What is Comfort Eating?

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Comfort eating is a 21st century way of life for many women.
With all the pressures of modern day life it has become the norm to seek out fast foods which are highly refined and full of sugar.
These foods offer a short burst of energy and the feel good factor.
This is quickly followed by a slump in energy and the process starts again.
So why do we comfort eat With so many responsibilities it is hard to sit down to a proper meal where we savour our food and digest it so that we feel fulfilled.
More often we grab a quick bite on the run and then feel that we have not had anything substantial to eat.
These bad eating habits lead to us reaching for the biscuit tin or devouring a bar of chocolate with our mid-day coffee, when at work or after dropping the kids off to school or in between ironing.
At the time this feels far more rewarding than a healthy breakfast.
The rush of sugar gives us a high, however, this is short lived and when the feeling diminishes we reach out for the food that made us feel good if only for a short period.
The cycle continues as we crave high levels of sugar in our diet.
Over the years as food has become more accessible to us we have used it for comfort and as a way of dealing with negative emotions such as stress, anxiety, unhappiness and depression.
Eating is a pleasurable experience.
Eating out with friends, enjoying your favorite food is a great experience and one that we should certainly enjoy.
However, we have taken comfort eating to its extreme.
At the drop of a hat reaching out for a treat that satisfies us even though it is no longer a treat but has become part of our daily intake of food.
Effects on Health Comfort food has led to obesity.
Most of us forget that our body needs food for energy so that we can survive, if we ingest more food than we burn off as energy it turns to fat and we pile on the pounds.
Like Emotional eating and Yo-Yo dieting which also lead to obesity, Comfort eating is a major factor in health related matters such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.
Effects on Emotions Once we are in the cycle of gaining weight we tend to turn to comfort food to make us feel better about ourselves, this leads to further weight gain, a feeling of failure and what do we do - yes we reach for the biscuit tin again! TV and media have bombarded us with TV programs and cookery books full of high fat comfort food that reinforces your current thought process that it is OK to eat this type of food in abundance.
Ironically if we ate regular balanced meals across all of the food groups we would not feel the need to comfort eat as our bodies would be controlling sugar levels and the craving for this type of food would diminish, allowing us to have occasional treats, eat out with friends or a takeaway without gaining weight or feeling guilty.
This would make losing weight and weight management much easier.
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