This entry is part 25 of 31 in the series The Hope Toolbox

How to Eat Healthy When You Don't Feel Like It due to depression

How to Eat Healthy When You Don’t Feel Like It

You need to eat healthier.

The more you eat junk food, processed foods, and fast food, the worse you to feel.

The trouble is, those foods taste good in the moment, and you want to feel better RIGHT NOW because you feel bad. While your head knows you need to eat right, there’s not much motivation.

I hear you.

I spent years stuck in this cycle — most of the first 30 years. I was 100 pounds overweight, and I didn’t get there for no reason. I was compulsively overeating and binge eating on a regular basis.

I loved food and I hated food. I used food. Food was my drug.

Other times, food was simply my go-to thing because enjoying food, eating for entertainment, and overeating was what I had always done.

How to Break the I-Don’t-Wanna Cycle

If you are waiting around for the day you are going to wake up and suddenly FEEL like eating better and exercising, I’ve got news for you. It’s not going to happen. You aren’t going to make a drastic want-to turn-around.

Tens of thousands of times, you have conditioned your brain and body to the response that when you get certain foods (chocolate, ice cream, chips, bread), you calm down and relax.

After 10,000 times, those channels in your brain are pretty deep. That might seem depressing, but there is hope! Anything that is learned can be unlearned.

Cocaine addicts relax when they first see the pipe. They don’t give a crap about food. You have conditioned yourself, that’s all. It’s not genetically engineered into your body that you HAVE to be addicted to food or overweight your whole life.

Start conditioning yourself to something else. Maybe you’ll start to relax as soon as you walk into Bible Study or pick up your journal. Maybe you’ll calm down when you pick up your art supplies or your yoga mat.

To change your eating habits, own the process. This is where to start:

Start here: Add something healthy to your diet. Don’t take something away.

You can find 100 diets out there that are all about restriction and those all have their place. However, if you are in the midst of depression and barely cope with day to day life, that might not be for you just yet.

Start with adding in something healthy. It’s so much more positive!

For example:

  • Add 3 servings of fruit per day. (Try smoothies or stir into oatmeal.)
  • Add 2 servings of veggies per day. (Salads, on sandwiches.)
  • Add 2 servings on whole grains per day. (Whole wheat pasta, brown rice)
  • Add several glasses of water per day. (Add lemon, lime, berries or cucumber to your water. Try one of these infuser bottles.)
Sara's calendar, tracking fruits and veggies

Here’s how I am currently tracking. Veggies get a green star, fruits a pink star, circle workouts in purple. (By the way, this is an Erin Condren calendar, which I love!)

When you are ready, the next steps to take for healthy eating will be available for you.

How to Eat Healthy When You Don't Feel Like It because of depression or anxiety

The Hope Toolbox

hope for depression

Today’s Bible Verse:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

1 Corinthians 10:31

Today’s Journaling Prompt:

How has sadness, grief, or depression changed your eating patterns? What healthy changes do you want to make?

Resources

Grace for the Now: The 5 Stages to Change. Which Change are You In? — highly recommend this article by Chris Drews

Jason Is: One Fat Guy Trying Really Hard

5 Foods to Ditch When You Struggle with Depression and Anxiety

SparkPeople: A Healthy Diet for People with Depression

Positive Med.com: What You Need to Know about the Brain and Gut Link

Zen Habits: What You Can Say Instead of “I Don’t Feel Like It” — fantastic ideas in this article!

Losing4Christ: 31 Days of Transforming My Temple

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