College of DuPage Nursing Student Elena Basch suggests you ask yourself, “Am I hungry or am I bored? Stressed? Depressed? Am I rewarding myself? Why am I hungry?” because it’s essential to know the cause of hunger in order to address it appropriately. Eating is something we all do to provide nutrition and nourishment to our bodies. Our bodies need this for it to perform adequately, but our bodies need GOOD food. Ever notice that when we eat poorly, we often feel the same way?
The food choices we make in relation to our emotions often aren’t the healthiest ones. It’s easy when feeling emotionally distressed, to pick unhealthy comfort foods. For me, that’s probably any baked good in reach or anything with sugar. Sugar makes me feel great. According to Laura Schwechrel from the goodist.com, sugar releases endorphins which cause a temporary “high”. To tackle my emotions, I have started doing two things in lieu of eating:
- I feel wonderful after a good workout. It also helps with weight loss. It’s a win-win. Need exercise ideas? I use Pinterest to look for exercises, they also have visuals to aid in the exercise I wish to perform. Also, it lets me try exercises I never thought I would try before. Some of these can be done in 15 minutes or less at home. Do what best fits your needs
- This one might not be as popular but writing on getting my thoughts down on paper has proved revolutionary. The poems don’t even have to be good but I sure do feel relief.
What’s important is that you find something that works for you.
Other suggestions: read a book, dance, listen to music, talk to a friend.
Now, I urge something: please eat if you’re hungry. Your body needs food. What is important is that we eat when we are hungry but not starving. Starving can lead to poor choices. Eating when properly hungry can lead to better food choices and reduce the likelihood of overeating. Some tips to help with healthy eating:
- Find recipes! Pinterest is good place that I like to look for recipes as well. It has recipes for every diet and cultural consideration. My mother is a vegetarian so I tend to vegetarianize my meals so she can have some too. Also, the pictures/visuals are a great help. Cooking meals is also the best way to control what goes in your body.
- Meal prep. I am an incredibly busy nursing student and I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve used the excuse “I am too tired to cook” or “I am too busy to cook”. I have started putting my crockpot and Tupperware to good use. Lots of delicious soups have been made. What is nice about it all is that is the sheer convenience; all I do is heat up my meal in the microwave. My classmates have even asked me if soup is my favorite food. The nice thing about the crockpot is that I can dump my vegetables and broth and not worry about whatever is in there for about 6 to 8 hours. Here is one of my favorite recipes*: https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1499/moroccan-chickpea-soup
* what I do is just put everything in the crockpot on high for a couple of hours instead of following the preparation instructions provided. Just do what’s easiest for you.
- Don’t eat until you feel full. By that time, it’s common that overeating has occurred. This is easier said than done.
- Don’t prohibit food. This is important because what’s forbidden is usually more desirable. Just eat in moderation, it will do the trick.
These are all incredibly worthwhile to help curb unhealthy eating habits. This will all take time. Be patient. Love yourself. Food is supposed to be an enjoyable experience, let’s keep it that way.
Article referenced: https://greatist.com/happiness/can-sugar-make-us-happy