By Kristin Volk Funk, M.Ed., CCH

As a hypno therapist who understands the power of words and
images to both heal and disable, I become concerned when I hear
people referring to junk food as “comfort food.”

If you are struggling with food cravings, remember that you have
your own hypnotherapist in your head (called conscious thought)
that is constantly programming your inner mind with beliefs about
food. Every time you associate junk food with emotional comfort,
you are programming your subconscious mind to urge you to reach
for toxic products whenever you feel stressed, angry, frustrated or
lonely. Layer after layer of such programming forms a STRONG self-
hypnotic suggestion that, left unquestioned, is very difficult to
ignore and overcome.

All hypnotic suggestion, no matter how irrational, is viewed and
accepted as “correct” by the subconscious mind, especially when
confirmed by repeated recorded past experiences that strengthen
the suggestive thought and image. Every time you eat sweet or
greasy foods, your mood becomes altered and a strong mental
association of eating these foods with emotional soothing gets
locked in.

You feel immediately, yet erroneously, “comforted” when you have
numbed or distracted your feeling state with junk food. In this way ,
toxic food products become “positive” to your subconscious mind.
And remember, it’s the subconscious mind that rules your behavior!
No amount of willpower or conscious thought to eat healthily and to
lose weight can compete with an established strong mental
programming that says eating junk makes you feel better (and is
therefore “good for you”).

The good news is that you can reprogram your subconscious mind
by building new associations with food. In this way, you can take
control of your cravings.

Let’s begin with some Webster’s Dictionary definitions:

  • “Comfort” is “a state of physical ease and freedom from pain or constraint.”
  • “Comforts” are “things that contribute to physical ease and well-being.”
  • “Discomfort” is “to feel uneasy, worried, embarrassed or in pain.”

Ask yourself : “Does eating junk food give me a state of comfort or

Truth: Processed, sugary and greasy foods cause joint and muscle
inflammation, belly fat, sluggishness, disease, cravings and weight
gain. In addition, we of ten feel guilty soon after eating them. In
other words, they cause discomfort, not comfort.

If you are interested in letting go of cravings, begin by labeling
products that cause you emotional or physical pain as “discomfort
foods.” Likewise, label the wholesome, nutritious foods that bring
you physical ease (i.e. a slender, healthy body) as your new
“comfort foods.” Writing these foods in a list can be very helpful.


Here is a mental reprogramming technique that will help you resist
junk food.

Whenever you see a food product that is on your “discomfort
foods” list, firmly and without hesitation say to yourself “I don’t eat
Remind yourself how eating that product will cause physical
and emotional discomfort. Then, imagine walking away from it,
feeling proud and happy. Consistently repeat this technique
whenever you see those unhealthy products at home, work and
grocery stores.

As junk foods become labeled and programmed into your
subconscious as “inedible,” they lose their power to tempt you.
With practice, you will find the urge to eat fattening food begin to
diminish and disappear. In fact, many of my clients who use this
technique tell me that the words “I don’t eat that” now automatically
pop into their mind whenever they see their “discomfort foods!”
They report how easy it is to now happily walk away from the
sweets and greasy products that once seemed irresistible.

Enjoy how your new “comfort foods” bring you ease and well-being
and your “discomfort foods” lose their appeal and temptation.

Kristin Volk Funk, M.Ed., is the author of As Thin As You Think, The Keys to
Unlocking Your Weight Loss Power
(to be published in April 2011). She has produced a series of
hypnosis CDs and conducts group and individual hypnotherapy/counseling sessions in
her Roseville, MN office and in corporate settings. Her interactive website is She can be reached by email at
[email protected] or by calling 651-644-6454.