There’s a reason big bowl of ice cream is just what the doctor ordered after a bad day and it’s not because it’s sweet and delicious. There’s actually a lot of science behind our comfort food cravings.

The comfort we get from comfort food actually has less to do with food and more to do with the memories surrounding it.

Think about that big Turkey at Thanksgiving. Think about a piece of cake at a party. Think about cold ice cream on a hot summer day. Think about whatever your favorite comfort food is.

What do all those foods have in common?

Junk Food Science

Aside from obviously being delicious, there’s a very good chance you weren’t alone when you were chowing down on them for the first time. More than likely you were surrounded by friends and family and having the time of your life… or at least a pretty good day!

That’s they key here.

We all know that sometimes life just has a way of kicking you when you’re down. We’ve all had those days where nothing goes right and Murphy’s Law is in full effect! And when things turn really sour the last thing we want is to feel alone. Even if you need to completely shut the world out for a while you still long to feel loved. As humans, we need to feel a connection and to be appreciated.

So, on horrible days when you can’t or aren’t ready to reach out to friends and family you subconsciously reach for their memories. And in this case that something reminding you of better times is food.

We try to heal our wounds with high-calorie foods because that’s what we remember eating when life was grand. Odds are you remember what you were laughing so hard about more than you do the big pizza that was on the table in front of you.

That’s the science behind comfort foods — memories lead to calories.

Combat Comfort Food Therapy

The easiest way to avoid the bad day binges is to build special memories with loved ones around healthier foods.

Then the next time you’re feeling blue it’ll be easier to skip the chips and go with a lower calorie slice of heaven.

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