Comfort Eating And Lockdown

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Comfort Eating And Lockdown

Let’s face it, at one point or another this past year, we’ve given in to eating and drinking for comfort. In this article we'll have a look into why that might be, and what to do about it.


Stress from a change of routine, depression from a lack of purpose, and even boredom are some of many factors for why we may comfort eat.

What I suggest may sound like a strange tip. Still, I would argue that awareness of why we comfort eat is probably one of the most critical factors to understanding why we comfort eat.

Strangely enough, "Comfort eating" actually serves a purpose for us. And it does this incredibly well. Usually, it can a conscious or subconscious emotional need that hasn't been fulfilled yet. Whatever the reason, it will be personal to us.

For example, If I'm bored at home, I'll eat something sweet to pass the time as it makes me feel good. It fills that gap of having too little stimulation and my lack of human contact each day.

Once in a while, comfort eating is ok but done regularly enough, it starts to add up over time. (I'm looking at you trouser waistline!)

So, my two main reasons for comfort eating seem to be "too much free time" and "not seeing/ speaking to people regularly enough". I can control both of these things to some degree and, by thinking about it, gave me the all-essential "A-Ha!" moment I needed.

Now that we have done the thinking part, the next bit is about taking action.

Focus On Less And Make It Easy

We've all done it, haven't we? Declare war on things we want to change. "That's it! I am not doing that anymore. It's time to get a grip! Tomorrow I will "Insert the equivalent of swimming across the Atlantic here."

You see where I am going with this.

The real skill of actually getting yourself to change something is to focus on less and make it so easy for yourself that you can't fail.

For example, I became bored in the afternoon. My default behaviour was to eat some sweet food (Danish pastries from Ole & Steen).

I've tried to be productive, but can't muster the will power to lift a finger to do anything. Even reading a book for 20 minutes was too much for me.

After some thought, I identified that my boredom stems from lack of human contact and loneliness in a more superficial sense. Given that we are legally not permitted to travel or socialise as we used to, I was a bit stuck.

So for my solution, I chose something comfortable and repeatable. Each day I would send one or two WhatsApp messages to friends and organise the odd facetime call if anyone was free.

It's not perfect, but I feel less bored, fill my time more socially and solve my emotional needs temporarily. No cookies required, or at least the craving for cookies disappeared (Sorry Ole & Steen).


I don't know about you, but if I don't have some structure in my day, I become the master of finding ways to procrastinate. As the evening closes in, the guilt and self-loathing grows. By bedtime, I'm looking in the mirror having a "what the **** are you doing with your life?!" conversation.

On days without even a loose structure, my bad habits would creep in uncomfortably quickly. It would start with a Danish Pastry with a coffee for breakfast, pizza with beer for dinner and Playstation with the boys into the early hours.

Every once in a while, this was fine to do. But if it started to happen a couple of days in a row, I had to refocus on getting back into a healthier routine.

For me, an evening routine of less PlayStation (instead of none as it's social time with friends after all) watching "Le Bureau", and cooking dinner instead of delivery, helped keep the momentum going from day to day. At the weekend I relaxed a little but made sure to get to bed around the same time I do in the week.

Even booking time to stretch for 10 minutes was a big help, as I would use it as an anchor to stack other habits with it.

In Conclusion

Every "bad habit" we have, such as comfort eating, serves as a solution to something. Figure out what that is first, so you can take action to get that problem addressed.

When you want to make a change, focus on just one that resonates with you. Then take steps to complete that, and make sure they are so comfortable, that you set yourself up for success.

Finally, try to "grease the groove" of that habit you are working on by getting into some routine. Have a loose schedule booked in that you will follow, and flexible enough for you to make changes to, should you get busy with "life".

Yours In Health

Patrick Fallis

Three Ways To Get Out Of A Fitness Rut During Lockdown

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Especially now, given most of the world is in yet another lockdown.

2020 was a shocker of year for most of us I think. It was filled with irregularity and uncertainty. I struggled to maintain a decent level of fitness and sunk into many “bad” habits which I am sure most of us did.

Today’s newsletter will be short, and I wanted to share three things you can do today, to get yourself out of your “fitness hole” which will leave you feeling better and more energised.

Trigger Workouts

What exactly is a trigger workout? Craig Weller, the Precision Nutrition Master Coach, came up with this idea at the beginning of the pandemic in March of doing multiple micro workouts throughout the day, rather than the usual one hour blocked off training we are accustomed.

The idea, is that we perform exercises at random, say ten squats, at specific points in the day when we feel like it or at a pre-determined time. This way, we do the same number of reps we might do in a single workout but spread over an entire day.

The benefits of this are that we don’t break out in a sweat, remove the motivation barrier to doing the workout, and still move the body enough to keep us active and healthy.

Commit To Doing Little But Often

As many of you may already know is that I am a sucker for “baby steps”. As a former fitness/ hobby extremist, if I couldn’t do something to a high level, I would view “why bother at all”.

The apparent drawback of that approach is that you usually don’t get started in the first place, which means you miss out on plenty of new experiences and growth opportunities.

The same applies to fitness. Something as simple as going for a 5-10 minute walk around the block or to the local coffee shop may not seem like much, but weeks and months add up over the days. If anything getting out of the house is good for your mental health.

Stretch And Make It Easy

From hours of sitting on a couch or hunched over a laptop, I have recently experienced my first “nerve injury”. I have had constant pain in my neck for the past six weeks and a tingling sensation down my left arm. I haven’t been able to run, lift weights or train dynamically.

It’s been quite debilitating if I‘m honest, but as with every injury, there is a silver lining. What I can do is stretch. I don’t often feel like it and try to make excuses not to, but it alleviates the discomfort significantly whenever I do.

I follow the exercises the physio gave me, and pick a handful of stretches that feel good. The goal is not to sweat or make it hard, to do it as much as it feels right for me. Stretching can last 10 minutes to one hour, depending on what I want to do that day.

I am not sure what it is, but the breathing, taking time to focus on one thing or the “loose” feeling afterwards keeps me motivated to stick at it.

My advice here is to pick one or two stretches you like, make them easy and try to do them every day, even if just for 3-5 minutes.

Here are some suggestions for three good ones you can start with.

In Conclusion

If you feel you are the only one having a tough time and feeling in a slump, fear not! You are not alone and even the health and fitness professionals out there are struggling.

I hope you found at least one of these tips useful. If you have any questions or suggestions for future blogs/ newsletter, please feel free to email me at

Yours In Health

Patrick Fallis