As any dieter knows and WLS patient recognises, when we get emotional, it’s easier to get tempted and eat something we’ll later regret. The temptation also seemingly doubles when a comfort food is present. Here are a few things to know:
1. Men and women have different comfort foods. While women generally prefer snacks such as chocolate and ice cream, men opt for hearty stews, casseroles, and meat.
2. People who associate comfort food with guilt lose less weight than people who associate comfort food with pleasure.
3. Comfort food provides only limited comfort. In fact, just 3 minutes of eating, the positive feelings disappear, often making room for negative emotions.
Does this mean we should avoid comfort foods?
Of course not.
However, realize that comfort in times of emotional distress does not have to come with a caloric price tag. Try going for a walk, exercising, sleeping, speaking with a close friend, writing down your thoughts, playing video games, or watching funny reruns on TV instead. Check out some other distractions on how to avoid emotional eating – there’s 60 of them here
And lots of wonderful comfort style foods made bariatric-friendly throughout the recipe pages of the website – see some below in the related articles suggestions:
1.Kuljer et al – Associating a prototypical forbidden food item with guilt or celebration: relationships with indicators of (un)healthy eating and the moderating role of stress and depressive symptoms. – Psychology & Health, 2014
2. Macht, et al – Immediate effects of chocolate on experimentally induced mood states. – Appetite, 2007