Imagine walking in on this…
A grown man splurged on his sofa gorging down an entire loaf of bread. Enough crumbs on his chest to suggest Hansel and Gretel had trampled over his grieving heart. Barely taking a breath before stuffing the next slice in his face. What a way to react to a break-up. This isn’t the clichè hot chick crying eating ice-cream in front of a soppy film. It’s probably five times more pathetic. At least I didn’t cry.
Post-breakup eating binges are actually biological
In my defence, this Warburton binge was actually my body reacting to stress. When we are stressed, our brains create cortisol to help control our anxiety. Unfortunately, cortisol also stimulates production of another hormone that makes you crave carbohydrates, called Neuropeptide Y.
These aren’t the only cravings that stress can cause. If you miss sex, you may crave chocolate, as it famously contains the same chemical released during intercourse (phenylethylamine).
Ice cream contains choline which creates a calming sensation in the brain. It also stimulates serotonin release, so you’re more likely to want it when you’re feeling low or lonely. No wonder they call it comfort food…
How to avoid stuffing your face after a split
You don’t have to put on a pot belly after every failed relationship. Realise that junk food cravings aren’t always a result of hunger. Recognising the emotional triggers can relieve your craving.
Engage in activities other than eating that make you happy. Phone a friend, surf YouTube, play your favourite music. Anything that stimulates feel-good sensations in your brain.
Have 15 minutes of fun, then eat afterwards if you want to. Chances are the cravings have gone.
If you still fancy a snack, it doesn’t have to be calorific. Ginger ale or soya milk are both known for curing chocolate cravings. High-quality carbs (wholemeal bread, whole-wheat flour, brown rice) can be beneficial too.
As simple as it sounds, drinking a large glass of water can help you feel full. You may have been confusing thirst with hunger.
The other kind of post break-up diet
Some people will react completely differently to being ditched.
These types are typically confident enough not to need comfort food to feel good about themselves. Instead, they’re determined to show the man or woman who dumped them what they’re missing.
Maybe they’re aware that aerobic exercise is brilliant therapy for a broken heart. Not only does it boost serotonin levels, but it also naturally suppresses your appetite. You’ll have a better body and be less stressed.
Don’t take your post-break-up diet too far
Eating disorders often occur after an event that was out of our control.
We either develop an addiction to the comforting feel-good hormones gained from fast food, or we completely limit our food intake, if only to still have something we maintain complete control over.
There’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to some comfort food when you’re feeling down. There’s nothing bad about losing a bit of weight to feel better about yourself. Just keep it in moderation.
Remember the world is a wonderful place and you are a wonderful person, regardless of whether someone split up with you.
Write a list of what makes you loveable. Remind yourself why you’re incredible and the benefits of being single.
You’re special, you’re attractive and you’re strong enough to recover without eating a whole loaf of bread.