Thursday, March 07, 2013


Is there an explanation for my eating & shopping behaviour?

These are a few of my sweet-tooth indulgences; I try not to keep these treats in the house or office because when they are in the cupboard or on my desk at work, I eventually give in to temptation and nibble my way through the whole lot! Yes I’m a Nutritionist, but I’m also human and get the same ‘cravings’ as everyone else. One of my strategies to manage my cravings is ‘Environmental Control’ – out of sight, out of mind, out of mouth!

This leads me to the question I’m often asked by my clients: “why do we crave these types of foods, are we addicted to sugar?” Some people refer to it as comfort eating, other insensitive bodies believe the terms ‘food addiction’ and ‘comfort eating’ are euphemisms for ‘down right greedy’. So what’s the 411 on this?

Sugar addiction/comfort eating -  an explanation

There is a chemical in the brain called serotonin, which improves mood and how we feel. More serotonin is produced when a compound called trytophan enters the brain. Some researchers claim that this happens from eating foods that are high in carbohydrate and low in protein. This carbohydrate-trytophan-serotonin theory has been used to explain why we turn to eating sweet ‘comfort’ foods such as sweets, chocolates and cakes to satisfy a craving and improve our mood. However, in practice there is not really enough evidence to support a physiological basis for this effect, and it is thought that some of the pleasure from eating these foods may come from cultural associations with reward and special occasion.


Here are a few more of my other indulgences, this time of the fashion kind - my recent monochrome shopping haul!

Spotted Jumper H&M Trend; Black Messenger/Lunch Bag Zara; Black & White Shopper Zara
Bowler Hat Topshop; Crop Top; Blouse

You may recall from a previous post that one of my New Year’s resolutions was to be thriftier. I've often been referred to as the healthy nutritionist with an unhealthy shopping habit, so my wise intention for 2013 was to reduce my spending on fashion; my wardrobe is heaving and I have so many more important things to buy and save for, but just like the cravings I get for chocolate, I also appear to crave clothes, shoes and bags – my desire/need for shopping is insatiable! I don’t even have an excuse like some of these reverent super fashion bloggers who have been fortunate enough to turn their shopping obsession in to a career. I just buy for the sake of it and I need two hands and both feet to count how many of my wardrobe items still have the labels on, months after bringing them home!

This leads me to another question: “am I addicted to spending money on fashion  - clothes, shoes, bags, accessories”. I know I’m doing wrong when I press the ‘buy now’ button or type in my pin number, at the till. I even went as far as to justify my spending to my parents the other day by describing myself as a ‘fashion blogger’ and you cant be one of those without something fashionable to exhibit right? That five minute justification was a moment of despair; I blog for recreation, but I genuinely don’t refer to myself as a fashion blogger per se. So….still no excuse for the shopping!

So just like my clients in my nutrition consultancy search for answers about their chocolate cravings, I've searched for answers about my shopping ‘addiction’ and in my mission I stumbled upon this quote:

“Finding ways to express the internal feelings we have about ourselves through our clothes is important for our psychological health……Reflecting your mood states and personal characteristics through what you choose to wear is like an art from -  just like painting or writing a song, it’s a release of emotions, which is essential to feeling happy. Additionally being around anything aesthetically pleasing, like pretty shoes and clothes lights up the pleasure sensors in our brain so we automatically feel good.”  (Psychologist, Dr Cecilia d’Felice)

I think I knew this deep down anyway, but it is more comforting hearing it from a professional.

I know how to help my clients manage their emotional cravings/food addiction, but can someone offer any suggestions on how I go about suppressing my shopping obsession/addiction. Cutting up my credit cards is not an option! NEXT!

p.s. having just read a post by fellow blogger Naomi (Coulda Shoulda Woulda) at, I may turn my interest to more travel -  she quotes that 'travel is the only thing you buy, that makes you richer!' Can't disagree with that!

Later x


  1. We are girls ....we need to shop,I have cravings too,really expensive ones...

    Thank you for your post.

  2. I'm into B&W too right now!

  3. I have a confession to make. I am literally OBSESSED with monochrome at the moment. The other night (prepare yourself for the sadness of this), I couldn't get to sleep for the life of me.....because I was building outfits in my head. SAD OR WHAT. ;)

    Have a nice time at Birmingham International Fashion Week! I saw your lovely outfit on She Wore Chic! You have to check out stand no 11, Kris X Chi Vintage jewellery. I've posted about it on my blog: ** Birmingham International Fashion Week **

    Lots of love, M

    1. Oh great I will definitely look out for you. See you there!

  4. Oh, I am so addicted to chocolates, it's not even funny...with shopping I go in and out of it. I'm either wanting to buy everything or I just don't care and am happy with what I have. Not the same when it comes to sweets unfortunately.

  5. Don't you start getting addicted to travelling now!! Lol.

    Addiction is a funny thing though. Retail therapy was coined for a reason. I think anytime your brain fires synapses eventually wants to recreate that. So that triangle of serotonin tryp sugar might be replaced with shoes right? But iris interesting the cravings and the psychology behind it. Have you regretted buying shoes tho? Just wondering. Am away a few weeks but will update soon xx

  6. When the first bill comes in at the end of the month, I do regret my fashion purchases because I see them as an unnecessary expense, but I get over it rather quickly - so yes I do have regrets, but they are short-lived x

  7. A great post. My bad craving is cookies and shoes

  8. I'm really loving monochrome at the minute, so chic! And I love that quote about travelling, shopping your stash is also a good way to control it, something I'm doing at the minute, lol!

    A little bit Unique


  9. What an interesting post discussing sugar and shopping addictions!! I certainly enjoyed reading these theories and explanations and it's true that for me eating chocolate and shopping for clothes is all about the feel-good factor.

  10. Babe I understand you totaly.. those purchases killing my bank account but raise my spirit!
    A "catch-22" !


  11. oh my goodness, I gave up Haribos last year because I'd have to have it everyday (super mix)
    I've done well to be fair, so may have to treat myself to some tangfastics haha!
    UK High Street Fashion

  12. Hello Colleen!! Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my blog- I just had to tell you that YES WE HAVE THE SAME NAME!! First AND LAST! LOL!! Campbell is my MAIDEN name! I was a Campbell until I married my sweetie several years ago!! Ha ha!! Anyway- freaking out about that a little bit. Hope you have a beautiful Friday. Happily a new follower! (Of course I had to follow Colleen Campbell!!)

  13. Whenever I want to buy something I ask myself "What's going to happen if I don't buy it?" If it turns out I can live with that, I don't buy it. It requires a lot of discipline, but maybe it works for me because everyone considers I'm a bit of a control freak... anyway what you bought is beautiful.

  14. This is interesting and I wondering myself but I don´t like sweets very much, I prefer it hearty :)


  15. I feel ya...I always get cravings after shopping, cuz then I am at home looking over my new stuff and think I could use a (reward) bad! But lovely ideas you got there :)

  16. Thanks so much for stopping by my blog, Colleen! :) Great post! I suffer from a serious carb addiction. I think it's starting to take a toll on my health in some ways, and it's such a hard thing to cut out! I can total understand how people have an addiction to sweets. Also, the clothes look gorgeous. I love all the monochrome! I have a terrible addiction to buying makes me so happy! Anyway, good read. Thanks for sharing xo

  17. We LOVE polka dots!!!!
    Chic With The Least
    Also on Facebook and on Bloglovin’

  18. I love Zara bag!! :)

    I follow you now with Facebook!! Here is my page to follow me back:



  19. very very nice my dear:)

  20. lovely post haha :)

  21. This comment has been removed by the author.

  22. great post!

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