Comfort Eating – Mastering Food and Your Mood

Turn to the fridge or the pantry because you’re stressed, bored, angry or upset? You might be stuck in an emotional or comfort eating cycle.

We see many people who, when facing depression or times of stress, turn to food as a reward, for relief, or comfort.

Some comfort eating is okay, but it’s important to know that comfort eating will not resolve your emotional problems, more often it adds to them because the person may gain weight, be angry at a perceived lack of willpower, and/or feel even worse about themselves and their situation.

The real problem with comfort eating is that, even if you have a full stomach, you don’t feel full. This is because your hunger is a craving in your head, rather than a physical hunger in your stomach. This leads to overeating and weight gain.

If you know what triggers comfort eating, find alternatives to eating. Before you reach for the fridge, try:

• Taking a walk
• Calling a friend or family member
• Reading a good book
• Shooting hoops
• Heading to a local café for a cup of tea
• Relaxing in a bubble bath

If you don’t know what triggers comfort eating, find out by keeping notes. When you feel the need to comfort eat, write down why, or what’s happened. Over time, you might see a comfort eating pattern emerge.

The best way of beating comfort eating is to get plenty of sleep and, during the day, distract yourself before you cave into the craving.

At New View Psychology, we know you can conquer your comfort eating cycle – and if you need extra help and support, we’re just a phone call away.