There is a reason why it is called "comfort food". It is a common process for people who are emotionally vulnerable to turn to food when they need support and comfort, often without even realizing that they are doing it. Since the eating is mostly unconscious, it can be quite detrimental to your efforts to lose weight.
Binge eating and impulsive eating can occur commonly in times of worry, sadness, anger, and stress. Every time that you give in to the negative emotion food response, the bond between comfort and eating becomes strengthened. However, the good news is that the cycle can be broken with the use of these following 8 simple tips:
# 1: Keep a food diary
Start to keep track of exactly what it is that you eat, where and when you eat, how much you eat at one time, your emotional status while you are eating, and how hungry you really feel. Occasionally read through the diary to see if there are any emerging patterns that are related to your mood and when you eat.
# 2: Consider your hunger
Is your hunger real, or is it triggered by emotions? For example, if you have recently eaten and your stomach does not seem to be growling, chances are that you are really not physically hungry. Try drinking an 8-ounce glass of water and waiting for 15 minutes. If you still feel hungry after the water, it is likely that you are truly hungry.
# 3: Keep stress in check
Eliminating some of the triggers to comfort eating can be done by reducing the amount of stress in your life. If it is impossible to completely remove the stress, then stress management techniques such as meditation, yoga, or relaxation can help to control it.
# 4: Win the boredom war
Instead of eating just for something to do when you are bored, find an appropriate distraction. Do some type of physical activity, make a phone call, read a good book, watch something good on TV, or take it outdoors.
# 5: Get a support system
If you are able, consider joining a support group. If not, lean on friends and family when times start to get tough.
If you have no willpower, don't stock your shelves with unhealthy foods. And never go grocery shopping when your emotions are all over the place.
# 7: Snack on the healthy stuff
Reduced calorie and low-fat snacks are the way to go. Choose from lean protein, vegetables, or fresh fruit.
# 8: Don't make guilt a feeding frenzy
If you indulge or have a small setback, pay attention to what the cause for it may have been and then move on. Forgive yourself for the mistake and start over again the next morning.