Staring down at a plate of food you know you normally love to eat, it can be hard not to become frustrated when you realize you'd rather do anything than put your fork to your mouth. But what about when this struggle with eating becomes a semi-regular occurrence, and the need for food seems like a chore instead of a pleasure? If you're looking for tips and tricks that will help you stop dreading mealtime and start to be able to eat without disgust again, then here's what you need to know.
Whether it's pregnancy, a bug, or just an upset stomach, being nauseated can make it hard to eat, especially if the nausea is prolonged over multiple days. Very small meals eaten over the course of a day (6 small snack-meals is a good target) can help to keep everything in your stomach where it should be, as will sitting up after you eat, rather than lying down. To make eating a bit more bearable under these conditions, try limiting yourself to bland, easy-to-digest foods. Stick to the BRAT spectrum – bananas, rice, apples, toast – or anything similar to these foods (such as oatmeal, noodles, crackers, or potatoes) to make it easier for your stomach to digest your meals.
When your mouth is perpetually dry (which could be due to a new drier climate, a side effect of drugs, or the aftermaths of treatments like chemotherapy), it's hard to find eating appetizing, as everything seems to get stuck on your tongue or throat. To eat the best you can with a dry mouth, try water-based foods like clear broths and soups, and avoid caffeine and alcohol, both of which will dry you out. In between wet meals, try sucking on hard candy or chewing gum, both of which will promote saliva production, thus making your mouth less dry.
During depressive episodes – or even during the winter, when your mood will tend to drop no matter if you have depression or not – it can be hard to get up any enthusiasm for the little tasks in life, especially when it comes to food. To try and combat this food-related apathy, try out dishes you've never had (but think you would like), up the spice and herb levels in your foods (to make their taste stronger), or indulge a bit in foods you like but normally don't let yourself have. When you make your meals something to look forward to – even if it's just a 10 gummy bear reward afterwards – it can help banish that apathy and make mealtime enjoyable again. To learn more, contact a health expert, such as one from PK Newby.