7 Ways to Break the Comfort Eating Cycle ...

Kati

7 Ways to Break the Comfort Eating Cycle ...
7 Ways to Break the Comfort Eating Cycle ...

When was the last time you tried to break the comfort eating cycle? I'm always reaching for food to boost my mood - and the idea of comfort eating isn't new, with a shocking number of women admitting to reaching out for sugary snacks when they feel low. If you do too, check out these ways to break the comfort eating cycle and refresh your eating habits - you are sure to feel much better once you've kicked the habit, and you'll soon see the difference, too!

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1

Pay Attention…

It’s very rare that people pay full attention to what they are eating – we read over lunch, or watch TV with dinner, or even play with laptops and mobile phones. The result? We don’t really appreciate what we are eating, and it’s much easier to overeat. Make some free time each mealtime to be mindful about what you are eating. Think about the smell, the taste, the texture – you’ll find you end up much more in tune with your body. Paying attention to your hunger cues is one of the best ways to break the comfort eating cycle.

2

Check Your Sizes…

Really craving chocolate, or a bag of your favorite potato snacks? These foods aren’t banned – just make sure you don’t eat too much. Bumper sized packs make enjoying more than you need very easy, and after the initial portion, you won’t improve your mood any further. Break things down into smaller portions, and you’ll reduce cravings and prevent binge eating.

3

Plan…

When was the last time you picked up an unhealthy snack from a shop, or grabbed a takeaway? Most of these foods are designed to be easy – hence being known as convenience foods – and they tempt us because they require hardly any effort. Crisps and chocolate are the same. If your fridge is full of eye-catching packaging and tempting treats, you will crave them. Instead, cut up a mixture of healthier snacks like carrot slices and peppers and keep them ready-to-eat in the fridge, and lay out healthier foods to make them attractive and tempting too.

4

Go outside…

Need a mood boost? Food has a very small affect on the mood, and it’s usually temporary. Sure, eating that big bag of chocolates might give you a sugar high, but coming down will suck. Instead, grab your walking shoes and go for a walk. It doesn’t need to be far – a quick walk will burn calories, release tension, reduce stress and boost your mood, and the results last much longer.

5

Dance…

Or at least listen to music that makes you want to dance. Researchers who conduct psychological studies often use dark music to encourage the mind to feel sad or anxious, and upbeat music to boost their mood and make them feel happy. Create some playlists of music that makes you want to move, including dance music and songs from your childhood that you loved, and turn the happy songs up when you need a boost. You’ll get the mood upgrade without the extra calories.

6

Let Go…

Use food to fight anxiety, stress or anger? It’s much better for you to analyze the situation and try to accept it and let go than to use food to eliminate the bad mood. Take some time to think out new solutions, such as being more assertive if it’s a colleague problem or writing a formal letter about a complaint, and then let go. Calmness and acceptance are the ways forward.

7

Go Mediterranean…

If you can afford to spend a few weeks soaking up the Med sun, that’s sure to boost your mood. Otherwise, just adopt their diet. Studies show that the Med diet, which is filled with olive oil, fruits and vegetables, reduces instances of depression. Although it’s not currently known exactly why, replicating the diet could make you feel a lot better! Instead of reaching for sugary snacks, try making a salmon salad, a tuna sandwich or snacking on walnuts.

If your mood doesn’t boost, try speaking to a professional. They’ll be able to suggest more personalized ways to break the comfort eating cycle, and assess you for conditions such as depressive episodes, bulimia or SAD, which may require treatment. Even just chatting to your friends can be a great way to fight the urge! Have you successfully broken your comfort eating cycle? I’d love to hear how!

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