What is comfort food? In theory, comfort food should be designed to make you feel better, emotionally and physically. Most of us turn to comfort food when we wish to alleviate stress. However, most people worry that comfort food could create an unhealthy relationship with food.
Indeed, the typical image of comfort food is junk meals with heavy fat and sugar content. What scares many individuals is not the fact that they crave unhealthy foods. Everyone seeks a sweet reward or a carb-loaded treat at the end of a long and stressful day. We lie to ourselves and pretend that it’s all about comfort. However, is it really? This type of comfort food is harmful to your health in the long term. So should comfort always come at the cost of our health? The answer is no.
Binge eating, when the food demon controls you
Binge eating happens when you find yourself eating abnormally large quantities of food without being able to stop. Binge eating, however, is triggered by a set of reactions inside your brain. Once you know how to recognize a potential trigger, you can prevent the binge eating monster from eating you. Indeed, when you struggle to regain control, you develop an adverse reaction to food, fearing it. But, knowing what triggers the food monster and recognizing the urge puts you back in the driving seat. Comfort food begins with establishing a relationship where you control food rather than the other way around.
Sugar cravings, when your sweet tooth can’t stop
What does your sweet tooth say about you? People can crave sweet flavors for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, it’s a reaction to stress or fatigue. More often than not, sugar craving is a learned behavior caused by the previous consumption of sugar. Sugar excess can saturate your taste buds, making it difficult to enjoy tastes that don’t meet your sweet expectations. The good news is that your sense of taste will gradually come back to normal if you stay away from junk food. Gradually, sugar cravings become less frequent. Yet, it doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the comfort of sweet food. Sweetness can come in many forms and doesn’t always require sugar. Spices such as cinnamon can help satisfy your sweet tooth. Learning how to make chai tea can help bring sweetness and warmth into your comfort food approach without relying on sugar.
Conviviality binge, when eating with friends turns into a junk meal
Are you planning to meet up with friends? The most common meal that friends share is pizza. While pizze are delicious, they are also rich in fat in carbs. Unfortunately, due to its influence on convivial dinners, pizza is the preferred comfort food in the US. This asks one important question: Can convivial comfort food be healthy? Conviviality is the art of bringing togetherness to the table. Therefore, making food an integral part of the experience, such as eating slowly and trying out new flavors, can encourage discussions and exchanges. It is a mistake to make comfort food an obstacle to conquer in order to spend quality time with friends. By ignoring it, we put ourselves under its control.
Comfort food offers new insight into happiness. Learning to control and regulate comfort through food sets the path for a healthy food and mental health relationship.