Not eating enough?
Depression can take away our appetite – to the point where we might not be eating at all. This can rob us of energy that’s needed to get stuff done each day and also lead to unhealthy weight loss. When we feel like this, managing to eat anything can be pretty tough. Here are a few tips to get our food intake kick-started.
If we’re not eating at all, raw fruits and vegetables, which don’t take any time to prepare, can be a quick and easy way to get something nutritious into our system.
Meal preparation doesn’t have to be gourmet. Simple-to-prepare foods, like noodles, rice, and chicken, can be used to get us back on track with regular eating.
Small meals or healthy snacks
Try eating a bunch of small meals or healthy snacks throughout the day rather than focusing on preparing the typical three large meals each day.
Exercise can stimulate appetite, so we can try including some moderate activity such as walking into our routine as much as we can.
Eating too much?
Eating too much can be a problem for some guys when they’re depressed – and often this involves unhealthy foods. Not only does this lead to weight gain, but it can also put us at risk for other health problems like heart attack and stroke. Below are some tips to help get over-eating under control.
Avoid eating to “comfort”
We should avoid eating when we feel upset. Eating when bored, stressed, sad, angry, or lonely does not make those feelings go away.
Avoid “distracted” eating
Try to limit mindless eating when watching TV or at a computer.
Don’t eat “just because”
Just because food is on our plate, doesn’t mean we have to eat it all. If you’re full, listen to your body and stop eating.
Limit “bad carbs”
We can reduce our intake of unhealthy carbs (or bad carbs). These are foods such as white flour, sugar, and white rice that have been stripped of all bran, fiber, and nutrients. Unhealthy carbs digest quickly and cause spikes in blood sugar levels that ultimately make us feel really tired – the “sugar crash.”
Focus on health, not weight
If we can’t lose the weight we’ve put on, all is not lost. Increasing our activity level and fitness can offset the health risks associated with carrying extra weight.
Lacking motivation to prepare food?
When we’re depressed, it can be tough to find the energy – or even interest – to take care of ourselves, including preparing nutritious meals. The key is to keep things simple and structured. Follow these few simple tips to get started.
Schedule food-related activities
Draw up a daily timetable and schedule in food-related activities such as shopping, cooking and eating.
Keep it simple
Prepare meals that don’t require a lot of prep and planning, like sandwiches, wraps, quesadillas, omelettes, rice bowls etc.
If you live on your own and aren’t eating proper meals, consider using home-delivered meals.
Make use of shopping online and home-delivered groceries.
Prepare food ahead, when possible
Make use of the times when we feel good to prepare meals ahead of time (e.g. if we feel good in the morning, make dinner then) – or cook large quantities of food and freeze it.