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100 Days restart - Day 16: Nurturing power of food

Jenn J

Day 16: Nurturing power of food

When you're feeling stressed or sad or lonely, food does seem to make you feel better. At least initially, it calms your anger or anxiety and lifts your spirits. But how long does food keep working?

As you know, the first two bites of any food have the most impact on your taste buds. But they're also the only ones that have any emotional power! Once you finish those first bites, you'll have received whatever benefits the food can do for you. Eating more of it simply won't bring you additional satisfaction or make you feel any better.

You're done!

After a long, stressful day, Kathy grabbed a pint of chocolate cherry ice cream from the freezer, and then sank into her couch. As she ate the ice cream straight from the carton, she kept thinking, "Maybe this is the bite that will do it." Of course, it never worked. She just felt worse.

If you're eating as a way to feel nurtured or calmed, you'll usually experience some level of those feelings right away. But continuing to eat won't bring any more satisfaction or make you feel better and better. In fact, at some point, you'll probably start to feel frustrated and disappointed with your behavior instead of being healed by the food.

Once you understand that eating more won't continue to improve your emotional state, you can actually use this in your favor. With a little effort, you can train yourself to feel better after eating only a small amount of nurturing food.

Letting food work

In weight-loss seminars, I often hand out small chocolate-chip cookies. Then I invite class participants to eat two bites of their cookies, while allowing themselves to feel nurtured and emotionally soothed by them.

After they finish those first two bites, I ask them to throw away the remainder of their cookies. Some people can hardly bear to do this. Yet at the same time, they admit those two bites were completely satisfying, and they really didn't need to eat any more.


Intentionally eat something that will help you feel better. Soak up the pleasure from a delicious piece of chocolate. Allow yourself the comfort of eating your favorite ice cream or a luscious cinnamon roll. Eliminate any thoughts of guilt or remorse as you eat this food.

After two bites, stop! Remind yourself that your needs have been met and eating more of the food won't increase your healing level. Then give away or toss whatever food is left.

Write about how you felt doing this exercise. Also, notice what level of satisfaction you experienced as you ate the first two bites of the food.

  Lyn💛 Replied:

  flower Replied:

  Jenn J Replied:

  Jenn J Replied:

I agree Rjaatt. I can't waste food, unless it has gone bad, tastes bad, or I wasn't planning on eating it in the first place. If I go to a restaurant and order an omlet, but it comes with hashbrowns or pancakes, I don't even get them. I don't want to be tempted and then feel bad that I'm not eating food.

I have been allowing myself 1 SMALL candy treat every day or so. Sometimes I even skip days now. It used to be that I had to have sugary stuff every day. Now that it's been almost 3 weeks since I've done a major sugar intake, it doesn't trigger me as much. I still feel the need for sugars, and still have to work at telling myself "later" as I only allow that treat before bed.

I'm so excited to finally break the 230 weigh barrier. Today I am down to 228.5. I haven't been below 230 in over a year.

Let's keep this going strong. This is the first time I've gone beyond 10 days of reading, and I'm really seeing the benefit. Thanks for taking that journey with me, and keeping me motivated to keep reading.

  Lyn💛 Replied:

Well done Jenn J!!!

The opinions expressed on this forum may not represent the opinions of Please consult your physician to determine the weight, nutrition and exercise levels that are best for you.