Top 7 tips for preventing comfort eating during COVID-19

Dr Nick Fuller
Leading Obesity Expert at the University of Sydney and founder of Interval Weight Loss.

1. Eat regularly to prevent hunger creeping in.

Set reminders on your phone every three hours to eat because if you don't you will only find yourself reaching for the cheese, wine and packet of chips when you're ravenous in the afternoon.

2. Find naturally occurring foods you love that are high in sugar and fat, and surround yourself with them.

Every time you feel that urge to eat something sugary or fatty coming on, reach for nature first – fruits, honey, nuts, seeds and avocado are a few suitable examples.

3. Each time you get a sugar craving, try taking just a taste.

By allowing yourself a few bites, you get maximum enjoyment for minimal damage. Research has proven this – the first bite of any treat food yields the most pleasure.

A great way to implement this is by challenging yourself to see how long you can keep just one piece of chocolate in your mouth.

4. Cut down on impulse eating by delaying pleasure.

For example, tell yourself you can have the chocolate bar or ice-cream after you complete that task on your to-do list, so you make it harder to access the treat, but you are not saying no. Once we get absorbed in a task, we often forget all about the craving because we're so happy to have finished the job and want to continue a good streak.

5. Consider whether you are hungry, or just bored.

Reach for a glass of water or herbal tea and remove yourself from technology. If you are still feeling hungry after following these steps, go for nature first.

6. Buy single-serve packages of chocolate, ice-cream, biscuits, chips or whatever your favourite treats might be.

This enforces the portion size you can have without the risk of you devouring the entire packet. Make sure it's something you really love – you want to make it a worthwhile treat and savour every bite.

7. Keep the treats out of sight so you don't see them every time you open the fridge or cupboard.

Always keep healthy foods visible and at eye level.

About Dr Nick Fuller

Dr Nick Fuller is the founder of Interval Weight Loss and is a leading obesity expert at the University of Sydney with a Ph.D. in Obesity Treatment. Dr Fuller is also the author of three best-selling books and his work been published in top ranked journals in the medical field, including JAMA, Lancet and American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.