Friday, March 11, 2011

Food Mood

Look at me, I'm a poet!

Ok, maybe not.  So what else could that title mean then?  Am I in the mood for food?  What else is new? (If my stomach had it's own facebook page, the status would perpetually read "I'm hungry")  How about food reflecting your mood?  Does that make sense?

Have you ever thought that if someone knew you well enough, they could determine what kind of mood you were in simply based on what you ate that day?  I started noticing some patterns in my eating habits about a year ago and they popped up again this week so I thought I'd see if anyone else shares the same oddities or maybe I'm the only one.

First off, the stereotypical thing to do when you're depressed is what?  Eat, right?  Most people I talk to go straight for the kitchen when they're sad or depressed.  Me?  I don't get hungry.  I would assume that the majority of people fear weight gain when they're depressed.  I fear not eating enough.  My stomach rumbles, but the hunger feeling is gone. 

Secondly, my appetite can take drastic plunges and steep climbs depending on my daily activity.  I might do a double workout one day and eat 7000+ calories, barely satisfying my hunger and then the next day is a rest day and I may have to force down 2500 calories.  For this reason alone, I've never really worried about gaining weight.  My body has always seemed to scale my appetite to my activity well. 

Three and four are very similar.  When I get sick, it's very much like when I'm depressed; I don't feel hungry much.  However, on top of that, I tend to go for foods far below my typical level of "healthy" cuisine.  Recently, while I'm getting over this cold, I've been eating frozen pizzas, condensed soups, and random snack food.  But then today I felt a significant amount better when I woke up and all of a sudden I have either the energy or drive (whatever you want to call it) to eat healthy; for lunch I had a banana and celery while cooking ground turkey with red bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms and planning fish with mixed squash for dinner.

Along the same lines, when I get back from a workout, I go into an overdrive gear for cooking a healthy meal.  I noticed this when I started religiously going to the gym last summer.  I'd cook "normal" meals on my off days, but after working out, even though I'd get home late, I would take the time to make a salad, prepare a full meal with vegetables, and snack on fruits while cooking.  Now I cook much better all around so I don't notice this as much, but it's still there.

So...  Am I the only odd one out there?  Is there some sort of brain state related to health that is affected by endorphins and/or mood?

1.  Do you have a food habit associated with your moods?
Maybe you have specific cravings, tendencies, or just all out whacked out binges?  Or maybe it's just me. 

2.  Do you have anything else that you notice changes based on your training?
Does your sleep change?  Are you cranky when you don't workout?  Or anything else you can think of?

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 


Runners Fuel said...

Of course, the more I run, the more hungry I am. I can't remember when I wasn't hungry last (I'm curently eating while I'm typing).

5 Miles Past Empty said...

You're not alone...when I am tired or lazy though I tend to eat crappier. After a good workout I like to have a protein shake which tides me over while I make my healthy lunch. Otherwise I stuff my face with fast crap like goldfish, chips, whatever I can grab and eat.

But like you said, when I work out I work harder to eat healthier. But on my rest days I feel like I eat like crap. weird.

Richelle said...

1. I tend to eat chocolate when I'm feeling stressed out. During Lent, I'm trying to eat better, mainly by getting more fruits and veggies in my stomach, and less junk.

2. When I'm in the thick of training for a half-marathon, I notice that I lose weight.