What is comfort eating?

Guilty eating

# What is comfort eating?

Emotional eating (or comfort eating) is using food to make yourself feel better rather than to satisfy physical hunger.
• Do you eat more when you’re feeling stressed or tired?
• Do you eat even when you feel full?
• Do you use food to reward yourself?
• Do you find it hard to stop yourself from eating?
• Do you often continue to eat when you know you have had enough?
• Do you find you have finished your food and don’t remember how it tasted?

It would be easy if emotional eating was simply a lack of self-disciple. This is rarely the cause. It actually appears to be a a result of

• Unconscious eating,
• Social and childhood conditioning to use food as a reward.
• Food as the main source of pleasure.
• Avoidance or difficulty in dealing with upsetting feelings (guilt and shame)
• Fatigue, stress, lack of sleep resulting in physiological changes driving hunger

# What can you do about it?

• Identify your emotional eating habits
• Find other ways to fulfill yourself– Laugh often! Explore hobbies, activates, friends.
• Manage your stress – Yoga, relaxation exercises or websites (eg smiling mind).
• Get enough sleep.
• Exercise (go for a brisk walks), turn to activity.
• Practice mindful eating  (LINK)
• Change reward behaviour – replace reward foods with another positive experience or reward.
• Delay cravings, tell yourself to wait 10 mins then eat it if you still wish to, but eat it very consciously and enjoy every bite. Drink tea or fluids first
• Eat proactively not reactively – Avoid getting too hungry and plan to eat each day just prior to your usual hunger times.

As always you can come along to our free introductory 30min appoint to see how we can help you on your weight loss Journey.

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