What and When
- More protein – Sugar causes your blood sugar to spike and drop rapidly. Carbohydrates are better but still lead to a spike and drop. To keep your blood sugar as level as possible throughout the day, eat protein at every meal. Protein is even a good option for snacks throughout the day. Protein leads to better energy, more restful sleep and improved metabolism that aids in maintaining a healthy weight. Eggs, nuts, cottage cheese and tofu are amazing sources of protein.
- More good fats – Over the years, fats were removed from many foods and “fat-free” replacements filled with sugar appeared. During the same time, average weights increased. Not all fats are problematic. In fact, good fats like those found in nuts, avocados, olive, flax and cod liver oils can provide a good source of energy, limit inflammation, maintain nerve cell protection and produce desired hormones. Good fats are a great option.
- More water – You need to consider your drinking habits as well. The nutrition found in store-bought juices does not compensate for the tremendous amount of sugar in them. Milk and water need to be your best friends and go-to options. Being dehydrated will encourage you to eat when you are not hungry. It leads to poor decision-making and inattention. There is a formula to determine your needed amount of water each day. Divide your weight by 3 and convert to ounces. Therefore, if you weigh 150 lbs, you would need 50 ounces of water daily since 150 divided by 3 equals 50. Start drinking.
- More movement – Having bowel movements regularly is actually an essential aspect of health directly related to your diet. With appropriate water and fiber, you should expect to have one or two bowel movements daily. Constipation leads to fatigue, headaches, depression, irritability and mental fog. This is just another way in which physical health contributes to poor mental health.
- Fewer stimulants – Caffeine, nicotine, alcohol and sugar all artificially influence the functioning of your body. Too much of these chemicals shift the natural state of your body. For example, caffeine is a known accelerant that can dehydrate your body by increasing urination. As you read above, dehydration will adversely affect your state. Allowing your body to function without stimulants gives it and you the best chance for success.
Take a look at your plate. Does your plate make sense? Colorful vegetables and lean protein the size of a deck of cards should cover the majority of it. If your food is white, grey or deep fried, reconsider eating it. What are you drinking and how much of it? A 72-ounce drink from the gas station for only 99 cents may seem like a great deal, but you will pay for it later. Do not seek out solutions that sound easy or quick – changing your eating habits will take time. Do not let irrationality get in the way.
If your plate is empty, recruit friends and family members to help with your menus. Your goal is to improve your mental health and it is likely their goal, too. They will be happy to help and the noticeable change will be encouraging to the both of you.
If addressing the depression has not helped your appetite, target the appetite directly. You may be able to eat yourself well.