From: The Washington Post

Comfort food doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure

The Washington Post:

Food is supposed to make us feel good — content, fulfilled, connected. It’s meant to comfort us physically by easing hunger and bringing satisfaction, and emotionally by bonding us to others as we share in the experience of a meal.

It works that way from the start, when as babies we fill our bellies blissfully in the arms of a nurturing caregiver. There is no guilt involved then. But somewhere along the road to adulthood, the notion of comfort food takes a wrong turn — it becomes something we crave, even obsess over, but ultimately feel bad about eating. It comes with a moral judgment — often described as “sinful.” We are being “good” when we avoid it. That mind-set is so ingrained in our culture it can be tough to break away, but doing so frees you to look at comfort food in a new way and can help you ultimately to enjoy it healthfully.

If you are feeling a bit lonely, for example, instead of reaching immediately for the chips, touch base with a friend, write about your feelings in a journal, or even write about the chips themselves. (According to a 2011 study published in Psychological Science, participants asked to write about their experience eating comfort food felt significantly less lonely than those asked to write about eating a new food.) If you are reaching for food because you feel anxious or stressed, try a warm bath, a walk outside or a cup of tea instead of trying to munch your way to calm.

Read the whole story: The Washington Post

APS regularly opens certain online articles for discussion on our website. Effective February 2021, you must be a logged-in APS member to post comments. By posting a comment, you agree to our Community Guidelines and the display of your profile information, including your name and affiliation. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations present in article comments are those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the views of APS or the article’s author. For more information, please see our Community Guidelines.

Please login with your APS account to comment.