Have you noticed that you are eating more than usual, or you are not feeling hungry and not eating enough? Or you may have gained or lost a lot of weight without being on a diet.
Changes to your appetite can be caused by many things, but they include anxiety and depression. To make matters worse, feeling concerned about your weight can itself have a negative effect on your mental wellbeing and make you feel more anxious or worried than you were before.
If you find you are overeating, especially lots of high-calorie, sweet foods, you may be ‘comfort eating’. This type of eating can give you a short burst of energy but then leave you craving even more sweet food.
On the other hand, if you are not eating much at all, this can make you feel drained and much worse than if you were eating small, well-balanced meals.
Easy ways to balance your diet
Food is vital to nourishing your body and mind, so it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet. Try these tips for getting your appetite and eating habits back on track.
- Aim to eat regularly. Eat 3 meals a day – breakfast, lunch and dinner – and snack on nutritious foods like fruits, raw vegetables, low fat crackers and dips.
- Try to do some moderate physical activity, like walking, as often as you can.
- At least once a day, and for at least 30 minutes, sit down to eat in a calm, relaxed way.
- Buy foods that are quick and simple to prepare, so you don’t have to spend a long time cooking if you don’t feel like it. Or cook food slowly if you enjoy it.
- Choose foods that will provide you with lots of nutrients. For example, a simple stir fry can include lots of healthy vegetables.
- Drink lots of fluids, especially water. Try to avoid alcohol since this can make situations seem much worse than they really are.
- If you can’t manage solid food, try smoothies or soups and add some protein powder to boost their nutrition.
- Your pharmacist can advise on meal supplements.
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Last reviewed: August 2017