When you want to impress your guests, comfort food is one of those things that always makes everyone feel satisfied. The typical definition of comfort food is that it is starchy and filling. Comfort food can be comforting for many reasons, but if you are concerned you are not getting the health benefits, let’s show you what you can do to make comfort food more comforting, while still feeling like you are benefiting your health.
Why Comfort Foods Are Comforting
Comfort food is one of those things that take us back to our childhood. Nostalgia and memory play a critical part in comfort foods. When you are transported back to a less stressful time, comfort food is usually part and parcel of a home full of love. You might think about Thanksgivings where that classic oven baked bread stuffing was one of the centerpieces alongside dozens of other savory starchy carbs, but hormones like serotonin and dopamine make us feel more secure, which is partly why turkey makes us feel so sleepy.
What Can We Do to Make Our Comfort Foods Healthier?
Comfort foods are amazing treats, but we also need to think about making sure we do this correctly. While we shouldn’t deny comfort food cravings, we have to think about:
If you are on a diet, one of the simplest rules, to begin with, is, in conjunction with an exercise regime, to eat 500 fewer calories than you normally consume. This means that you may have to start measuring a few things out, but if you are always going towards comfort food, start thinking about a smaller portion to satisfy your craving.
Think About the Macronutrients
The best thing we can do to minimize cravings for comfort foods that are overly carby is to place a focus on complex carbohydrates. For example, if you love a big pile of mashed potato the problem with too much starch is that it can make you feel more hungry. When you’re peeling the potatoes, keep the skins, crisp them up, and add them to the dish because this will make for an extra tasty texture, but you are also adding fiber back into the food. Fiber is critical because it helps us feel fuller.
Think About Your Protein Intake
Starchy foods are predominantly carbohydrates, so if you can add more protein into the dish this will make you feel fuller quicker and you will feel less temptation to stock up on those carbs.
It’s also worth bearing in mind when it comes to minimizing those cravings for comfort foods, one big glass of water before you have your meal can make a massive difference as this is a very simple way to limit your portions. Water can fill us up, so we won’t have to eat as much of the food in front of us. When it comes to comfort food, there’s no denying how comforting it is, but if you feel that you are winning a losing battle against your waistline, some of these tips can come in handy.
This is a collaborative post.