Let's eat!!

Before the burnout, I didn’t really pay much attention to my eating and drinking behavior. I ate what I encountered and drank what I thought I needed. I was like my body indicates what I need, and I follow that.

When I was in my burnout for a while, I started to wonder if my eating and drinking style had a connection with my burnout. And whether by eating and drinking differently, I could speed up / improve my recovery. Maybe I got too many bad nutrients and still not enough good ones.

I also started to wonder if I was getting enough calories and if I could make a profit there. My body was so low in energy that I could really notice that after breakfast, lunch and dinner my energy level increased. It usually took half an hour before I noticed that I felt more energetic and was better off.  But whether I ate enough I did not know.

I often woke up in the morning nauseous and flu-like. That was because my stomach was empty. That felt so strange. Just like a stress attack, in which my stomach also cramped, that also seemed to be the case here. In addition, my body struggled to digest food, just not in the mood for this activity. So that also played a role.

In short, I started to find out whether a change of food, drink and a fixed eating rhythm would contribute to my recovery. The answer is in advance: Yes, and it was much easier afterwards than I thought.

How I did that I have described below, hopefully it will help you.

Own experience


Also, in this case I have had a lot of support and help from my family. Changing eating and drinking patterns also affects them. So if we wanted to change that, we had to do it as a family. Together you are stronger than on your own. And on your own, you are quickly inclined to fall back into temptations.





First, I went to see which substances I took a striking amount and what the effect was on my body. I started to focus on substances that are popularly referred to as bad. I just started to look for sugar, caffeine, alcohol, salts and fats. Substances that I had read that have an effect on my body. With large intake especially in a negative sense! 

I made a schedule because to keep track, per day. Here’s an example of that:


Numbers per day

When exactly


10/11 servings

Usually in the afternoon and after dinner (20:00). Also, throughout the day, I snacked quite a lot.


8 cups

Basically, all day long. Before 12.00 hours often already 4 cups


1 to 2 glasses

Usually red wine, with dinner and in the evening with the TV


Some chips

Also in the evening, but also when eating fries etc.


Some chips

Also in the evening, but also when eating fries etc.

You can download that schedule below, maybe it will help you.

It soon turned out that I was taking these substances in large quantities. Because of my lack of energy, I unconsciously looked for these substances that gave me energy or a boost. This had gone insidiously, and I was not aware of it.

Most of these substances (due to the large intake) eventually had a negative effect on my body. In the short term it did indeed give more energy and a boost, but in the longer term the breakdown of the substances and the additional effects cost a lot of energy. I describe that below. By the way, this is not a scientific basis, but as I have experienced it.

Sugar, which was an excellent energy supplier in the very short term. Especially in the morning when I was just awake or in the course of the day when I had a bit of a dip, sugar was ideal for getting energy from. With limited intake, that was fine, by the way. But with larger intake, it was a bit different. Due to the production of extra insulin in your body, I could get so-called sugar rush after the sugar had broken down. Then I got extra tired because my body had to break down the extra insulin. So, then the extra sugar worked against me.

I also started to ask myself whether this sugar intake contributed to adjusting my lifestyle. Perhaps the sugar ignored the fact that instead of looking for extra energy, I could also slow down.

I found caffeine and coffee super tasty. I could really enjoy an espresso lungo, even a simple cup of instant coffee makes me happy. The caffeine that is in it, made my stress hormone work extra. In this way, a lot of coffee could also lead to a raised and stressed feeling. I have had a panic attack, where the origin lay with the 3 espressos that I had already drunk in the morning . I also noticed that I slept worse because of the coffee in the evening and the amounts of caffeine in my blood.

Alcohol, especially red wine (from Austria) I really find an addition to a meal or an evening. I can really enjoy a glass of wine. With the side effect that I could sleep well if I had a glass of wine on. What I also noticed was that the next day I was quite tired and didn’t really sleep in. My body had to make a lot of effort to break down the alcohol and get rid of it. More than I realized.


Salt, I mainly got through chips, fries, fast food, and pizza. We ate that 1 time a week and especially for the children that was a party. Because of the amounts of salt that are on these products, I often had enormous thirst and sometimes headaches the next day. So, then I didn’t feel completely top because of the burnout and then often even worse because of the salt.  

Fats, I also got these mainly through chips, fries, fast food, pizza and Chinese. Often when we were busy or didn’t feel like cooking, we made it. But here too my body was and did not agree with it. Pretty soon after this type of food I got enormous urge and trouble with my intestines. Also, the next day I had to go to the toilet regularly, where I could clearly notice that my intestines could not handle these amounts of fat well.

If you read this way, everyone can think that something had to change, that’s what we started doing. Below I describe how that went.





Initially, our reaction was to reduce these eating and drinking habits as much as possible and to start living as healthy as possible. In addition, we wanted to delve into all kinds of diets that were described in the media (but also by friends and acquaintances) as stimulating, positive and good.


The latter, the diets we found quite difficult. We looked at:

Keto diet= no carbs (sugar, grain, etc..) only that led to me feeling hungry all day and still starting to sniff left and right.

Intermitted fasting = no breakfast but lunch plus dinner and food when your body asks for it. Here, too, we got stuck fairly quickly. Because I was just hungry, and my body was used to eating regularly.

Vegan and vegetarian, we didn’t even start. We found ourselves to be so far from what a body needs.  Especially during a burnout, but certainly also with growing children.

In the end, we didn’t really follow through on any diet. I wanted to stimulate my recovery process by eating enough. Also, a burnout did not seem to me to be the most convenient time to experiment with (hip) diets.  After all, most diets want you to lose weight and consume fewer calories. That is precisely what you should NOT do in case of a burnout. Do NOT cut back on calories, you will need them at this stage!


What we did realize was that we had to change the intake of the bad substances. Stopping that didn’t seem feasible, but reducing it was possible. So less coffee, less wine, less fries, etc. That turned out to be quite doable.

When becoming aware of the bad substances, another idea came to mind. Could we (partly) replace the bad substances with healthy substances? I want to describe that idea in growth.



Changes can only be sustained if they can be incorporated into your daily life in a logical way. Where they require as little effort as possible and are easy to plan.

This is what we started looking for, following four routes:

  • Stop
  • Add
  • Diminish
  • Change

We mainly stopped with the alcohol. Actually, that was the easiest. Because I drank alcohol at fixed times (eating and in the evening) I could stop it quite easily. Just don’t buy anymore and after a few days I was used to it.

We added with products that were a supplement. For example, we continued to get fries from time to time, but then we ate peas and carrots with it. Or we would have gotten pizzas and then we would add pieces of pepper ourselves.

With the lasagna or nasi, spaghetti etc. we added extra vegetables. So that we got good nutrients. And so we mainly tried to add vegetables to the meals. Turned out to be quite simple with a high yield.

Reducing, we did that with chips. We decided (doesn’t always work out though) to just eat less chips. And if we did eat chips, we only bought 1 bag and divided it into trays. So that we had an appropriate amount.  Or we picked up such a mixed bag with all kinds of smaller bags. So that I didn’t get huge amounts anymore.

Change, we did that with coffee and sugar. I still like coffee very much and I can really enjoy it. But if I know that I’m getting too bothered by the caffeine, then I take decaffeinated coffee. Nowadays it tastes similar to regular coffee. Except for the caffeine. You don’t have one.

I also started drinking more tea. Especially in between and in the evening, tea is really a drink to relax. Also in the morning, to wake up quietly, tea is ideal.

We have also started to change sugar. Instead of a march or sweets, I chose bananas/apples or a granola bar. Really sweet and also quite a decent sugar intake, but less than I did before. We also had frozen fruit. Very easy to store in the freezer. Then put it in the microwave and you’re done.



Finally, I started to pour my eating behavior into a rhythm. And I stoically stuck to that. So don’t change no, just persevere.

In the morning, breakfast with bread

Around 10.00, coffee with an evergreen

Lunch, double sandwich with meat/cheese

Around 15.00, tea with fruit

Around 17.30, an extensive healthy meal (including meat)

Around 20.00, tea with a little something.

By eating at fixed times and eating other things, I clearly got more energy and after a while I really felt a lot better.




Taking a closer look at my eating and drinking behavior has brought me a lot. I felt that my body was just doing better on healthier products. And no we still eat Chinese, pizza and chips. But we think about it more and try to make it as healthy as possible.

Planning my food gave me a lot of peace and confidence. I just knew I had to eat and drink at set times, that worked great.  Even if my body didn’t seem to want to, I still forced myself to eat. So as not to disturb the rhythm.

I felt bad physically at the beginning of the burnout, but after a meal or something to eat it got better and better. So I always have (healthy) food and drinks with me in my environment. The moment I don’t feel well, I always have something within reach.


So here too I have started to change, and I have gained the confidence that my energy level is increasing. In the end, you’ll be fine.



What is positive?


You learn to listen to the needs of your body and less to your head. You know you must eat and that the disc of 5, is just good and no you don’t have to overeat, but don’t cut back either.

Nutrition can also be seen as an energy boost when you are faint or when something exciting is about to happen. By eating fruit you can ensure that your resistance gets better. So, eat an apple or a pear every now and then.

But especially thinking about WHAT you put in your mouth takes you further in your recovery



  1. Just eat normally. The disc of 5 is your guideline and make sure you have more than enough calories
  2. Stay away from hip diets. That’s really not good for your recovery. You are vulnerable and this can increase vulnerability
  3. Be careful with junk in your body. Your body needs all the  energy to overcome the burnout.  Junk doesn’t work very well with that.
  4. Try to see if you can change habits. More vegetables, other sweets, decaffeinated coffee etc.
  5. Stock up on emergency supplies at home and at work. That’s for when you faint, so you always have enough energy nearby.

Keep it should be fine!!

Our eating and drinking behavior have changed in parts. Less bad junk and more healthy stuff. And yes, we do almost everything again, but in moderation and in a different form.

So also, for you I would advise you to look at that and find out if food contributes to your recovery.