How to stop comfort eating and take control of your weight loss diet

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We all have an emotional connection to food, but it's important not to let that hold you back from losing weight.

Woman eating chocolate

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Comfort eating - or using food to make yourself feel happy, secure, contented, warm or excited - is one of the sure fire ways to ruin a diet.

If you're reliant on junk food because of an emotional connection to Dairy Milk rather than an appreciation of the saturated fat, it's time to get your act together...

6 ways to stop comfort eating and lose weight

Eating without distraction stops you from over eating

Think of meal times as a formal event where you need to sit down and eat without the television blaring. Limiting the amount of distractions means you're more likely to concentrate on what you're eating, and enjoy it more. You'll also be fully aware of how much you're consuming in one sitting.

Denying yourself all the time will ruin your diet

If cake makes you happy the worst thing you can do is cut it out completely. Going 'cold turkey' will only make you crave your emotional crutch more. When you do reach for comfort food make a point of reminding yourself why you're having it, like, 'I understand this is unhealthy, with high calorie content and saturated fat but I'm eating it to give myself a little lift'.

Control your portion sizes

If your comfort food is mounds of chips or blocks of cheese scale the amount you're eating right back so it fits into the palm of your hand or into a small ramekin.

A food diary will help you discover your food hang-ups

Making a note of your feelings alongside the food you eat should help to show the extent of your emotional connection with food. If you notice you eat loads of pasta when you're sad, address this by limiting how much you have in the house and having plenty of healthy fruit and vegetables on stand by. Once you know your 'trigger foods' you'll be more equip to avoid them.

Plan your meals in advance

If you know you've got a stressful week ahead plan in advance with loads of healthy ready meals, pre-made salads and other quick healthy options. You might not want to cook, but you can put something in the microwave.

Find other ways to cope with emotional eating

At the heart of the issue is your emotional dependence on food so it's crucial to find other endorphins boosters. Exercising is a good one, as is laughing at a funny film, enjoying a day out with friends or doing a good deed.

How do you avoid the comfort food trap? Tweet us @handbagcom



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