Go on, Enjoy Comfort Food!

comfortfood healthyeating healthymeals Jun 29, 2023

How many times have we done the dance? That dance. The one where you hold off on eating something you like because of age-old sayings like “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”. Although these types of statements stem from a time when the world was completely different, they still ring in the ears of many people. This has led many well-intentioned wellness enthusiasts to demonise food altogether, labelling something exclusively good, or bad. I’ve found that this hinders the journey towards sustainable health and well-being. Let’s dive into this fascinating topic right here.


No More Extremes


Restricting certain foods only enhances the probability that you’ll end up over consuming them later. By putting specific foods on the opposite ends of the same spectrum, especially comfort foods that might remind you of a loved one, a good time in your life, or just something you enjoy, you’re likely to hinder your progress in the long run. The first step towards not doing this is to permit yourself to enjoy comfort food. This is the fundamental idea that has shaped my current relationship with food. This leaves room for exploration and acceptance of the food you love and enjoy, working within the confines of moderation to make them an active part of your eating habits. 


Incorporate a System


By giving yourself permission to eat those “dreaded” carbs you open up room to include foods you love into your week. By working on a system that incorporates portion sizes and creates room for experimentation with healthy alternatives, you’ll be on the road to enjoying your experience with food a little more. I’ll give you a practical example. I looove chips, but I’ve always been scared to indulge too often (cue those stereotypical statements I mentioned earlier). I’ve incorporated them into my diet more this year thanks to giving myself permission to do so. Do I order them from a fast-food chain? No. I make homemade options, explore with carrot chips and then use an app to ensure I don’t over consume. It’s an evolving system that will be adapted as my needs and tastes change over time.

A “Go-To” Comfort Food


I’ve talked a lot about having a “go-to” healthy food to lean on when you’ve fallen off the bandwagon. The same applies to comfort food, especially if it’s one where you’ve explored a couple of alternatives. I’m starting to incorporate more desserts in my life, and one of my go-to's is “fake” ice cream, made with fat-free cottage cheese, sweetener and chocolate. This staple option presents a chance to add a few extras on too based on what I feel like in the week - sometimes I add two Nuticrust biscuits when I’m craving them. My sugar cravings are far less, and I get to enjoy mealtime a whole lot more.


Food as Nourishment and Enjoyment


Living well doesn’t mean having to forfeit the taste of something you love and enjoy. Food is an important source of nourishment, but I’d take it a step further by putting equal weight on it as a source of enjoyment in life. Trying new recipes and experimenting with your tastebuds is one of the simplest pleasures in life. Staying on the yo-yo of restricting and bingeing is not a way to feel good about yourself in the long run. If you’re at that stage where you want to work on your relationship with food or need a nudge in the right direction to incorporate healthier comfort food into your day, try the Lifestyle Manager, or book a coaching session with me today.



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