Comfort Eating in Recovery

Comfort Eating in Recovery

Beating an addiction and moving into recovery is no easy feat. In order to build a successful life a recovered addict has to change almost everything in their life. It is a really emotional time for the individual. And to add to the challenge, the individual will no longer be able to use d rugs and alcohol to comfort themselves. Even when the individual is years into their recovery they sometimes will have a hard time contending with their emotions. Life is and always will be filled with ups and downs and emotional highs and lows.  Unfortunately sometimes when people in recovery have difficult emotions, while it is good they won’t use drugs or drink, they eat instead. This is called comfort eating in recovery.

What is comfort eating in recovery?

Comfort eating is sometimes referred to as emotional eating or feeding your feelings. Comfort eating usually is a result of emotions not because of hunger. It is believe the main reason people overeat is due to comfort eating and it is also believed to be one of the main causes of obesity. Comfort eating is believed to originate in childhood when treats such as candy are used to deal with unpleasant or difficult events. People during childhood then learn the association between food and comfort so they continue this behavior long into their adulthood.

Comfort eating in recovery

Individuals who have dealt with addiction are at a particularly high risk of turning to comfort eating in order to deal with their emotions. The first few months and even years of sobriety can be like an emotional rollercoaster so the temptation or want to turn to food for comfort is really high. This individual can justify their comfort eating with the rationalization that they are better turning towards food for comfort rather than food. The problem with comfort eating in recovery is that it is not a harmless activity. Comfort eating in recovery can lead to many problems with their health as well as interfere with their ability to fully enjoy recovery. Comfort eating in recovery also can be a means to deny problems in their life and this is especially dangerous. Denying problems was a big part of why they used drugs and alcohol so this behavior can be especially foreshadowing and dangerous. Occasionally turning towards food for comfort is ok but doing it all the time in recovery can end up in disaster.

What are some other dangers of comfort eating in recovery?

  • Comfort eating in recovery can easily lead people to become overweight. Comfort eating often causes people to eat a lot more than their body needs.
  • Comfort eating in recovery can cause nutritional deficiencies. If a person isn’t eating a balanced diet they can end up with health problems
  • Comfort eating can damage the self-esteem by causing the individual to gain a lot of weight. A person who feels less good about themselves is in danger of comfort eating even more.

How to avoid comfort eating in recovery

  • Staying mindful while eating is important to not comfort eating in recovery. People who pay closer attention to what and why they eat are less likely to comfort eat.
  • Talking to other people instead of comfort eating in recovery can be especially helpful to deal with difficult emotions and pent up feelings.
  • Facing the root or why they eat for comfort. If it is something that is bothering them they will need to get past it to get past comfort eating in recovery.

 

If you need help with your addiction please call us at 800-507-7389.

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