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Comfort eating is a major cause of discomfort

Comfort eating has become a pandemic all of its own during lockdown. More than a third of us snack at least once a day on items filled with sugar, fat and salt, a Public Health England survey revealed this month.

Most of the time, the strongest food cravings hit when you’re at your lowest points emotionally. You may turn to food for comfort or stress relief when facing a difficult problem, feeling stressed from home schooling or even out of boredom.

Emotional eating is one of the key reasons many of our weight-loss efforts fail. We tend of over eat, especially the “bliss point” foods that are high in sugar, carbs and fat. The good news is that if you're prone to emotional eating, you can take steps to regain control of your eating habits and get back on track with your weight-loss goals.

How do you get back on track?
When negative emotions threaten to trigger emotional eating, you can take steps to control cravings. To help stop emotional eating, try these tips:

- Keep a daily food diary. Write down what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat, how you're feeling when you eat and how hungry you are. Over time, you might notice some patterns, but also hold yourself accountable and thus reconsider your actions beforehand.

- Fight boredom. Instead of snacking when you’re hungry, distract yourself with other healthy tasks. E.g. take a walk, listen to music or read a book.

- Remove temptation- don’t keep the hard-to-resist comfort foods in your home. Store all your unhealthy snacks in the garage or the car to stop yourself grabbing the wrong foods. Or better-still simply don’t buy them at all!

- Snack healthily. If you feel the urge to eat between meals, choose a healthy snack, such as nuts or cheese with some celery to add “crunch”

- Get support. You're more likely to give in to emotional eating if you lack a good support network. Lean on family and friends or consider joining a support group.

If you would like to learn more about the foods you should eat to maintain healthy nutrition, read our blog all about the foods to keep your gut healthy www.prolongevity.co.uk/blog/what-foods-should-i-eat-for-a-healthy-gut