Everyone loves comfort foods, whether it’s a chilly winter night or sunny summer morning. Something about their delicious flavors reminds us of warmth, home, and happiness. Why exactly do comfort foods make us happy?
You Grew Up to Love Them
Comfort foods are called comfort foods because we seem to naturally associate them with comfort. While the association seems natural, it’s actually conditioned from an early age. Think back to when you were younger and had a bad day at school or needed a special treat? Chances are, you got your favorite family dinner of macaroni and cheese or warm chocolate chip cookies. Food is also naturally associated with holidays, rewards, and special occasions. When these days roll around, we all expect comfort food as our treat and experience the associated happiness.
Unfortunately, most of the comfort foods we grew up with are not very healthy for us. These foods are typically full of bad fats, trans fats, carbohydrates, and sugar. Instead of relying on healthy treats in our moments of sadness, we are taught to love ones that are a little less than good for us. If you only enjoy classic comfort food as a treat, there’s nothing wrong with that! However, regularly indulging isn’t a good habit for your waistline.
How to Break the Comfort Food Cycle
If you have trouble snacking on comfort food regularly, here are some tips for switching over to healthier treats:
- Be aware of your association between food and happiness
- When you find yourself feeling sad, think about what exactly is making you sad and write down your thoughts
- Create a list of things that you can do to increase your happiness that doesn’t involve unhealthy foods. This list can include things like talking to a friend, making a special healthy recipe, or listening to a favorite album.
- Kick comfort eating to the curb!
Delicious Healthy Comfort Foods from Costas Inn
Costas Inn is a family owned and operated restaurant that has been serving the Baltimore area for over 40 years. In 2015, we were voted Baltimore’s best seafood restaurant by USA Today (and we have a feeling it has something to do with our excellent crabs). Enjoy our crab cakes in our restaurant or order them online to be delivered to your doorstep in time for all of your resolutions. Still hungry? Visit us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for more.