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How Do You Unwind without Food/Netflix?

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  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,002 Member Member Posts: 39,002 Member
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Thoin wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I find more and more that I need to unwind mentally after work or when I have been around people for a couple hours. My go-to is to turn on Netflix and eat. Once I turn the TV on, I find it really difficult to turn it off and therefore spend 4 hours just sitting in front of the TV. I hate a quiet house at night.

    During that time, I find it hard to stop eating. I'll be full, have had a treat, and have had sufficient calories for the day, but just want to keep eating. I think Netflix is a bit of a trigger and I want to break the habit.

    I go for a 30 minute walk, but just haven't found anything that helps me to unwind. What do you do?

    This may be way off but sometimes it has to do with depression or something. I have found myself trying to fill a void with food many times.

    Also I found I wanted food when watching Netflix. I basically trained my body to want food when I watch it because that's when I would eat. I think it was a reward system that my body grew used to. I needed to relax and eating and watching netflix was a great way to do that. However I also use food as a comfort system.

    Thanks! I don't find that I am depressed, but I do find myself to be more anxious than normal. I feel like I am trying to feed something in my brain to release that "Ahhhh" feeling. I went to the doctor this morning to get bloodwork to make sure all of my hormones are working properly.

    That is likely very habit driven...both the behavior as well as the psychological "release". Unfortunately, breaking habits suck. I experienced the same when I quit drinking...I was at a loss as to what to do our how to "unwind" in the evening without drinking. There is a lot going on there subconsciously and there is some retraining that has to take place and unfortunately, that isn't the most comfortable thing in the world.

    For alcohol I did a lot of cognitive behavior reading and journaling and saw a therapist for a short time as well...though I think I would have gone along just fine with the reading itself and journaling. I've heard of people doing this with food stuff as well.

    How long did it take to break that habit? I definitely think it is my habit and normally I am seeking out some type of sugar for that mental release. For the 100th time, I have removed all sweets from my house because I just can't handle them in moderation right now. I will eat them until there is none left.

    My first week sober was pretty tough. The first thing I used to do when I walked in the door was to pop open a beer and poor a shot. That first week or so, I really didn't know what to do with myself and was pretty uncomfortable. From there things just got easier by the day. After my first 3-4 weeks it was much easier and was no longer the first thought in my head when I arrived home. I'll be going on 90 days here and I rarely think about it now except for implicit social situations where others are drinking...but I don't really think about it on the day to day anymore. Even when others around me are partaking, it has become much easier...I will usually have an initial craving that passes fairly quickly when I turn my attention to something else...but also, after about an hour or so people start acting...well...drunk, and it's very interesting watching while sober and generally leaves me with an even lesser desire to drink as I know exactly how foolish I can be when I'm inebriated.

    Fortunately, I have a lot of other things that take my time and focus so it was probably easier for me to pivot to just concentrating more on those things and less on drinking. I do have to keep myself busy though...if I go just hang out on the patio for hours those cravings will kick in...I have to keep occupied.
  • wunderkindkingwunderkindking Member Posts: 347 Member Member Posts: 347 Member
    Knitting.

    I already knit when I watch TV. I can't knit and put food in my mouth.
  • Speakeasy76Speakeasy76 Member Posts: 456 Member Member Posts: 456 Member
    I can relate to this. This is also the time of day when I can be uninterrupted, which with of all us being home a lot, I think I needed more downtime. My habit was to drink a glass of wine and eat plain mini Triscuits. I, too, found it soothing--the wine and the crunching/chewing.

    I did make room for the wine and crackers in my daily allowances, although did quit for a time. I also don't drink a glass of wine every night. I tell myself I should just portion out the crackers and then put the rest away, but again, I think it's become a bad habit and association with sitting down at night to "unwind." I also have gotten into the habit of an earlier bedtime with a wind down time before bed, because I've really been trying to make sleep a priority, too. Therefore, maybe will watch 2 hours of TV at most, as I have a cut-off time. I also have outside dance classes 2 nights a week that keep me from it a bit. Maybe some kind of alternative hobby for you could be an idea?

    I am going to be forced to cut out this habit tomorrow, though, as I'm starting an elimination diet for food sensitivities. I'm curious and a bit anxious about this for many reasons, but am wondering what my anxiety will be like at night.

  • Theoldguy1Theoldguy1 Member Posts: 1,722 Member Member Posts: 1,722 Member
    The gym/exercise, reading. TV to excess is the devil :).
  • AnnPT77AnnPT77 Member, Premium Posts: 19,498 Member Member, Premium Posts: 19,498 Member
    I'm probably not the best person to comment, because frankly I find I don't have the attention span any more to just sit and *watch*, with food or without, whether in my obese phase or now. I do usually have podcasts or in-depth radio reportage (not shouty-people news!) or music on in the background.

    I think some of the things I find soothing or relaxing might not be so for others, but I'll mention some just in case: * Learning to play a musical instrument;
    * Working on sketching, visual journaling, or other similar stuff (for clarity, this is not "therapeutic journaling", it's just random fun creative play; coloring could work for some people);
    * Stretching or foam rolling, or "small-sized" exercises like squishing a hand-strengthening ball, rolling Chinese exercise balls in my palm, etc.;
    * Warm shower or bath;
    * Crafts of whatever sort (I make jewelry, crochet, sew, . . . .).

    Some of the things on the list above could be done while (mostly) watching Netflix. It's always easier (IMO) to break an undesired habit like Netflix+snack by replacing it with a different/more desired habit, so in this case maybe something like Netflix+knit or whatever. As snack/food replacement habits, I often suggest people seek out things that either require clean hands (like the needlework or coloring) or create dirty hands (like painting or carpentry).
  • penguinmama87penguinmama87 Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member Member, Premium Posts: 267 Member
    I really like hobbies and leisure activities that "make" something or have some kind of tangible result. I embroider, garden, and cook and bake (be careful here, though!) I like to organize, too, which some people would find horrible but I find it soothing to see everything tidy, plus it makes the rest of my life run more smoothly! As others have mentioned I read a lot, and will listen to audiobooks when my hands are busy or while on a run or walk if I'm alone. It doesn't always occur to me, but being outside is also a big mood lifter, so anything I can do just as well outside as in I try to.
  • TrainerRobinTrainerRobin Member, Premium Posts: 509 Member Member, Premium Posts: 509 Member
    There are all kinds of food-related associations we all have. Things that 'go together' in our minds. For you, snacking and Netflix go together. To simplify it, you have two choices -- either work to break this association or modify it so it doesn't negatively impact your weight loss journey. Most folks find it easier and more durable to modify the habit ...

    If you know you're going to eat while watching television, plan for that. Know what you are going to eat while binging on your favorite show, and plan that into your day. Find foods that you already love that are less calorie dense (think frozen grapes instead of chips or nuts). Denser foods will fill you up faster and even if you're in the 'mindlessly munching' mode, a pile of super chill carrot sticks in ice water and a pile of frozen grapes will eventually signal you that you've had enough .... whereas chips (calorie-dense foods) can pack a serious calorie surplus that will derail your progress. Just rethink WHAT you eat and ensure that you plan for it so that even after you're full of Netflix and munchies, you're still on track.

    I'm sure there are thinks that are NOT calorie-dense that you love ... so you really CAN find a way to navigate this habit wisely instead of thinking you have to give it up altogether. :)
  • hiparihipari Member, Premium Posts: 1,118 Member Member, Premium Posts: 1,118 Member
    As a member of the Netflix tribe, I find that I need to keep my hands busy somehow, and using them to move food from plate to mouth is what I end up doing if my hands aren’t otherwise occupied. What I mostly do is play slow-paced games on my iPad while watching. When I say slow-paced, I mean puzzle/strategy games where time doesn’t matter and I can stop glancing at the game any time there’s something interesting happening on the tv that requires my full attention. These games range from solitaires, sudoku, Candy Crush etc to pretty much any kind of puzzle game. I do sometimes also enjoy coloring or working on a physical jigsaw puzzle while watching a show, but those are harder to do for longer periods of time without hurting my back or neck.
  • nanastaci2020nanastaci2020 Member Posts: 888 Member Member Posts: 888 Member
    Reading, taking a relaxing bath, walking.

    If you associate TV with eating, perhaps allow yourself shorter bouts of time to watch TV where you intentionally do NOT eat. Change the habits. Learn to knit or crochet, just to have something to do with your hands while watching TV perhaps. If a quiet house is a concern, turn on music?
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I find more and more that I need to unwind mentally after work or when I have been around people for a couple hours. My go-to is to turn on Netflix and eat. Once I turn the TV on, I find it really difficult to turn it off and therefore spend 4 hours just sitting in front of the TV. I hate a quiet house at night.

    During that time, I find it hard to stop eating. I'll be full, have had a treat, and have had sufficient calories for the day, but just want to keep eating. I think Netflix is a bit of a trigger and I want to break the habit.

    I go for a 30 minute walk, but just haven't found anything that helps me to unwind. What do you do?

  • cwolfman13cwolfman13 Member Posts: 39,002 Member Member Posts: 39,002 Member
    Theoldguy1 wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    Wife and I typically watch one of our shows every evening. With an 11 and 9 year old, we don't really have any time to "unwind" until the kids start making their way to bed which is around 8:00 or so. We usually sit down for our show around 8:30 or 9:00. That is also when I have my scheduled evening desert and my tea. I usually hit the rack around 10:00 and read for 30-60 minutes depending on how zonked I am. The reading before I go to sleep is way more unwindy than our show though. I honestly can't imagine having four hours of "free time" in the evenings...I could think of a million things I'd rather do than watch TV though...but I'd probably prefer that to helping with homework and such.

    Not to sound like the old person that has been there but to be honest, with grown kids now, I'd happily give up nighttime TV to have a few years back of helping with homework, volunteering at school activities, coaching, attending games etc. Never watched TV weekday evenings while they were growing up unless possibly an occasional special sporting event with the kids.

    Savor it, it will be gone soon.

    Oh, I love the coaching (assisted a few years ago with my oldest's flag football team) and games and practices and my kids are at a great age right now for hanging out with me and doing all kinds of fun "play" stuff...they even have me doing a few little tricks on my free style scooter at the skate park. A couple more years and they'll be too embarrassed to have their bald and gray haired dad doing bunny hops at the skate park in front of their friends. That stuff is actually a big reason I stopped doing a lot of cycling events and training and whatnot back in 2018/19...more time to just play and have fun with my kids and I still get a lot of exercise for it...I can always pick up where I left off with cycling when they don't want to play anymore. I'd play all day with them if I could...spent about 4 or 5 hours with them yesterday in the pool chasing them around and diving down for "treasure" before we all retired to the patio in exhaustion for some ham and scalloped potatoes.

    But I do hate homework...and the constant fighting to get it done...and procrastination...and the "I did it already" hoping I won't check...especially the common core math which ultimately makes sense to me conceptually, but it's so foreign to how I learned it that it takes me a long time to work something out when they need help.

    If we didn't have to do that, I'd be more than happy to head down to the soccer fields and kick the ball around or throw the football around or shoot hoops in the driveway. Soccer practice starts tonight and they just got bumped up to the premiere league and had to try out and such...so this should be fun.
    edited April 5
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 104 Member Member Posts: 104 Member
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    cwolfman13 wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    Thoin wrote: »
    JustaNoob wrote: »
    I find more and more that I need to unwind mentally after work or when I have been around people for a couple hours. My go-to is to turn on Netflix and eat. Once I turn the TV on, I find it really difficult to turn it off and therefore spend 4 hours just sitting in front of the TV. I hate a quiet house at night.

    During that time, I find it hard to stop eating. I'll be full, have had a treat, and have had sufficient calories for the day, but just want to keep eating. I think Netflix is a bit of a trigger and I want to break the habit.

    I go for a 30 minute walk, but just haven't found anything that helps me to unwind. What do you do?

    This may be way off but sometimes it has to do with depression or something. I have found myself trying to fill a void with food many times.

    Also I found I wanted food when watching Netflix. I basically trained my body to want food when I watch it because that's when I would eat. I think it was a reward system that my body grew used to. I needed to relax and eating and watching netflix was a great way to do that. However I also use food as a comfort system.

    Thanks! I don't find that I am depressed, but I do find myself to be more anxious than normal. I feel like I am trying to feed something in my brain to release that "Ahhhh" feeling. I went to the doctor this morning to get bloodwork to make sure all of my hormones are working properly.

    That is likely very habit driven...both the behavior as well as the psychological "release". Unfortunately, breaking habits suck. I experienced the same when I quit drinking...I was at a loss as to what to do our how to "unwind" in the evening without drinking. There is a lot going on there subconsciously and there is some retraining that has to take place and unfortunately, that isn't the most comfortable thing in the world.

    For alcohol I did a lot of cognitive behavior reading and journaling and saw a therapist for a short time as well...though I think I would have gone along just fine with the reading itself and journaling. I've heard of people doing this with food stuff as well.

    How long did it take to break that habit? I definitely think it is my habit and normally I am seeking out some type of sugar for that mental release. For the 100th time, I have removed all sweets from my house because I just can't handle them in moderation right now. I will eat them until there is none left.

    My first week sober was pretty tough. The first thing I used to do when I walked in the door was to pop open a beer and poor a shot. That first week or so, I really didn't know what to do with myself and was pretty uncomfortable. From there things just got easier by the day. After my first 3-4 weeks it was much easier and was no longer the first thought in my head when I arrived home. I'll be going on 90 days here and I rarely think about it now except for implicit social situations where others are drinking...but I don't really think about it on the day to day anymore. Even when others around me are partaking, it has become much easier...I will usually have an initial craving that passes fairly quickly when I turn my attention to something else...but also, after about an hour or so people start acting...well...drunk, and it's very interesting watching while sober and generally leaves me with an even lesser desire to drink as I know exactly how foolish I can be when I'm inebriated.

    Fortunately, I have a lot of other things that take my time and focus so it was probably easier for me to pivot to just concentrating more on those things and less on drinking. I do have to keep myself busy though...if I go just hang out on the patio for hours those cravings will kick in...I have to keep occupied.

    Awesome accomplishment! And a good lesson just allowing yourself to be uncomfortable... I think If I could get some solid time under my belt, then it wouldn't be quite so uncomfortable. I have had times were this wasn't a problem-- I didn't even own a TV until the past 3 years and 3 years ago I was successfully losing/maintaining weight loss! So I know it can be done.
  • JustaNoobJustaNoob Member Posts: 104 Member Member Posts: 104 Member
    AnnPT77 wrote: »
    As snack/food replacement habits, I often suggest people seek out things that either require clean hands (like the needlework or coloring) or create dirty hands (like painting or carpentry).

    Love this! It sounds like a lot of people keep their hands busy. I can crochet and play the guitar (ish)...
  • callsitlikeiseeitcallsitlikeiseeit Member Posts: 7,366 Member Member Posts: 7,366 Member
    I dont have the attention span to do ANYTHING for 4 hours (much less 4 hours of free time where i shouldn't be doing something else LOL)

    read
    get adult coloring books and cool markers/pencils
    sew
    crochet
    clean/organize
    take up a new hobby/ learn a new one
    Volunteer somewhere for a couple of those hours
    foster a dog (you'll never have free time again lol)
    garden (container gardening if you dont have land you can use)
    write letters to family and friends (people LOVE real mail!)
    digitize printed photos
    paint your walls new colors
    if you own your home, do home improvement projects

    those are just off the top of my head.
  • cbihattcbihatt Member Posts: 297 Member Member Posts: 297 Member
    I highly recommend a hobby, if you don't have one. Something you can do that will keep your mind busy (and maybe your hands), but is not a huge mental effort. Maybe try a few different things that have interested you, but felt you haven't had time for in the past. Read, play cards, do a puzzle, knit, paint, write in a journal, meditate, learn to play an instrument, do a crossword puzzle, learn wood carving, sculpting....whatever. Keep trying new things until you find the thing that is enjoyable and relaxing to you. It might take some trial and error.
  • littlegreenparrot1littlegreenparrot1 Member Posts: 480 Member Member Posts: 480 Member
    I walk for about an hour with audio books or podcasts.
    Spend time cooking, yoga/tai chi on youtube. Gym/swim if they are open where you are.

    A few months ago though I just decided I would not eat after dinner any more. I eat my dinner, usually have some dessert of some kind, clean everything up and that's it. Only tea for the rest of the evening. Occasionally I am ravenous and don't stick to it, but usually it doesn't bother me at all.
    It takes work to start with but you can create new habits.
  • NorthCascadesNorthCascades Member Posts: 10,222 Member Member Posts: 10,222 Member
    Bike ride.
  • scarlett_kscarlett_k Member Posts: 633 Member Member Posts: 633 Member
    It sounds like you're bored. Maybe you could try finding something to do that actively requires your attention and keeps your hands occupied. Crochet, cooking, painting, DIY? I usually watch/listen to stuff while I'm doing something else.
    edited April 7
  • AmunahSkiAmunahSki Member Posts: 54 Member Member Posts: 54 Member
    I like a Netflix fix... and to avoid snacking I brush & floss my teeth then go watch in bed - with just a nice cold glass of water.

    Do let us know if you tried any of these tips, and what has worked for you.
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