|Miniature Food Dollhouse - Polymer Clay Mini Food Donuts (Photo credit: PetitPlat - Stephanie Kilgast)|
Comfort eating happens when people eat because of their emotions, not because they’re hungry. Many people associate food with comfort, so they deal with uncomfortable feelings with food.
Some people turn to junk food when they’re in emotional pain. In the United States, research found that women tend to gravitate towards ice cream or chocolate, and men turn to casseroles, or steaks. If they rely on food too much, there can be damaging health effects.
Emotionally eating in times of depression, anger, boredom, frustration, or relationship problems is common with comfort eaters. This can cause nutritional deficiencies, sickness, and disease. It can affect self-esteem because the unnecessary calories will cause weight gain.
Emotional eating is a way of running from problems. It’s important to deal with problems in recovery in a healthy way. It can also be a warning sign of relapse.
Becoming aware of comfort eating is a good idea. Keeping track of what you eat is a great way to start. Developing new coping strategies for dealing with difficult emotions is important. Facing the root of the problem is also important. Sometimes it’s not obvious why a person is uncomfortable, so sharing in an AA meeting is a good way to get things off your chest. Confiding in a sponsor or close friend can also be beneficial.
Many top-notch drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers teach effective tools and coping strategies to deal with uncomfortable emotions. Recovery from addiction takes time, but the more time people in recovery have, the easier life becomes. A life free from substance abuse is a wonderful gift that’s worth fighting for.