Find your calm

28 May 2021

Adulting can be so hard and sometimes you find comfort in grabbing that extra cupcake. Eating your feelings is not the solution and neither is starving yourself. If food is a go to for you in stressful situations there is a way out. 
Below is an excerpt from our Facebook Live Chat between Doctor Sithabiso Dube (Public Health Practioner) and Nyasha Musingwini (Dietician) who had amazing insights on how stress impacts you’re eating habits. 
How are our eating habits and mental health linked? 
Nyasha: Your eating patterns are directly linked to your stress levels. Certain food behaviours such as over snacking are an easy indicator of rising stress levels. In extreme cases this gives rise to Eating disorders such and anorexia, bulimia or binge eating. These disorders come with a lot of deception because they are not only affecting your body but your mind too. 
Sithabiso: In my experience an eating disorder is not just about food in most cases it is a mental health issue.  With most people eating disorders are less about how they look and more about how they feel inside. In our culture we find many over eaters because of the perception that Africans are supposed to be full bodied but health is more important than looks. 
What do you do when you find your eating habits changing? 
Nyasha: Using food as a remedy is the healthiest way to deal with stress and it is important to know what you’re eating habits are and how to prepare your meals in line with them. 
Sithabiso:  People do have different reasons for eating and you need to know what yours is, there are 4 different kinds of eating habits 
1.    Fuel eaters: These eat to fuel their bodies and for nutrition and hydration. 
2.    Joy eaters: These eat for the simple pleasure of eating in most cases they enjoy sweet snacks 
3.     Fog eater: these eat just because food is available for them to eat which can easily lead to storm eating 
4.    Storm eating: These eat according to their feelings. Storm eaters link their food to their emotions resulting in overeating or under eating.  
One you determine which kind of eater you are it is much easier to adjust your diet accordingly. If you are a joy eater, find joy in eating a home-made chicken sandwich instead of fried chicken. 

Is it possible to achieve a compromise with food habits? 
The best compromise would be to find foods that satisfy both your cravings and give your body the right nutrition it needs. It is as easy as substituting sugar with honey. 
 When you change your lifestyle and food habits you will also see your mental health changing. 
This is what our food experts had to say and so much more. Remember to maintain a healthy body you should also have a healthy mind. 
To watch the full conversation, tune in to the live chat we had with Doctor Sithabiso Dube and Nyasha Musingwini on the link below. or 

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