Holidays and Comfort Food

Sharon Rekieta, Fitness and Wellness Director - 6th December 2013

Holidays and Comfort Foods

Life is getting a little hectic, you’re starting to feel tense and you find yourself once again craving your favorite comfort food.  Have you ever wondered why you want particular treats when you’re anxious?  One explanation is that you might be trying to escape the stressful present by bringing back a piece of the pleasant past. 

Most of us remember how some foods made us feel better. Perhaps your Mother baked chocolate chip cookies as a reward after your big test at school.  Or, maybe during an overnight stay, Grandma would bring out her homemade apple pie when you started to feel homesick.

Whenever foods are linked with happy emotions, our brains store that connection—if this happens frequently, a relationship is formed and we learn to associate particular foods with “feeling good”.  Then, in times of stress, we automatically reach for those soothing goodies.

This is not necessarily a bad thing if we recognize why and when it happens, keep it under control and also learn other methods of managing stress.  If you do occasionally find yourself reaching for treats to lift your mood, acknowledge the real reason for wanting a treat, savor your selection and enjoy the memories of happy times.