Comfort Food Tips
Comfort food makes you feel a better when life is hard! It's a complicated concept to describe, because you know that food does not really have the power to change your circumstances in life, but somehow certain foods manage to sooth your emotions and lessen stress! Most of you are drawn to soft, sweet, or salty creations, that you just can't get enough of, when life is tough!
One thing that these comfort foods do have in common is that they are mostly refined processed carbohydrates like cookies, cakes, chips, candy, ice cream, and chocolate! The reason for this is that sugar and starch will increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter in your brain that increases your happiness. You will actually feel comfort. There are many other experiences related to food too. Maybe your mom always gave you cookies when you were having a bad or good day, as a child, and eating cookies spurs that memory subconsciously.
Comfort foods and emotional eating go hand in hand. Loneliness, anger, boredom, sadness, and anxiety are some of the top feelings associated with food! You reach for comfort food because food, unlike people, will never disappoint you, will always be there, and will never judge you!
The problem with these foods is that they are empty calories, and often require an entire day's calorie allotment to bring comfort! You also add guilt and shame for your perceived lack of self control. In the long term, they offer little comfort, but weight gain, self image problems, and frustration. They must be understood for weight control or weight loss.
Lifestyle Solution Tips to End this Habit:
- Develop snacks ideas that will allow you to indulge in volume. You can eat several large handfuls of popcorn and reach a satisfaction point without breaking the calorie bank.
- Find lower calorie food substitutions. If you love chips, choose baked chips. Kale chips misted with oil and baked are also great.
- Do not buy foods that are your comfort foods. It is much easier to walk by them at the store than in your cupboard. Be a healthy grocery shopper and shop from a healthy grocery list.
- Choose healthier choices! If you are drawn to the creamy ice creams, it might be time to purchase an ice cream maker and learn to whip up a fresh fruit sorbet or ice cream. Fresh fruit paired with a yogurt will give you a healthier indulgence.
- Bake lower calorie goodies at home by lightening recipes. Divide goodies into portioned bags and freeze them. Allowing portioned controlled comfort foods can often take away their allure!
- Do not indulge in fried foods. Learn how to oven fry foods, or mist potatoes with a bit of oil and bake them if French fries are your treat.
- Avoid fast food. Do not allow your car to turn into fast food establishments and pass through the drive through. Simply do not do this, because it is too easy to tell that anonymous speaker phone to get your favorite downfall.
- Eat all foods at the table and end the habit of indulging in food that is not on your meal plan. If food is not planned as a meal or snack, find another activity besides eating to lessen your stress.
- Always choose 3 healthy foods to eat before you dive into a binge. If you eat a yogurt, apple, and a couple of handfuls of baby carrots, you might be able to find the comfort that you need with these healthy foods. The yogurt is creamy and sweet, and the carrots and apple prolong the snack, because they take forever to eat. They are full of fiber and will help you to feel full and satisfied!
- Distract yourself and do other activities instead of eating.
We all have foods that bring us comfort. It's a healthy diet habit to recognize this and to choose some strategies to limit these choices, choose healthier choices, or learn the wonderful art of distraction! Find comfort in other places besides food for great weight control!
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