Eating ‘comfort’ foods to calm your stress levels may not exactly be a new technique, but a recent study has shown that the use of comfort foods has steadily risen over the past two years. The study was conducted by the University of Michigan’s American Customer Satisfaction Index and revealed that customer satisfaction ratings for manufacturers of traditional so-called comfort foods were up. These foods included some of the most popular candy companies; like Hershey and Mars. So, what has caused the consumption of comfort foods to rise? The study concluded that concerns about the war in Iraq, personal safety, the economy and other events have significantly contributed to the increase in use of food as a way to relieve stress.
While indulging in cookies, candy and other calorie laden foods may make you feel somewhat better about stressful events and news; ultimately it will nothing for your health. There might not be much you can do to control the stressful events surrounding you; but fortunately there are several techniques you can utilize to control comfort eating.
One of the best ways you can control comfort eating is to practice a little patience. If you can wait at least 15 minutes before indulging in traditional comfort foods, there is a very good chance that you can avoid eating them at all.
Another good way to limit the amount of comfort foods you consume is to keep a food diary. Make a point to diligently write down all the foods you eat each day—even those that are just a few of this and a handful of that. Seeing what you have eaten in writing is a great way to keep you on the right track.
Most people indulge in comfort foods while chatting on the phone, watching TV or surfing the net. Try making an agreement with yourself that you will only eat while seated at the table and you will improve your ability to withstand the urge to comfort snack.
The buddy system is also a fantastic way to take control of the desire to delve into comfort foods. If you happen to have a friend that also faces the same temptations; this provides an advantage for both of you. Whenever you are feeling stressed and are tempted to grab your favorite snack; opt to phone or visit your buddy instead.
Many people who feel the temptation to indulge in comfort foods due to stress find that redirecting their attention helps tremendously. One way to do this is to place the amount of money that your comfort food would cost into a jar and saving it for something special. You will be surprised not only at the amount of money you will save, but at how well you will be able to avoid comfort food and feel better about yourself.
Finally; whenever all else fails, remove yourself from temptation by doing away with the junk food in your home and office. Replace them with foods that are healthy for you; so that even if you can’t resist the urge to snack while stressed at least you will be filling your body with something good for you.