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Balance with Eating while Grieving

Blog post written by,

Yaneth Beltran, RD/LDN, CEDRD

Facing the loss of a loved one could lead to experiencing different physical and emotional reactions. Some of the feelings that people experience during the process of grievance are sadness, frustration, depression, anger, guilt, and they could be difficult to manage.

Often times, people experience changes in their appetite, might have sleeping problems, digestive issues, changes in their immune system, and grief may even affect “their ability to make decisions” since their cognitive functioning is also impacted.

Depending on your life experiences, you could end up eating emotionally to make yourself “feel better” or decide not to eat to make yourself “feel congruent with the feelings you are experiencing such as emptiness and loss.” Rather than eating to supply your physical needs some individual eat or not eat to meet their emotional needs. These changes happen, as your body is grieving.

Here are some tips to show you how to take care of your health during the times of grief:

  • Plan balanced snacks instead of having large meals.

  • Proteins, starches, and fats are the main sources of energy; make sure you include these three macronutrients when building up meals/ snacks.

  • Select food consistencies that will help facilitate the intake of proper nutrients in a day. For example, eat soft consistencies like eggs if you have a hard time wanting to eat or hard consistencies like crunchy apples if you have a hard time eating in moderation.

  • Make sure you drink enough water/ fluids every day, a general recommendation will be between 8 to 10 cups of water per day. This will help you stay hydrated, maintain internal organs working properly, and improve the immune system as it could become vulnerable.

Please remember that the goal is to help you have a structured framework to help you manage your feelings and protect your physical and mental health while adapting to the intense feelings of sorrow. Having balance with eating while grieving is a very important strategy to help you continue having a meaningful life.



Eating Disorder and OCD Registered Dietitian

I take a holistic approach to wellness by providing nutritional counseling to clients that want to establish a healthy relationship with food. I am a compassionate person, who believes in the power of the therapeutic relationship between clients and professionals. For a FREE phone consultation and more information about nutritional counseling, please call me directly at 954.773.3139.


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