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Identify and stop comfort eating

07 August 2013, 07:56

Cape Town - Are you in the habit of eating your emotions? Comfort eating can become an eating disorder and food can become just as addictive as alcohol and drugs.

What happens?

We often turn to food when we need to cope with emotional pain, stress or boredom, and there's a very good reason for this.

Why it happens?

Food, particularly the starchy variety, affects the brain's production of serotonin, which has a calming effect. Unfortunately, however, using food as a drug in this way invariably leads to excessive weight gain, causing even more emotional pain and stress. It's a vicious cycle.

What to do about it?

The key is to learn to deal with your emotions. Stresses will always be there, and turning to food doesn't relieve them. Instead of heading for the fridge as if in a trance, stop and ask yourself two questions: "What am I feeling?" and "What do I really need?" Then identify an appropriate, healthy response to your situation: take a walk, treat yourself to a movie, listen to music, read or call a friend.

And if you do give in, don't punish yourself by eating even more. Forgive yourself and start afresh the next day.

Any advice for anyone trying to kick the comfort eating habit? Share below.

- True Love

- Women24

Tags diet health

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