The Reasons We Crave Comfort Food

May 19, 2020
by Katherine Sousa Tips and Tricks

    We’re not just craving comfort food because it tastes delicious. We crave comfort food for a number of reasons and we’re breaking them down for you, and how to stay on top of them. 

    It’s no surprise that we’re all seeking out comfort food right now. We’ve seen your chocolate chip cookies, glazed cinnamon buns, and sourdough starters all over social media. There’s something about the smell of baking that oozes comfort. As an activity, baking can be a way to practice some mindfulness in the kitchen while picking up new skills and having a real sense of achievement. But why do we crave comfort food and what do these cravings mean? We’re breaking it down for you. 

    Short Term Gratification

    Comfort food makes us feel great. It’s something we turn to for immediate gratification, but this feeling is short-lived when it comes to sugary and carb-heavy foods. A quick fix of sugar is often followed by a slump in energy, which can lead to an unhealthy cycle. The best comfort foods to choose are those with a healthy balance of ingredients, which make the satisfaction last longer. Instead, why not opt ​​for a Veggie-Packed Chili , creamy Roasted Tomato Risotto, or a warming Tuscan Chicken & Chickpea Soup? 

    comforting tuscan chicken and chickpea soup food

    Emotional triggers

    There is a strong link between negative emotions, exhaustion, stress, and comfort eating. Sometimes we can experience emotional hunger, which we reward with a quick fix of comforting, but unhealthy food. If you’re craving chocolate and your body feels like it needs a sugar-high, it could just be your emotions talking. Always try to stop and identify where your hunger is coming from, and try to reach for comforting foods that you associate with happy and healthy memories like a childhood favorite.

    Energy levels

    Everyone’s body needs fuel. So if you’re not getting everything you need from your diet throughout the day, you will crave comfort food. This is because when you don’t maintain a balanced diet, your energy levels are affected. That doesn’t mean you should avoid all cravings for comfort, but eating well during the day will balance the good and the bad. Have healthy snacks ready to go, and plan balanced meals for your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Try our BBQ Turkey with Farro Salad or Salmon Waldorf Salad for a delicious, wholesome lunch.

    salmon waldorf salad healthy comfort food cravings


    We’re all still adapting to our new routines at home, and so this also affects your daily eating plan. Having big gaps in between meals can lead to intense hunger, which triggers cravings for comfort foods. So while you’re working on adjusting your daily routines, don’t forget to give yourself a lunch break! Ensuring that you give yourself adequate time to have balanced meals throughout the day, will help keep your cravings in check. 

    How to stop eating for comfort …

    There’s nothing wrong with following your food cravings every now and then, but if you find that your comfort meals are taking over, here are some simple tips to get you back on track! 

    1. Ensure you’re staying on top of your meals – don’t skip lunch!
    2. Make eating well as easy as possible with fresh ingredients and balanced meals delivered straight to your door, rather than going to the grocery store.
    3. Have healthy food options readily available in your pantry and fridge.
    4. Allow for some comfort eats and treats now and then, so there is no need for cravings.
    5. When emotionally driven, try going for a walk, having a bath, or calling a friend first.

    Balanced dinners can be comforting too! Check out our 5 balanced recipes to add to your dinnertime rotation.

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