Comfort Food or Comfort Eating?

We all have a favorite comfort food – whether it be macaroni and cheese or chocolate, that we crave, either because it reminds us of our childhood or because we had a bad day. Indulging in these high calorie foods once in a while is fine, but if overeating becomes a daily event because of stress or sadness, it could contribute to weight gain or be a sign of an eating disorder.

Emotional eating is not a type of eating disorder, but is a common trait of those who have eating disorders – especially those who have binge eating disorder or night eating syndrome.

If you do eat for comfort, there are lots of things you can do to break the habit. One of the most important steps is being aware you are doing this. Here are four goals to help you break the habit:

  1. Track your feelings and what you do during stressful times – being aware is key to change.
  2. Know your triggers that lead to overeating or making poor foodchoices.
  3. Find ways to cope without food – go for a walk or call a friend, etc.
  4. Learn ways to de-stress – exercise, meditate or massage.

Practice these goals and over time you should see a difference. If these tips don’t help, it may be time to seek professional help.

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