Gregg's Blog: Understanding and Overcoming Comfort Eating

Do you comfort eat? 


As you can imagine, I have many, many conversations about weight loss and general fitness. And there are some subjects that keep reoccurring. Subjects that I’d heard of but didn’t know anything about, so I’ve quietly been researching. One of the terms that regularly comes up is comfort eating. So, this won’t be news to any of you that do suffer from this, but this is what I’ve found out. Comfort eating is something that we do when we’re distressed or down. We reach for the sort of foods that give us an instant hit of pleasure. Chocolate obviously, has got to be right up there. It could be cakes, it could be crisps, often sweets but very regularly, chocolate. It’s a shame it can’t be a chopped mango or a crunchy apple, but there you go. 


These sweet hits give us a very quick, but very fleeting sense of happiness. The major problem of course, is it makes us put on weight. The good feeling doesn’t last very long, it disappears almost as quickly as the chocolate bar, bringing us back down to the anxious or upset feelings we had before we comfort ate. It can’t solve any problems we may have. The instant happy feeling comes and goes in an instant. The problem then deepens. Once the happy feeling has gone, not only are we back where we started, we’re actually lower than we were before, because we now feel bad about the bad things we’ve eaten. 


The lower we get, the more temptation there is to comfort eat, the more we comfort eat, the bigger and heavier we get and the lower we get. Over and over, on a never-ending cycle. I can’t give you psychological help for what may be causing the anxiety, but I can help you to identify genuine hunger from a comfort eating urge. 


If you do as GreggWallace.Health has been suggesting since the start, eat 3 big healthy meals a day, you shouldn’t feel hungry. Moreover, you should only feel hungry as you get closer to your mealtimes. If you do feel the urge to eat between the meals, the chances are it’s the urge for comfort that’s nagging at you. That’s not hunger. So please, do as I ask, I want to help you, eat 3 big meals GreggWallace.Health healthy meals a day. Make sure you eat enough to be full. If the urge for something sweet comes along, have some fruit. 


You can’t sugar, cake and chocolate your way out of any problems whatsoever, you will just make those problems worse.


Key Takeaways:

1. Comfort eating is a coping mechanism that can lead to weight gain and negative feelings;

2. Identifying genuine hunger from comfort eating urges is crucial; and 

3. Eating three healthy meals a day and opting for fruits when craving something sweet can help combat comfort eating.

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