There is nothing wrong with foods being a source of pleasure. In fact, the more your relationship with food can be a positive one, the better you will feel about your eating habits. However, confusing a positive relationship with eating your favorite foods with the notion of seeking “comfort” from certain foods can lead to problems with your relationship with food.
If you are eating something to gain a sense of comfort, this begins to connect your eating to emotions instead of satiety. There is a difference between eating a food you love because you are enjoying the taste of it or the ceremony for which the food represents and eating to soothe emotions.
If you are eating for comfort, you are expecting that food to solve a problem for you. It’s important to figure out if you are turning to food when you are frustrated, sad or bored. If you are, then more than likely you need something else, other than food. For example, if you are up late working on a project for work and you wander into the kitchen, stop and ask yourself if you are truly hungry. Most likely you are tired, not hungry.
Let me encourage you to move away from using the term “comfort foods.” Use food as fuel rather than therapy. It is not to say you can’t consume foods you previously considered to be “comfort foods”; simply redefine their place in your eating plan, and make them a part of your healthy lifestyle, not a part of your mental well-being.
Your turn to take action: How will you work on banishing the phrase “comfort food” from your vocabulary?