How to stop comfort eating is one of the key questions I get asked on a daily basis when talking to new clients and it is an easy one to answer! The key of how to stop comfort eating pure and simply is that it’s all about the food you eat, your sugar levels throughout the day and your hormone levels. Click here For more information on how your hormone levels can affect your weight as I am going to focus on what you eat and when you eat it in order to answer the question; how to stop comfort eating.
First of all let’s talk about sugar!
Yes you have heard it all before… about its affects on weight loss and balancing your sugar levels (Low GI etc etc); BUT have you thought about when you consume your sugar or carbohydrate? In order to learn how to stop comfort eating you need to start eating at regular intervals for one; and here is why! The majority of people eat 3 square meals per day (maybe less!), on average that means there is a gap of around 4-5 hours between each meal. Knowing what we know about carbohydrate/sugar we can therefore predict that at each meal (providing we include some sort of carbohydrate) our sugar levels will rise. Now as insulin is release (depending on the type of sugar we have eaten) it will either be stored (as fat) or burnt off. As this happens the sugar levels in the blood start to reduce. Now if we leave too longer gap between meals here is where the problem occurs. Sugar levels drop so low that 4-5 hours later when we have our next meal our body creates and even bigger insulin response (the bigger the insulin response the bigger the fat storage!). Therefore eating 3 times per day (or less) causes bigger fluctuations in our sugar levels which is what we don’t want! We want them stable to maximise weight loss. It is therefore essential that you eat little and often. This keeps your sugar levels stable as you have a constant stream of sugar (good sugar) being put into the body. Yes the sugar levels maybe higher than when they drop low – but we don’t want low sugar levels we want it level! Make sure you try to eat smaller portions every 2-3 hours. But how is this linked to; how to stop comfort eating? I will explain in the next paragraph! Take a look here to find more healthy tips on keeping sugar levels stable
So how does all this talk about sugar levels relate to the question; how to stop comfort eating? Well I will explain. When we eat sporadically and our sugar levels drop so low it puts our body under stress. When our body is under stress (physically or mentally) a hormone called Cortisol is release. Cortisol causes us to automatically crave food, it makes us feel hungry! This is what happens: we haven’t been eating little and often, we can therefore presume as our blood sugars are low and we do not have a lot of energy (as sugar is our main energy source). Cortisol then causes us to crave, this therefore combined with the fact that our sugar levels are low tells our brain that we need to sugar ‘hit’ as quick as possible in order to make ourselves feel better by having more energy. And this is WHY we start to crave sugary and fatty foods when we are stressed or tired and explains why we comfort eat! This also explains why people tend to binge eat at night! It’s a knock on effect of their eating patterns, sugar lows and lack of energy! The best advice on; how to stop comfort eating is simply by eating little and often; balancing your sugar levels and trying to eliminate as much stress out of your life as possible. You are not the only person out there who ‘comfort eats’ but don’t make it your excuse! Try what I have explained in this article and I bet you it works. You will have more energy than ever before!
Here are some further top tips that may help you stop the cravings for sugar between meals.
I specialise in one to one training and lifestyle coaching for weight loss & diabetes. I am an expert in all aspects of training and nutrition for Individuals who are looking to lose anything between 1-10 stone. I have worked in the fitness industry for 8 years, including work for SKY TV featuring as a trainer on TV series FAT: The Fight Of My Life (2013) in which my contributer Darren lost 10 Stone in 8 months.