Getting comfortable with comfort foods

Comfort foods are often “junk food” – quick, easy to eat and typically high in fat or sugar.

  • Nov. 18, 2015 6:00 p.m.

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 badly 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 Mon-Fri from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. You can leave a message after hours. For more information visit HealthLinkBC.

Karen Graham is a public dietitian with Interior Health.

Just Posted

High hazard in downtown Trail

Roofing work began early Monday morning at the Trail Memorial Centre

More burning prohibitions rescinded in southeast B.C.

Category 2 and 3 fires will be permitted in Southeast Fire Centre as of 1p.m. on Wednesday.

Second hospital road part of plan, says Trail mayor

Martin was in Whistler last week for the UBCM; city delegation met with health ministry

Participation by women in West Kootenay/Boundary elections up slightly

More running than in 2014, but about same number as 2011

Syringa Creek fire ‘being held’

The fire has burned 3193 hectares; Deer Creek fire is also “being held” at 3849 hectares

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Canadian air force short 275 pilots

Attrition outpaces recruitment and training claims Air Force

Teacher suspended after physically shushing, saying ‘shut up’ to student

Grade 5 student reported feeling ‘confused and a little scared’

A B.C. society helps to reforest Crown land after wildfires

Forest Enhancement Society of BC focuses on wildfire mitigation and the reforestation

Most Read