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Comfort Eating

Comfort Eating

(1 of 2 pages)

Why do I comfort eat?

Woman eating cakeComfort eating is generally about using food to avoid confronting something, or to fill some emotional void in your life that you cannot seem to cope with in a more constructive manner.

Unfortunately, food will not satisfy your underlying issues in the long run, and eating for comfort only provides temporary relief. After the food is gone the problem still exists, and if your over-eating is resulting in weight gain, you may feel even more depressed. Most of us have 'bad' feelings - ones that are painful or difficult to face up to so that we do whatever we can to suppress them. For many people, food is the substance that gives distraction and short-term relief.

How can I change this habit?

Food may have featured in your life for many years as a comfort. Perceived in this way, food may temporarily help to reduce emotional pain or discomfort. However, the real emotions eventually manifest themselves in a variety of dysfunctional ways. Learning to cope with those feelings at the onset will help you to overcome your weight difficulties.

When the process of suppression of emotions begins in childhood, you tend to grow up being completely out of touch with your feelings, thus you begin to experience an emptiness that can spiral into an eating dysfunction. When you were sad, biscuits and milk may have been offered to you to 'feel better'. This learned pattern of using food to feel better has followed many of us into our adult life.

If you are eating for comfort, the most important part of your weight loss journey is to:

  • Identify and acknowledge that you are an emotional eater
  • Recognise the emotions that cause you to eat
  • Find out ways to express your emotions
  • Avoid situations that cause you to feel bad.

A significant step in feeling-management that often leads to eating-management is learning to identify the feelings that you use food to deal with.


You are advised to seek medical advice before making any changes to your diet or lifestyle with an aim of weight loss. This website and the content provided should not be used by persons under 18, by pregnant or nursing women, or individuals with any type of health condition, except under the direct supervision of a qualified medical professional. The information contained in these articles, and elsewhere on this website, is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only, and is not intended to replace, and does not constitute legal, professional, medical or healthcare advice or diagnosis and may not be used for such purposes. Continue...