Covid & Comfort Food

Are you like me and afraid to get
on the scale these days?

Dozens of people I’ve talked to in the past few months are bemoaning the fact that they’ve gained the “Quarantine 15.” And others have said “I always lose weight over the summer, but not this year.”

The Covid pandemic has affected us mentally, physically, emotionally and for many of us, financially. And what do we do when we’re stressed? We eat comfort food!

Did you know that stressed is desserts spelled backwards? LOL!

Seriously, why do we crave comfort and junk food when we’re stressed? Partly, it’s a survival mechanism: our brains were created to crave sugar because 3,000 years ago, food was scarce. Unfortunately, in 2020, our brains still operate this way and the food industry has capitalized on this. So our basic “survival biology” can certainly work against us if we’re not mindful of how stress is affecting our eating behaviors.

Secondly, most comfort foods are loaded with sugar, or refined carbs which instantly turn to sugar, and this triggers a “quick fix” dopamine response in the brain (dopamine is a “feel good” neurotransmitter).

So, we temporarily feel good, and feel less stressed. But long term, consuming high to moderate amounts of sugar and refined carbs oftentimes leads to weight gain, AND these foods are damaging to the immune system.


Two quick tips:

  • Don’t buy these foods. If they’re in your house, and you’re feeling stressed, you are highly likely to eat them.
  • Pause. When life overwhelms you and your impulse is to head to the nearest drive through for that scrumptious McFlurry, interrupt the craving with a distraction: Call a friend, take a short walk outside, play your favorite song. It usually only takes 4–5 minutes for the craving to subside.

Now more than ever, it’s our core health that will dictate how and when each person will be affected by the Corona virus. By avoiding processed foods and focusing on a whole food diet loaded with fruits and veggies that help fight disease, the chances increase that many of us will be minimally impacted.

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  1. Nicole on November 7, 2020 at 5:00 am

    Another tip I used to do before COVID was buy only a few (like one or two) from the bulk section instead of a whole bag.
    Cant wait until I can buy from the bulk section again.

    Great blog Karen!

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