During medical weight loss, you’ll be making a number of changes—most notably to your diet. During this time, you may find it difficult to break certain food habits you’ve grown accustomed to. One of the hardest habits to overcome during dietary changes can be comfort eating. Comfort eating, as the name suggests, is eating to make yourself feel comforted. You may associate certain foods with warmth, security or relaxation. You may turn to these comfort foods when you’re feeling tired, stressed or sad. However, comfort eating can quickly derail your weight loss efforts if it becomes a frequent occurrence. If comfort eating is one of your harmful habits, it is important that you find ways to cut comfort eating from your routine.
How to Stop Comfort Eating
For starters, you’ll want to take a realistic approach to eliminating and preventing comfort eating. For example, it is not realistic to assume that you will never again find yourself in a situation where you want to be comforted by your favorite homemade dishes or snack foods. However, you can create a list of alternative habits or activities that you can partake in instead of indulging in those foods to comfort you when you’re feeling sad, tired, stressed or lonely.
Some possible alternatives may include:
Going for a walk
Calling a friend
Watching a favorite movie
Writing in a journal
Trying a new hobby
During medical weight loss, keeping a food journal can also be an effective way to stay on track with your diet and avoid any excessive eating habits. If you keep a log of what you are eating and how you feel when you are eating it, you will be able to pinpoint your negative eating habits and work to eliminate them.
In order to successfully avoid comfort eating long-term, it’s most important that your newly adopted behaviors are some things that you enjoy doing. You should also consider how easy it will be to turn to your new comfort strategies. The new activities you add to your list should be just as easy as reaching for a bowl of ice cream, or you’re less likely to rely on them when the time comes.