Why Do I Binge on Donuts and Not Broccoli?

Why Do I Binge on Donuts and Not Broccoli?

You typically know comfort food as high calorie, high carb and quickly prepared foods like sugary drinks, fried or fatty foods and desserts.

Why do you crave it?

When you eat sweets your brain’s reward system gets activated. Dopamine, a brain chemical, gets released to tell you sweets are a good thing that increase energy and suppress stress. This reinforces the brain’s reward system so you want to eat them again to keep the sugar rush going. After the sugar rush ends, levels plunge and you become lethargic and hungry again.

Comfort eating is a way to soothe your negative emotions such as stress, anger, fear, boredom, sadness and loneliness. If you’re an emotional eater, you may use food as a reward when you’re happy and reach for sweets or unhealthy snacks when you’re stressed.

Healthy comfort food - is there such a thing? LOL, why yes, there is!

There is a “happy hormone” (serotonin) which is produced in your gut. It’s an alternate way to combat the reasons for emotional eating.  Whole grains, nuts, fruits and vegetables increase serotonin which your body does not produce naturally.

Here are some healthy foods that may conquer your comfort cravings:

  1. Almonds (in place of peanut butter)
  2. Avocado (for its soothing “mouth-feel”)
  3. Blueberries (full of antioxidants)
  4. Yogurt (replacing whole milk)
  5. Salmon (substitution for red meat)
  6. The ever-popular kale (low in calories and packed with vitamins)
  7. Dark chocolate (less sugar with health benefits and who doesn’t like chocolate)
  8. Bananas (take longer to digest so they don’t cause major spikes in blood sugar levels)

Getting enough sleep, exercising, listening to music, meditating and spending time in the sun can all boost dopamine levels. A balanced diet and lifestyle can help increase dopamine naturally, keeping your brain functioning at its best.

Older post Newer post