Getting comfortable with comfort food

Everyone eats comfort food. For many of us it may be traditional or familiar food that we ate in our childhood home

Everyone eats comfort food. For many of us it may be traditional or familiar food that we ate in our childhood home. Sometimes we reach for comfort food when we may not even be hungry. That’s because comfort food can make us feel… comforted.

Comfort foods are often “junk food” – quick, easy to eat and typically high in fat or sugar. We often keep eating until we become so full that it hurts. Instead of feeling comforted, we can end up feeling bad about ourselves for eating so much. Then, to manage these feelings, we convince ourselves that we had to eat this food to feel better. It can become an unhealthy cycle. Taking a moment to think about how much comfort food we eat, why we reach for comfort foods and what kind of comfort we seek can help break the cycle. Here are a few tips.

• Consider keeping a record of why you eat comfort foods.

Are you happy and celebrating? Feeling sad or lonely? Are you tired and need a boost? Perhaps you are bored or feeling angry and hurt? Keep a record of your feelings and what you eat at those times. It helps you learn about yourself.

• Be aware of portion size and how much you are eating.

It is very easy to eat something without thinking only to realize later you have eaten too much. The website www.mindlesseating.org  explains why we eat more than we think and has simple steps to help you become more mindful of what you are eating. Check it out!

• Change your cravings for unhealthy comfort foods.

First, take a deep breath and drink a glass of water. If you’re feeling sad, lonely or bored try an activity to take your mind off your worries. Do a household task, go for a walk or text a friend. When you are feeling tired, try a warm bath or shower and a rest. If you’re feeling angry or hurt reach out to those who can support you.

• Create new healthy comfort food memories.

Start new comfort traditions by enjoying regular balanced meals with family or friends.

If you have questions about healthy eating, food or nutrition call HealthLinkBC at 811. Registered dietitians are available Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can leave a message after hours.

For more information, visit HealthLinkBC.

Karen Graham is a public health dietitian with Interior Health.

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Deaths on popular Shuswap trail ruled accidental

B.C. Coroners Service reports on fatal falls in May and July 2019

Update: Highway 1 between Salmon Arm and Sicamous partially reopens

Westbound traffic delayed as crews recover a vehicle

Potholes plentiful in Salmon Arm’s industrial park

City says patching effort underway, residents can report potholes on city’s website

Shuswap housing too expensive? Neighbourhood crime a concern? Input wanted

Survey asks CSRD residents to weigh in on the affordability and availability of housing in the area.

The price of poverty: Schools, community notice more people in Salmon Arm struggling

Although number of children in poverty in city has decreased slightly, still more than 600

UPDATE: Protesters say they will maintain blockade near Chase “as long as it takes”

Goal is to see RCMP removed from Wet’suwet’en territory

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

‘Chain reaction pile up’ closes southbound traffic on Coquihalla Highway

Black Press Media has reached out to RCMP, paramedics for details

Federal minister to speak in North Okanagan

Greater Vernon Chamber welcomes middle class prosperity minister to talk money

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

EDITORIAL: Thoughtless posts to Facebook cause real harm and stress

At the risk of resembling a broken record, it needs to be… Continue reading

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Most Read