Are You A Comfort Eater?
Author: Maharishi Ayurveda Date Posted:14 September 2015
Understanding Comfort Eating
Sometimes people eat when they are not hungry. They eat to help fill in time, to forget worries, give themselves a reward, to escape or to celebrate. Reflecting back over your life, have you had periods in your life where you have eaten to gain comfort?
When we eat to manage our emotional responses it can lead to over-eating or eating when we are still digesting our previous meal or snack.
Personally I noticed that when I felt unheard or unable to fully express myself I would withdraw inside and feel lonely, sad, unhappy and frustrated. Then I would automatically start thinking about what sweet treat foods I had in the cupboards. It’s as if I wanted to comfort myself with some sweetness. Does this sound familiar?
Initially dealing with emotions in this way did not seem an issue, but as the weight came on and other signs of Kapha imbalance occurred, I found myself feeling guilty and even more stressed.
My comfort eating had become a default pattern that was getting in the way of learning more healthy ways of coping and responding. Comfort eating did not change the situation and didn’t give me a solution; it just distracted me and numbed me for a while. It was a temporary distraction that came at a high price and I could see that over time it was negatively affecting my health.
So I decided to take a hard look at when and how often I relied on eating to cope with my emotions. What I found surprised me and was also the first step in empowering me. So take a look at what causes you to eat when you are not hungry.
What is causing you to eat?
When under stress do you …
- Turn to food for comfort when feeling unhappy, disappointed, worried, alone or lonely?
- Snack or eat even when you are not hungry?
- Zone out and find you have eaten more than you intended too?
- Is eating sometimes an escape for you?
- Do you give yourself a ‘reward’ or ‘treat’ yourself with food?
- Do you typically eat certain foods when distressed?
How many times do you think you have done this over the last month? Three, four, five times?
Over the next week see if you find yourself
- Eating for comfort so you feel better
- Pushing down your feelings with food in order to numb yourself
- Escaping with a food you enjoy like chocolate or a bowl of ice cream or bag of potato chips… whatever you escape with.
- Numbing out with food
Notice if there is a recurring emotion and label the emotion to yourself when you notice it. Note: This is an awareness raising activity only and you are not asked to change your behaviour so much as to become aware of the emotions as they arise and how you typically respond.
To help yourself have a little ‘inner space’ so you can identify your key triggers and behaviours consider taking
- Blissful Joy 1-2 tablets 30-60 minutes after breakfast and evening meal and Digest Tone 1 tablet prior your meals.
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Coming next week
Next week we will continue our understanding of comfort eating to help your awareness and choices expand a little more.
If you have a friend that you think would find this information helpful please forward it to them.
Wishing you the bliss of balance.
|Linda Sinden has been a practising Maharishi Ayurveda Consultant since 1990 and is a regular contributor to our weekly Insights. She has a practice in Auckland, New Zealand and also provides phone or Skype sessions for those who need assistance, but don’t have a consultant in their vicinity. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Skype: Linda.Sinden
Mobile: +64 212237525