Kick Emotional Eating to the Curb
I’m sure we can all put our hands up to reaching for the ice cream tub, Bridget Jones style, during a bad break up, but continually being unable to say no to cravings at low times can be detrimental to your weight loss goals.
Comfort eating and food rewards are habits that have been instilled in us from a young age; when we cried as babies our mothers gave us milk, as an infant we were given sweets or ice cream as a treat if we were good or a reward if we were hurt, so it’s no surprise that we look to food as a comfort or reward when we are older as we have learned over time, that this will make us feel better.
Comfort eating is a temporary fix that can result in weight loss havoc, but don’t despair there are steps you can take to regain control of your eating habits.
- ANALYSE YOUR DIET: Keep a food and mood diary. Try writing down everything you eat for a week and note how you were feeling before you ate it, try to pinpoint what it is you need and aren’t getting.
- PLAN AHEAD: You can’t eat the chocolate bar if it’s not there! Remove the temptations from the cupboard and keep the fridge stocked with fresh fruit and vegetables that are quick to slice up and enjoy.
- FIND A DIFFERENT COMFORT: If you are eating because you are bored, find another way to amuse yourself and step away from the biscuit tin. Exercise is a natural mood-enhancer with a double whammy as it will burn calories and it might even release some tension too.
- TRY WAITING: If you are really craving some comfort food, try waiting 15 minutes before you reach for the burger and fries. It will give you time to evaluate whether you really do need it and the craving may subside.
- DON’T DEPRIVE YOURSELF: Diets don’t work when you are left feeling deprived of foods you enjoy, this kind of deprivation can led to binge-eating, which will only make you feel more guilty. It’s about making a lifestyle change that finds healthy alternatives and including a little treat so you don’t crave and obsess over “forbidden foods”.
- INCLUDE GOOD MOOD FOOD: There is growing evidence that foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, help the mind as well as the body; diets rich in fresh fish, oils, nuts and plenty of vegetables are common to people showing less signs and symptoms depression.
Try some of these simple tricks and say adios to comfort eating for good!