Comfort food is generally consumed for the purpose of improving a person’s emotional status. People resort to comfort foods either to relieve ones self of negative emotions and feelings, or to achieve a sense of well being that helps in lifting one’s mood. Moreover, since comfort foods are consumed as “mood lifters”, one generally tends to over eat.
One concern that is often associated with comfort foods is that they boast of high calorie content. This results in a feeling of guilt being associated with the consumption of such foods. If a person is overweight, there is a high chance that he has a negative body image – perception of his own physical appearance. A negative body image in turn translates into low levels of self esteem. Low self confidence makes people resort to the solace of comfort foods in order to relieve the associated anxiety. These comfort foods, owing to their high calorie content add to the woes by aggravating the root cause of the problem – being overweight. Thus, calorie foods complete the vicious circle.
Studies have shown that the pang to devour comfort foods is often difficult to curb and control. On the other hand, it is easier to limit the calorie content of the comfort foods, thus breaking the last and most important link of the vicious circle of excess weight. In order to do this, here are a few low calorie comfort foods for your next binge.
Pasta is a favorite comfort food for most people. Whole wheat pasta is a healthier alternative since it contains more fiber and is more filling than the regular white pasta serving. Being less processed than its traditional counterpart, whole wheat pasta has low calorie content and ideal for fulfilling your dual requirements of taste and health.
The choice of meat when reaching out for your comfort food is very crucial when it comes to determining your calorie intake. Fish has considerably lesser number of calories as compared to other meats like chicken, pork or beef. However, fried fish does not belong to this low calorie comfort food category owing to added fats needed to fry the meat. Thus, boiled fish or a tuna salad is a more potent alternative for the weight conscious.
Low fat microwave popcorn helps satisfy the craving for nibbling something crunchy. This air popped popcorn is the perfect healthy alternative which serves as a comfort food for such times.
Black bean garlic catfish is another very popular low calorie comfort food. Black bean sauce has a strong flavor which serves as a perfect mask for the heady catfish flavor. It can be consumed with rice or noodles.
Baked Apples is a healthy dessert for those moments when you have to submit to the cravings of your sweet tooth. The core of the apples is removed, forming a cup shaped structure, which is then filled with a mixture of raisins, walnuts, cinnamon and nutmeg. A dash of agave syrup is drizzled on top of this and then the apples are immersed in a cup of hot water and the dish is set to bake for 45 to 50 min. This dish is thus, easy to make and healthy too.
Thus, the next time you feel the urge to reach out to comfort foods, make sure that you keep an eye on the calorie intake.