Comfort Foods and Emotions
Emotional eating or binge eating ¡s what we all resort to, at some point ¡n time. While it is a temporary phase for some, resorting to comfort food may be more than just that, for some others. When people turn to food for comfort, it is known as emotional eating because foods rich in sugar and fat (usually the type of foods indulged in during this time) give an instant rush.
Studies show that emotional dependence on food is usually developed in childhood wherein a bond is built between unhealthy eating habits and emotions.
Firstly, we need to understand that everything is a mind game. When you succumb to unhealthy foods on the grounds of things not going your way, it is a lack of acceptance and confidence ¡n oneself. Such behaviour will soon translate into addiction and reflect in the blood chemistry and can lead to obesity and metabolic syndrome diseases. Before you consume any food or beverage, ask yourself, is it going to help me achieve my health, fitness, and performance goals or detract from them? Eat purposefully and not foolishly!
Guidelines To Avoid Emotional Eating
- Be conscious of what you eat and how your body reacts to it.
- Treat the unpleasant situation with a wise response rather than reacting by consuming comfort foods.
- Always have a goal; be so focused on it, that no negative emotion can distract you.
- Keep yourself well informed about healthy eating.
- Keep an open mind to unlearn unhealthy ways to deal with stress and learn the positive methods like eating right, exercising regularly, pursuing a hobby or sport and meditation. All these work ¡n sync for realization of your goal.
- Empower yourself. You do not need to indulge in wrong foods to feel good.
- Since everything is a mind game, the wise thing to do ¡s to train your mind. Change your perception about emotions and food.
What to Eat and When
- Don’t eat a fruit over your meal, the meal eaten raises the blood sugar to a certain level, by ingesting a fruit over the meal leads to further rise in sugar levels and the excess calories not used as energy gets stored as fat in the body.
- Eat a fruit by itself, the first thing in the morning or as a mid-morning snack. To satiate yourself further, you can drink any fluid like green tea or low fat milk along with the fruit.
- Finish the fruit quota in the first half of the day, because the kind of sugar twit contains, can easily get converted into fat in the body if not used as energy.
- Keep fruits and dried twits as fillers (mini meals) in the first half of the day and nuts and salads as fillers in the second half.
- Meals can be eaten post sunset or just before sleeping, provided the meal consists of complex carbohydrates and lean protein. Fatty foods should be avoided.
- Plan to eat meals approximately at the same time every day to increase the efficiency of the body’s digestive process.
- Try not to eat in front of the television or when reading a book. This will not allow you to focus on enjoying the meal and concentrate on eating. There is a tendency to overeat and not chew food properly when distracted.
- When you sit down to eat, ask yourself, “What am I going to be doing for the next three hours of my life?” Then, if you’re taking a nap, eat less carbohydrate foods, if you’re planning on a training session, eat more carbohydrate foods and so forth.
- Eat your breakfast within one hour of waking. Make sure you consume energy enhancing foods like complex carbohydrates and low fat protein.
- Do not exercise on an empty stomach. Make sure to fuel your body with a good meal before you exercise.
- Plan your cheat meal. Reward yourself for the hard work put ¡n to adopting a healthy lifestyle.
In conclusion, when striving for maximum performance to enhance the quality of your life, you must exercise your will power over what you eat and when you eat.