THIS IS A POST FOR ALL US EMOTIONAL EATERS, chocoholic and non-chocoholics none the less. If you, in times of sorrow, feel like the only thing to do is drown your sorrow in chocolate (or ice cream, or bacon), you should know that I used to feel the same way.
BUT, I WANTED A MORE CONSTRUCTIVE WAY TO DEAL WITH MY MOOD. Although chocolate does help (as of course ice cream and bacon do too), I’ve realised that I no longer wanted to be that girl who relies on food for fixing her emotions. That is why I looked up all sorts of ways to stop using chocolate for solving all my problems. I was surprised to find the internet full of tips!
THIS IS A SUMMARY OF THE TIPS I FOUND EXTREMELY USEFUL. They helped me break my vicious cycles. I hope they give you some new options to work with next time you get caught in a stressful situation❤.
1. RECOGNISE THE PROBLEM. More often than not, I realise I was comfort eating after I already chunked that bar of chocolate. Sometimes a bad experience or stress from work can be sneaky, leaving us unaware of how stressed we are – until it shows in our (re)actions. Are you having a difficult period in your life/month/week? Are certain things making you stressed? Sometimes just realising this helps you prevent comfort eating because you become more in touch with your emotions.
2. MAKE AN OVERVIEW OF THE CHAIN OF EVENTS. Exhibit A: I eat chocolate for a better mood. Sugar in chocolate causes mood swings. After eating chocolate I feel a sugar high, followed by a sugar low. To correct the sugar low, I eat chocolate for a better mood. See what’s wrong with this? It’s a bit of a vicious cycle. If I wasn’t eating chocolate in the first place, I would have no sugar lows and hence wouldn’t feel the need to eat something sweet again. I think it would save me a lot of money, calories and mood swings to just skip the sweets and sugary chocolate in the first place. Write down your chain of events – is it a vicious cycle? Realising this might help you break it!
3. THINK OF ALTERNATIVES. When you grab junk food to comfort your feelings, what is your body actually telling you? Is it hungry, tired or upset? Is it overworked, overwhelmed or confused? What does your body actually need at that moment? Is it rest, relaxation or action? Try thinking of alternatives to feed your needs, rather than turning to sweets for an easy and short term solution. By addressing the underlying issue with an alternative solution you will find that your craving will go away as well.
4. TREAT YOURSELF TO WHAT YOU DESERVE. By this, I don’t mean a bar of chocolate. I mean love and respect. Junk food is not love for your body. It’s harm and it makes your body need to work twice as hard to remain healthy. Treat your body to something nice, especially in times of stress when it needs extra support. Green leafy vegetables, multi color fruit salads and healthy meals help your body get through a rough time. This blog also has a section with healthy comfort foods!
Treat your body with the love it deserves and you’ll end up noticing a positive change in the rest of your life too!
If all else fails, and you are really in need of comfort food, try making some of the healthy Cookies, Crumbles and Desserts to nourish and comfort your body at the same time.