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Depression Symptoms: Overeating and Loss of Appetite

 

 

 What should you do if you have lost your appetite? Eating very little is an easy trap to fall into. It happens without you being aware of it. You’ll start off the day by skipping breakfast, and then lunch and by the time evening comes you are too tired to bother.

 

Without enough food to stimulate your taste buds your appetite decreases. If you are not careful, and if there is no one around to encourage you, you could soon reach the stage of having to force yourself to eat.

 

This is even more likely to happen if you are worried about being overweight. You may think you are doing yourself a favor, that days without food will stop you from getting fat. You'll be the slim, lithe, attractive person you have been dreaming about. But you are deluding yourself. When you look at yourself you'll still want to lose a few more pounds.

 

But at the moment you need to help yourself. Sit down and make a list of all your favorite foods. Balance the list so that you have equal amounts of sweet and savory foods. Pick an item from each section and aim to eat them today. Do the same the next day and so on for a week until your appetite has been restored.

 

If you are the person who always does the cooking, persuade someone else to take over a while, even if it is only for one meal a day. You are likely to have a better appetite for a meal that you haven't had to prepare.

 

If you are alone with children you can either let the older ones take over the occasional meal, or at least make sure that you sit down and eat with them.

 

If you are completely alone you will find it hardest of all because it will mean cooking a solitary meal, and it is at this point that many people stop eating.

 

Get round the problem by making the main meal of the day a special occasion. Don't eat on your knees in front of the television. Lay the table properly. Light candles. Experiment with recipes you haven't tried before.

 


Chapter Three

 

What if You Are Over-Eating what can you do about that habit? This is a hard habit to kick at the best of times, and now it will be even harder. The trouble with food is that it is always around. If you don't work, or you work from home, you'll have cupboards full of food and visits to the shops to tempt you. If you go to work, there are restaurants, cafes, the canteen, the pub.

 

Over the next week write down all the food you eat each day. Put a red ring around those foods you know are fattening and sweet and a blue ring round those that are fattening and savory. The following week, aim to eat only one of the ringed sweet items on your list but don't worry too much about the savory foods. It is far better to indulge in a huge steak with a pile of mashed potatoes than six sticky buns.

 

Next time you are tempted to raid the food cupboard for a handful of biscuits, spend half an hour doing something else reading, watching television, and maybe even going for a walk.

 

Only eat when you feel really hungry. If you get struck by terrible hunger pangs between meals make sure you have a variety of raw foods around. Fill the fridge with carrot and celery sticks and keep a good supply of fresh fruit within easy reach.

 

The next stage is to plan a diet of the foods that are best for you. When you start to think about what to eat you need to bear two factors in mind. Firstly, the food you eat needs to be good for you, because you want it to make you healthy and give you strength and energy. At the same time, you want food to comfort you.

 

When you are depressed you need to treat yourself as if you are a convalescent who has had medical care. You don't feel very strong either physically or mentally. The foods you crave are the simple foods either simple to eat or simple to prepare and you tend to go for bland flavors. Anything very highly spiced, such as curry, is just too much for your system to cope with.


Because depression can affect your body as well as your mind you need to look after your digestion. You may be getting butterflies in your stomach or a lot of indigestion, so the food you eat must be easy to digest.

 

Most people have their own 'comfort' food, which they turn to when they are feeling low. Usually it is something sweet maybe as a child you were given chocolate or biscuits whenever you cried and the habit was formed then. Or, because as a baby the first food you experienced was sweet milk, you subconsciously long to return to those days of uncomplicated living and the comfort of the breast or bottle.

 

But sweet comfort foods cannot and must not be your whole diet. They are something you treat yourself to once in a while. The secret of most comfort foods is that they need little or no preparation, so they can be there when you need them most. That is their advantage, and their drawback, too, if you don't want to get carried away.

 

 


Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.

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Greg Cryns
The Compleat Mother Magazine
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