It's an all too familiar scenario: you take the time to plan and prepare healthy meals and snacks, but somewhere in your day you hit an emotional bump, and the next thing you know you're raiding the refrigerator.
Ideas of salads and vegetables go out the window as you enjoy the instant gratification of a pizza or something else indulgent.
If this sounds familiar, here's some tips to avoid falling into the comfort-food trap and to develop better strategies to manage your emotions.
Get enough sleep. People who sleep less than six hours a night tend to consume more calories. Sleep deprivation also interferes with your commitment to eating healthy as many people confuse fatigue with hunger.
Try to pinpoint what the underlying emotion is that makes you crave comfort food. Use a diary to identify your emotional triggers to over-eating. And if you catch yourself eating food day or night that you shouldn't be to combat stress, jot those patterns down too.
Create a 'tool-kit' to help manage these emotions in a different way. You might find meditative items like peaceful photos to look at or a stress ball to squeeze.
You can also take a walk at lunch-time rather than just sit and eat. Or maybe do a puzzle or crossword which can distract you and make you smile.
Finally, why not allow yourself to experience some of these emotions rather than avoid them.
All too often we try to anaesthetise ourselves against negative emotions such as loneliness or sadness, and this is one of the causes of comfort eating.
By allowing yourself to experience emotions directly you will see that they are not as bad as you imagined. And you will see that you don't need to eat to manage them.