Many of us turn to food when we’re bored or stressed, so it’s no wonder that the pandemic has played havoc with so many people’s waistlines.
Spending lots of time at home this year, amid ongoing uncertainty, has meant that bad habits have crept in. Do any of these descriptions resonate with you?
The all-day grazer: Mid-morning you reach for the biscuit tin and then keep going – and going. You eat little and often (by that we mean almost constantly) and lose track of how many bourbons/crackers/cookies you’ve devoured.
Late-night binger: You skip breakfast and stick to a simple eating plan for most of the day – until about 9pm comes and BAM! you snaffle a tub of Ben & Jerry’s at lightning speed.
Zombie eater: You always eat in front of the TV or while on your laptop. You shovel it in on auto-pilot, unaware of how much you’ve packed away, if it has any nutritional value or even if it tastes nice.
Afternoon snack fiend: Your mood and willpower plummet mid-afternoon. You start to feel hangry (that’s hungry plus angry) and need a sugary snack to give you an energy hit.
If any of these descriptions ring a bell with you, then here are five tips to help get your eating habits back on an even keel.
Plan meals and shop in advance
Create a meal plan, stock up on healthy produce and get cooking. (Meals made from scratch are typically lower in salt, sugar, and fat than processed foods and takeaways.) Foods to add to your shopping basket include sweet potatoes and spinach (they’re packed with vitamin A) and oily fish (for a hit of vitamin D). If snacking is your weakness, have berries and oranges (full of vitamin C) on hand for when the cravings hit.
Sit down at the table to eat
Avoid eating on the run, or while multitasking. Sit down to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. This structure will help stop you grazing or bingeing.
Frozen vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals, so make sure you have some in the freezer. That way, if you wind up having to quarantine, you can still get your daily dose of veg.
Food isn’t supposed to be a source of guilt, it’s meant to be nourishing and joyful. If you have a blowout, don’t be too tough on yourself. We are living through strange times. Move on, tomorrow’s another day.
Exercise boosts your mood, and gives you more energy, so you won’t need sugary treats to give you a lift. Schedule exercise for the time of day when you typically feel low or lethargic.
We’re here to help you get through these uncertain times. Look after yourself and take care.
Copyright 2020 Belvoir Gloucester