Are You Comforting Yourself With Food?

Are you an emotional eater?

Think back to the last time you were stressed out, upset or over-tired. What did you eat? Did you follow the Food Pyramid and eat all that healthy stuff? Or did you reach for donuts, muffins, chips etc? Don ‘t worry, I ‘m the same way. Trust me – it ‘s not uncommon for us to reach for familiar foods when we feel stressed or upset. The good news is you can still have your comfort food †” and eat it too, as long as it’s with lighter alternatives.

Here are some examples:

  • Instead of a slice of apple pie (350 cal/14g fat), try having a baked apple (100 cal/0g fat)
  • Instead of a brownie (227 cal/9g fat) try having ½ a cup of fat-free chocolate pudding (130 cal/ 0g fat)
  • Instead of a donut (310 cal/19g fat) try a low fat muffin (160 cal/2g fat)


  • Think before you eat. Give yourself 15 minutes before you reach for the home made chocolate chip cookies or your favourite potato chips.
  • Write it down. Keeping a journal of your negative feelings and noting the circumstances when you reach for food (other than hunger) can help you identify your triggers. Writing allows you to express your emotions privately.
  • Avoid temptation. Don ‘t carry change for the vending machine, and ignore those office donuts and treats.
  • Understand how food comforts you. Some treats, such as chocolate, cause your body to release small amounts of mood-boosting hormones. Over time, you may come to associate a particular food with feeling better.
  • Exercise. Staying fit will help you handle stressful situations better. And unlike comfort foods, exercise BURNS rather than adds calories.

Remember folks, changing habits takes time, so be patient with yourself. Have a great day!

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  1. says

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  2. says

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  3. says

    Understand our own bodies to how it reacts to certain foods is the key to weight loss and good health. You cold eat the same amount of the same food as someone else but find that everyone’s body stores the energy differently. Find foods your body accepts and balance the amount needed. Don’t completely cut out everything from your diet just regulate portions and now and again treat your self. No need for extreme.

  4. says

    I like the baked apple idea, those are realllly good! Another yummy treat is to slice that apple & dip it into low fat vanilla yogurt. SO many great healthy treats out there.
    Also good one to not carry change, doh, I do incase I need that emergency diet coke, but why not avoid the temptation alltogether!? Great tip!
    STEENA´s last post ..Run 18- eat- pray- loveMy Profile

  5. says

    Yes, I used to eat food to comfort myself. Good thing I don’t have chocolates, or cookies, or brownies, or chips at home to tempt me. But I overeat on whole foods like rice, veggies and meat, if I’m too stressed with something sometimes.

    These days, whenever I feel stressed, before I even think about running to the kitchen, I either turn on my Wii and do EA Sports Active, or just walk outside. It totally helps me calm myself, and avoid turning into foods for comfort.


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