7 ways to deal with can’t eat after a breakup

ways to deal with can't eat after a breakup

Breaking up can be tough, and it can affect various aspects of your life, including your appetite. 

If you find yourself unable to eat after a breakup, you’re not alone. Many people experience a loss of appetite during emotional times. 

Here are 7 simple ways to help you deal with this situation.

7 ways to deal with can’t eat after a breakup

Remember, it’s important to be patient with yourself during this difficult time. Your appetite will likely return as you begin to heal emotionally. 

If your loss of appetite persists for an extended period or if you’re concerned about your health, it’s a good idea to consult a healthcare professional. 

1. Set Eating Alarms:

During times of emotional stress, remembering to eat can become challenging. To help combat this, a practical approach is to set alarms on your phone or device. These alarms serve as gentle reminders to have regular, small meals or snacks throughout the day. By doing so, you establish a reliable eating routine that ensures your body receives the nourishment it needs. 

These reminders act as supportive nudges, guiding you to prioritize your nutritional well-being even when your emotions might overshadow the importance of eating. By incorporating this straightforward technique, you can bring a semblance of structure to your day amid the emotional upheaval, gradually fostering a healthier eating pattern.

2. Opt for Nutrient-Dense Smoothies:

The weight of emotional distress can sometimes make the idea of consuming solid foods unappealing. In such instances, opting for nutrient-dense smoothies can offer a practical solution. By blending a mix of fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and a protein source like nut butter or protein powder, you create a nourishing and easily digestible beverage. 

The blending process breaks down the ingredients, easing the strain on your stomach. This approach not only allows you to intake essential nutrients but also offers a convenient and less daunting method to nourish yourself during challenging moments.

3. Create a Comforting Food List:

The aftermath of a breakup can lead to decision fatigue, even in the realm of meal choices. A practical step to mitigate this is to curate a list of comforting yet nutritious foods. This list can include items like your favorite soothing soup, a simple sandwich, or a warm bowl of oatmeal. It serves as a pre-made menu, alleviating the mental burden of deciding what to eat. 

By merging familiar comfort foods with the nourishment your body requires, you streamline your meal decisions, freeing up mental space for emotional healing during this period.

4. Involve Friends in Meals:

When faced with emotional challenges, eating alone can magnify feelings of isolation. A practical remedy is to include friends in your meals. Whether you share a meal with a friend in person or virtually cook together over a video call, this approach transforms eating into a social and enjoyable experience. 

Sharing food creates companionship, reducing the solitude of mealtimes. Having someone to converse with fosters a positive environment that encourages you to eat and engage in a healthful manner.

5. Try the “Five Bite” Approach:

The prospect of consuming full meals might appear daunting, especially when emotions are overwhelming. In such instances, adopting the “five bite” approach can be beneficial. This method entails taking five small bites of food during each meal, with a focus on diversity and nutrient intake. 

By concentrating on incorporating various types of foods in these bites, you ensure your body receives essential nutrients even in smaller quantities. This approach lessens the intimidation surrounding eating, progressively helping you overcome the challenges linked to a diminished appetite.

6. Keep Pre-Cut Snacks Handy:

Convenience plays a vital role in sustaining your eating habits during emotionally taxing periods. Preparing pre-cut snacks like carrot sticks, cucumber slices, or pre-sliced fruit in advance can make a significant difference. 

These easily accessible options demand minimal effort to consume, making them perfect for moments when a full meal might not feel appealing. The accessibility of these snacks promotes eating, even in smaller portions, aiding in maintaining a consistent intake of nutrients.

7. Use Flavorful Spices:

When faced with reduced appetite, maximizing the taste of each bite becomes crucial. Enhancing your meals with flavorful spices and herbs can heighten the eating experience. The inclusion of these seasonings can elevate the flavor of your food, even when consuming smaller quantities. 

The enjoyment derived from the enhanced taste can stimulate your senses, motivating you to continue eating. This strategy is effective even when opting for lighter meals, as the spices contribute an additional layer of satisfaction to each bite, rendering the eating process more appealing and gratifying.

3 Main Reasons Why You Can’t Eat After a Breakup

Breakups are emotionally challenging experiences that can have a profound impact on various aspects of our lives. 

If you find yourself unable to eat after the end of a relationship, you’re not alone. There are several real reasons behind this phenomenon, each of which sheds light on the intricate connection between our emotions and our bodies.

1. Emotional Turmoil and Distress

The emotional rollercoaster that follows a breakup is well-known to many. Feelings of sadness, anger, confusion, and even shock can engulf us, making it hard to concentrate on daily tasks – including eating. The intensity of these emotions can create a state of emotional turmoil that takes precedence over other bodily cues. The stress and sorrow associated with the breakup might overshadow your appetite, causing you to overlook hunger signals. Your emotional well-being becomes the primary focus, often leading to a decreased interest in food.

2. The Stress Response

Breakups trigger the body’s stress response, a survival mechanism that evolved to help us cope with challenging situations. This response releases stress hormones, such as cortisol, into our bloodstream. These hormones prepare us for a “fight or flight” response by redirecting energy away from non-essential functions like digestion. Instead, the body mobilizes its resources to manage the emotional distress brought on by the breakup. Consequently, the physical act of eating becomes less of a priority, leading to a notable decline in appetite.

3. Chemical Changes in the Brain

The chemistry of our brain is intricately tied to our emotions. The end of a romantic relationship can cause chemical changes that influence how we feel and behave. In particular, the brain’s production of “feel-good” chemicals like dopamine and serotonin can decrease after a breakup. These chemicals play a significant role in regulating mood and pleasure. When their levels dip, it can lead to feelings of sadness and a diminished interest in activities that used to bring joy, including eating. The lack of these pleasurable feelings can contribute to a reduced appetite.

Why do some people lose their appetite after a breakup?

Breakups trigger a cascade of intense emotions that can overwhelm both the mind and body. Feelings like sadness, anger, confusion, and shock can create emotional turmoil. This turmoil can suppress the body’s natural hunger cues, causing a loss of appetite. Additionally, the stress associated with a breakup triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol, which can dampen appetite. The emotional toll and stress response together can lead to a reduced desire to eat.

Is it normal to have a loss of appetite after a breakup?

Yes, experiencing a loss of appetite after a breakup is quite normal. Emotions have a significant impact on our eating patterns. When dealing with the emotional aftermath of a relationship ending, it’s common for eating habits to be affected. It’s important to recognize that this is a natural response and to focus on taking care of your emotional well-being while finding ways to nourish your body.

How can setting eating alarms help with loss of appetite after a breakup?

Setting eating alarms is a practical strategy to counteract forgetfulness and emotional stress. Breakups can consume your thoughts and make you overlook basic needs like eating. By setting alarms on your phone or device, you create a routine that reminds you to have regular, small meals or snacks. These alarms serve as gentle prompts, guiding you to prioritize your nutritional intake even when emotions are strong. Over time, this routine can help reestablish a consistent eating pattern.

Why are nutrient-dense smoothies recommended for dealing with loss of appetite?

Nutrient-dense smoothies provide a solution when the thought of consuming solid foods feels overwhelming. Emotional distress can create physical sensations of heaviness and discomfort, which might deter you from eating. Smoothies made from blended fruits, vegetables, yogurt, and protein sources offer a lighter and more easily digestible option. The blending process breaks down the ingredients, making them gentler on your stomach. This approach ensures that you’re still receiving essential nutrients without the challenge of consuming solid meals.

How does involving friends in meals help with post-breakup loss of appetite?

Breakups can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness. Eating alone during this time might intensify those feelings. Involving friends in your meals can provide companionship and create a sense of connection. Sharing a meal with a friend in person or cooking together over a video call transforms eating into a social and enjoyable experience. 

Having someone to talk to and share food with can shift the focus from the emotional distress to a more positive atmosphere, encouraging you to eat and engage in a healthier way. It also serves as a reminder that you’re not alone during this challenging period.


Dealing with a loss of appetite after a breakup is a common experience that many people face. The emotional turmoil, stress, and changes in brain chemistry can all contribute to a decreased interest in eating. 

However, there are practical strategies to help you navigate this challenging time. From setting eating alarms and opting for nutrient-dense smoothies to involving friends in meals and using flavorful spices, these approaches can make a positive difference in your ability to nourish your body and heal emotionally. 

Remember, it’s important to be patient with yourself and seek support from those around you as you work towards regaining a healthier eating pattern. Your well-being, both emotionally and physically, matters, and taking small steps can lead to positive progress over time.