When my depression is running rampant, it is very difficult to muster the motivation to get out of bed or off the couch and force myself to go to the kitchen to eat something. On days like these, cooking (or even microwaving) something can be far too much for me to do. For that reason, I try to keep things around that take minimal time or effort to prepare, like cereal, yogurt, fruit, and cheese. Sometimes I’ll be lucky and there will be some leftovers in the fridge. I try to stay away from canned or frozen meals because many of them have a lot of salt and/or sugar in them. Besides, I’d rather eat cold leftover home made beef stew than warm canned stew.
Some days, I’ll have an intense craving for something sweet, like Nanaimo bar or candy. On those days it can be very difficult to clear my mind and think about anything else. I try to make sure there’s none of that stuff in the house to tempt me, but if I’m out and pick up a little bag of candy or something, I try not to beat myself up about it. Something sweet every once in a while isn’t going to be the end of the world.
Another thing that depression has done to me is mess up my feelings of hunger and satiety. It’s not that I don’t want food, it’s that I just don’t get hungry anymore. I can go through a whole day without eating anything and the only hint that I’ll get that I need to eat something is that I start to feel dizzy or shaky. The other side to this is that once I start eating, I don’t ever feel full. I’ll eat until I clear the table and have as many helpings as are available.
My solution to this is that I eat by the clock and manage portion size. Breakfast when I get up, lunch between noon and 1PM, and supper between 5 and 6PM. No snacks, and I try to only have one helping of food and then get any leftovers into the fridge quickly so I’m not tempted to have more. This has been working reasonably well so far.