Today I wanted to talk about why it might be a good thing to comfort eat. Obviously if you are here you’re exploring emotional eating or feel you have symptoms of that and me telling you it’s ok to comfort eat seems like the opposite of what you need to do.
So I’ll explain it a bit more!
Sometimes when we are emotionally eating that it looks like a binge, it looks like instant hunger, it looks like we are diving into all these foods to feel comforted.
BUT my question to you is, is that true comfort?
Because when you are binging and eating you’re temporarily feeling good and after you “wake up” out of the trance you probably feel really stuffed. You probably feel really gross and guilty.
I know that was my experience when I’d have an instant binge or this craving for this certain food I would eat and eat. I would feel really stuffed and numbed out in the moment and after feel really gross and guilty. I would think “I need to start a new diet” or something along those lines. So, I was left in this space of guilt and feeling out of control after.
That is not comfort eating.
That’s emotional eating and a coping mechanism.
When you start recognizing your emotional eating pattern sooner you can stop a binge, dive into the emotion in that moment and start processing that emotion feeling through it. You get to a place after feeling the emotion of actually wanting certain foods that are comforting in your body. They feel nourishing and like a warm hug internally. These aren’t your normal “comfort foods”. Your body will start to ask for foods that are really nourishing.
That was my experience every time I went through a process of feeling triggered and wanting to binge. But I could stop sooner and sooner from starting a binge. I could feel through my emotions, process, journal, meditate. Essentially, go deeper into the emotion and feel it. When I came out of processing it if I was still hungry after my need for certain foods would completely shift.
I no longer wanted that food I was going for and my body was wanting something different. For example, I would want a kale salad with avocado and really well massaged. Or cauliflower fried rice that is warming, nourishing and comforting. There was no guilt attached to it. It was what my body needed to replenish the nutrients lost from processing my emotions. My body needed to refuel and get that deeper nourishment. That nourishment happened to be very nutrient dense, warming in the body and expanded the body. So sometimes more cooked foods will feel more expansive in the body after it has been contracted.
True Comforting Foods
To find what is true nourishing and comforting food feel into what your body wants after you have processed your emotion(s). If you notice the foods are not going to be processed foods like cookies or cake. They are going to be real foods, whole foods because we are naturally wanting those foods. Our body knows those foods are nutrient dense and they give to us as opposed to temporarily making us feel good and depleting us.
I hope this clarifies true comforting foods because there is a place to have comfort in our lives and food is a comfort. Food is comforting and it can be used in a comforting way. What I sometimes see out there is to “give into your cravings” or emotions and have “that” food. It’s not to say that’s bad.
In a moment we all have weaknesses and we might still go into our emotional eating but I want to make it clear that that is not comforting. That’s relieving the emotion and coping in that moment. But when you process the emotion and go through it and choose a food from that clear space it can be very comforting and nourishing.
So let me know if that’s clear and if you have any questions please let me know in the comments below.
To true comfort!
Certified Holistic Nutritionist.