There’s a reason people say, “It’s called a breakup ‘cuz it’s broken.” But that doesn’t make it any easier to go through. Sure, you’ve cheered your BFF through a painful split, but when it happens to you personally it can be hard to take your own advice and remember to take care of yourself properly and eat well (And yes, you’ve even tried that app that will help you recover from a breakup). So we had some top nutritionists share with us their savvy strategies for keeping healthy eating on track and feeling strong after a breakup.
1. Be kind to yourself. This above all, ladies. “Find healthy ways to reduce stress in your life; exercise, do some yoga or meditation, spend time with family and friends, go to the movies, read a book, take a trip, etc… The most important thing is to change your perspective and realize that you will heal and find love again,” offers Rebecca Lewis, a registered dietitian for HelloFresh, a leading healthy meal delivery kit program available nationwide. “This shift in thinking will allow you to move away from making emotional decisions – including around what you eat!”
2. Hit the pavement… or the boxing ring… or a kickboxing class. “There’s no better way to fight the break-up blues than to boost endorphins, your body’s feel-good chemicals. Plus, you’ll look hot after all the extra effort you put in and there’s no better revenge than a body you feel great in!” exclaim The Nutrition Twins, Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT and Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and authors of The Nutrition Twins’ Veggie Cure.
3. Let your breakup be motivation to break up with unhealthy habits. “Our minds and bodies are inherently connected, so it’s no surprise that after a difficult break-up, we might lose interest in food or have strange cravings. Essentially, your brain changes in response to how you feel. So if you’re stressed out, your cortisol levels skyrocket. If you continue to have chronically high levels of cortisol, your blood sugar stays high, the calcium begins to be pulled out of your bones, your blood pressure goes up, your immune health goes down and you’ll lose muscle and accumulate fat,” explains Lewis. Great news awaits though! “Once you start taking care of your emotional health, you’ll value taking care of your internal physical health as well. Let the break-up be your motivation to also break-up with unhealthy eating habits you’ve been carrying around. Find a way to love the relationship you have with the foods you eat.”
4. Meditate. “After a breakup, you may feel like the walls are crashing down. All the stability you had can be ripped from you in a minute. During these rough times, you may feel like this is your situation forever, like things will never be okay again. Taking at least 10 minutes to meditate helps you to gain control and change your perspective. It is also a great way to become more mindful, which is essential for any healthy eating strategy and can help you take control of your nutrition,” offers Lisa Hayim, registered dietitian and founder of The Well Necessities.
5. Cut back on the bad stuff. Sure, there are days when we all want to dive into that container of chocolate ice cream and eat a solo box of pizza while forsaking that kale smoothie. But how do you feel after that pint? Maybe great in the moment, but not so hot the next day. And after that kale smoothie? Chances are, pretty darn great. So focus on what nourishes both your body and soul, and nix what only provides you with a temporary fix. Perhaps Lewis says it best: “Go easy on the coffee, sugar and alcohol. These are temporary bandaids that just disguise the problem.”
6. Spice it up! “By spicing it up in the kitchen, you can save a lot of extra fat, calories and salt,” suggest The Nutrition Twins. “Doing so will lead to a leaner, less bloated and healthier body. By using spices (think everything from oregano, cayenne, cumin and chili powder to ginger and cinnamon) you’ll be able to use less of the bad stuff, like butter, salt and oils, all which can lead to weight gain and bloating.” Check out 11 super herbs and spices for your health!
7. Try a new activity. Did your old flame laugh at the idea of joining a running club? Now’s the time to join! “Whether it’s yoga or rock climbing, doing something scary that you have never done before will make you feel confident and help you get your mind off of things. If it’s an activity that involves cardio or muscle building, all the better,” shares Hayim.
8. Don’t “jump right back in there.” With dating available at the swipe of a finger, it can be more tempting than ever to dive back into the dating arena. “But take some time to heal and feel what it’s like to be alone,” advises Hayim. “When we jump right back in before wounds have healed, we risk the potential for them to open up deeper. The result can be more devastating that the original break up. Plus dating usually involves eating and drinking mindlessly. This is the time to listen to your body, its cues and what it needs.” And hey, you deserve to be selfish and make it all about fabulous, wonderful you for a while.
Got a favorite post-breakup tip for staying healthy? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via Getty)