Comfort Eating: You Can Find a Solution

Monday, July 10, 2017 Comfort Food  No comments

Comfort eating may be the one class of emotional eating that has its own food category (“comfort foods”). Many of us can simply name our fave go-to comfort treat that encourages the cozy or reassuring experience we often seek comfort eating .

When life gets hard, or stressed, or exhausting, comfort eating can quickly get out of control, and when you don’t have many reserves left, it can be tricky to strike back. We should be truthful, infrequently it can be difficult to even find the motivation to want to try.

Here’s the thing. Taking charge of comfort eating doesn’t need to be almost as tough as so many people make it. Many times, misguided attempts to stop it are really making the issue worse. There’s a better way. I am going to tell you what it is.

Struggles with eating to ‘feel better” to “numb out” or “escape” or as a reward after a long, tough day are emotional eating challenges I hear about quite a lot. Food is easy. It’s nearly always around, eating doesn’t need an enormous production, and nibbling in front of the tv or eating M&Ms at your desk doesn’t sometimes create more conflict or drama or add to your must-do list. At least, not right away. At certain moments, food may really feel like your mate. Your best friend.

If you ask most women what they could do to stop eating too much for comfort, most can easily rattle off, “what I should do”

It’s generally a list that goes something like this:

“I need to just knock if off.”

“If I was serious, I’d make a plan of not eating after 5pm.”

“I should get on the treadmill/elliptical/stationary bike instead.”

“I should just focus and keep working.”

The reason that all of these “shoulds” aren’t working (or don’t work for long), is that there’s an awesome mismatch between the need for comfort that is driving the desire to eat and the solutions that high-achieving busy women tend to think up.

Repeat after me: You overeat for a sound reason, and if you do not approach that reason with respect, it’s going to come back to bug you.

Here is the almost-always-overlooked solution to comfort eating:

If you are craving comfort and you wish to cease using food to gain it, you’re going to have to think up an alternative that meets you where you are and is comforting. Relying on white knuckles and self-control isn’t an effective methodology. Neither is adding in another gallon of to-dos or effort.

Expecting more difficult work from yourself (“I should just go work out/weed the garden/finish that report”) is not an answer to comfort eating. It’s going to make you hungrier and set your inner rebel on the warpath.

Expecting high energy activities from yourself if you’re knackered and just need a soft place to land? That is a mismatch too.

Comfort feels great. It’s typically simple, and simply warm and inviting. It’s kind and soft and reassuring.

If you want to actually take charge of comfort eating, you are likely to need a list of possibilities that are really, truly comforting. They might not feel exactly like nuzzling up to that pint of ice cream, but you would like them to feel a bit like they’re at least in the same family.

Start now. Brainstorm a catalogue of ten things you can do that are comforting, simple, and do not require a lot of effort. THIS is the beginning of your recipe for success.

Dr. Melissa McCreery specializes in helping busy overworked women practice strong self care without overeating. You can get her free audio and discover what you could do differently next time you’re confronted by emotional eating.

Related Comfort Food Articles

Leave a reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>