes. You don't have to buy anything — just look and think about what you will get when you lose weight.
30. Play chess.
31. Do crossword puzzles.
32. Learn to knit.
33. Take up photography.
34. Learn to program computers.
35. Stain some furniture or paint a room.
36. Plan a kitchen remodel. Again, maybe you can't afford it right now, but you can start dreaming and planning.
37. Plan a family reunion.
38. Take up quilting or sewing.
39. Do sudoku.
40. Clean out the garage.
41. Have a garage sale.
42. Take a spinning class.
43. Work with a trainer at a gym.
44. Take up surfing.
45. Get a part-time job doing something you enjoy or want to learn more about. Maybe you can work at a nursery and learn about plants or teach a yoga class.
46. Start a home business. You could teach piano or be a tutor, or start an Etsy shop. You can use the extra money you earn to do on vacation or save it to invest in real estate.
47. Read all the classics. Work your way through all the classic literature you missed in high school and college. (Again, best if you can listen to the audiobooks while you do something else.)
48. Get a rebounder. Burn calories while you watch TV or listen to audiobooks.
49. Take a martial arts class. Nothing like getting a black belt to get your self esteem up!
50. Take up rock climbing.

Photo credit: Hiking on Flickr
Disclosure: cmp.ly/4 and cmp.ly/5

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Ann Marie Michaels

I have 25 years of experience in digital and online media & marketing. I started my career in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, working at some of the world’s top ad agencies. In 2007, after my first child was born, I started this little food blog which I grew to over 250K monthly unique website visitors and over 350K social media followers. For nearly 15 years, I've helped my audience of mostly moms and women 25-65 cook for their families and live a healthier lifestyle.

 The year after I started the blog, I founded a blog network in the health & wellness space called Village Green Network. I started the company on my coffee table and bootstrapped the business to over $1.3 million in annual revenue within 5 years. During that time, I helped a number of our bloggers become six figure earners. After being censored on almost every social media platform for telling the After being censored on almost every social media platform from Facebook and Instagram to Pinterest and Twitter, and being deplatformed on Google, I am now deployed as a digital soldier, writing almost exclusively about politics on my blog Cheeseslave.com. Because who can think about food when we are fighting the second revolutionary war and third world war? Don't worry, there will be more recipes one day. After the war is over.

11 thoughts on “50 Things To Do Instead of Eating

  1. Great ideas! I always think giving myself a mani/pedi is a great substitute for eating. I can’t eat with wet fingernails.

  2. Can you explain what you mean when you say “swing the kettlebell” please? My husband has one, but I have NO CLUE what one would do with it. It is a mystery to me. I am not in shape, nor am I very strong, but I think I could do something with it if I knew what exactly I was supposed to be doing…

    1. Here are some free workouts you can use:


  3. If you are hungry, you should eat. Not distract yourself from the hunger. I’m really disappointed in the direction your blog is going Ann-Marie. I’m not sure what the heck happened that caused you to suddenly go this way, but it is sad. This is the last time I’ll be visiting.

      1. I just re-read this. She doesn’t say anything about ignoring hunger. Its about doing something else instead of eating when you’re NOT hungry. As someone who struggles with eating when I’m bored, stressed, and/ or lonely and not hungry, i appreciate the suggestions. If I only ate when I was hungry, I know i’d be at a healthier weight. The suggestions are helpful.

    1. Yuppers… sure if you are eating when you are not in the least bit hungry (and many people don’t feel hungry from past undereating) then that would be a problem. But seeking ways to eat under 1,000 calories a day- even 2,000 for the vast majority of women. Nope, not healthy.

    2. So I agree with Jbug. Nowhere does she talk about ignoring hunger. In the post she is talking about over-eating. She is also not discussing calorie counts. Unless she had another blog post that I didn’t see, I don’t know what the concern is.

  4. Thanks!!! 🙂 I eat A LOT and I need to lose weight because I have a dance Friday, and summer is coming and I want to wear a cute bikini!!!! 😀 😉

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