Are you worried about money? Be careful not to add weight gain to your list of problems. There’s a well-known correlation between low income and obesity. For one thing, high calorie foods are cheaper. For another, lack of money — or fear of lack of money — is very stressful. Feeling trapped in a bad situation is the #1 trigger for emotional eating, and a recession can make you feel very trapped.
So fight back! Innoculate yourself by taking action. The more you do, the better you’ll feel, even if you can’t completely fix the problem.
Don’t know what to do? Start in the kitchen. People are eating out less, and eating at home can mean healthier eating, but not necessarily.
- If you’re a newbie, learn to cook. Mac-and-cheese mix may be cheap, but it’s not home-cooking. If you haven’t taken the time before to learn how to cook, learn now. It’s a wonderful way to take care of yourself and your family.
- If you’re an old-hand in the kitchen, try new things. In the book Mindless Eating, Cornell professor Brian Wansink warns against becoming what he calls the giving cook: “Friendly, well-liked, and enthusiastic, they specialize in comfort foods for family gatherings and large parties. Giving cooks seldom experiment with new dishes, instead relying on traditional favorites.” He says this type of cook is the least likely to have a positive impact on the family’s eating habits.
Now don’t get overwhelmed with the enormity of having to become a gourmet cook! Normal Eating is all about doing one thing at one moment in time — baby steps. Commit to one small doable thing, do that, and then commit to the next thing. That applies here, too. One day, for one meal, decide to make something you’ve never made before, make a grocery list, buy the ingredients, and make it.
Then come back here and post about your experience. What did you make? How did it turn out?