If we look up nutrition in a dictionary, one of the definitions would be: the act or effect of nourishing yourself. But then comes the big question: how are we nourishing ourselves? And how can something so simple be so complex at the same time
Our relation with food in times of coronavirus!
The simple fact of being confined at home is an opportunity to eat more. “The current moment makes most people more anxious. It may be due to idleness or by the situation of confinement. Insecurity, fear, all these interfere with the hormones of satiety and hunger such as: insulin, leptin and dopamine, hormones that control our appetite”, explains Nutritionist Flávia Ramos.
Dr. Flávia Ramos also adds:
“Sometimes a person finds himself eating even without being hungry, simply because he is at home, or to keep his mouth active, his hand busy. He eats from anxiety and this can lead to compulsion, that is, the loss of control over the act of eating, which often ends up becoming a cycle of guilt, frustration, and which makes the person eat even more. We cannot forget that we are living in a unique moment, and that not all the acquired attitudes and behaviors, in this phase of coronavirus, will remain after life returns to normal, the routine goes back to how it was before.”
Difference between Hyperphagia and Binge Eating
If you had an abnormal increase in appetite, started to overeat, not in specific moments, but throughout the day, seeking pleasure in food, especially in sweets (which serve as neuron stimulants), you have hyperphagia, one of the symptoms of Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
It is a serious disorder, a disease characterized by lack of control. The person in this situation cannot stop eating or, as it happens many times, he will only stop, when the food in front of him runs out. A person will eat even if he or she doesn’t feel like it. It’s not for pleasure, but to try to satisfy an inner need, a feeling of anguish. According to psychoanalysis, it may be related to some event in the past, explains Psychiatrist Dr. Luciana Daval.
Dra. Luciana Daval also says:
“Anxiety is nothing but fear, caused, often, by the excess of information on social networks, in the media, by fake news, which increase people’s fear, and the escape valve, at home, is food”.
How to treat Hyperphagia or Binge Eating?
According to Psychiatrist Dr. Luciana Daval, there are anti-depressant drugs, which are selective inhibitors of serotonin reuptake. But first, it is necessary to analyze the moment in which we are living and understand that it can be something fleeting, just a momentary escape valve. When you return to your normal routine at work, outside the home, and realize that the problem continues, seek medical advice.
Tips from the Nutritionist that can help prevent Binge Eating!
The first step, as explains nutritionist Flávia Ramos, is to try to adjust your daily diet. When a person tries a diet very restrictive in calories or carbohydrates, without guidance, or for a long period of time, and in the wrong way, it can worsen or trigger a compulsive condition, sometimes aggravated by stress, anxiety and lack of sleep.
The total lack of carbohydrate, which is “in fashion” nowadays, ends up generating insufficient energy cycles, reducing the serotonin and dopamine responsible for satisfaction and pleasure, as well as the glycogen stored in the muscle and in the brain. That is, the lack of carbohydrate for long periods can lead to the following: loss of concentration, reduced memory, lack of energy, cramps, muscle injuries, insomnia and much more.
On the other hand, the excess of sugary foods and white flours, lead to a greater production of insulin, which causes hunger, compulsion and anxiety. It seems that the person is never satisfied, even eating a lot of carbohydrates.
Excessive consumption of industrialized and artificial foods, full of chemical ingredients, can also intoxicate the body and worsen the conditions of compulsion. Prefer fresh food, real food, natural products, grains, cereals, vegetables and proteins in an adequate amount for your body.
Have a balanced, varied diet that matches your profile.
Find a correct diet or a diet that matches your profile and your time of life. Try it!
What to do during the “Quarantine”?
• At this time, at home, try to maintain a feeding ROUTINE.
• Set your hours and try to organize, the day before, what you are going to eat the next day.
• Leave healthier foods on the top of the refrigerator, such as chopped fruits, stevia diet gelatin, make cucumber, leek and carrot sticks.
• For snacking, you can use: cherry tomatoes, heart of palm, champignons.
• Always have a bottle of water, flavored water or tea by your side, drink whenever you think about eating.
• If you feel compulsion to eat, choose more protein options to avoid eating sugar or carbohydrates. Prefer quail eggs, white cheese, sashimi, chicken, fish, tomato stuffed with cottage cheese and herbs.
• Use freely: fruit teas, stevia-based diet gelatin, vegetable sticks, vegetable chips (except potatoes).
• Identify the foods that get you out of control; don’t have them around and avoid the first bite.
• Take the time to pay attention to what you are eating, chew better, and eat calmly. How about a Mindful Eating moment (mindfulness in the act of eating).
• Use breathing techniques to control anxiety. When you think about eating, try to wait 5 minutes: breathe, distract your mind, dance, get busy, and when you go to eat, choose the lighter options.
• SOS: 70% chocolate, stevia or seaweed candy, desserts with cocoa powder, not chocolate.
• Increase food for immunity (see our two videos on instagram @clinicaflaviaramos).
A strong, balanced and well-nourished body prevents compulsion and fights the virus.
Together we will win!!