We’ve been in lockdown for quite some time now and a few of us are seeing nasty habits forming when it comes to eating. As we are adapting to the lifestyle that coronavirus has made us accustomed to, many people are left on their own to get to grips with a new daily routine.
Working from home, isolation, boredom, anxiety, and uncertainty are all potential triggers for a quick rummage in the snack drawer. Snacking is the easy way to soothe all of these emotions.
Here are some tips to avoid these pitfalls and go back to the healthy diet that we all want:
Make a shopping list!
It's important to make shopping lists before your visit to the supermarket. We aren’t going every day and nipping back for the items we’ve forgotten, so a shopping trip has to be taken seriously and conducted to near military precision to avoid multiple trips.
Choosing the foods you will buy upfront and jotting them down on your shopping list is one way of sticking to your healthy eating plan. So when you open the fridge on the hunt for a snack, you know that whatever you put in your body, you are sure that it gives you the energy and nutrients you need to get through the day because you have accumulated all the healthy foods on your list.
Buy foods that are high in proteins and fibers like eggs, lean fish, nuts, fruits, and leafy greens. Avoid buying food that is high on sugar and salt like soft drinks, cookies, chips, and junk foods. In other words, avoid the fun aisles of the supermarket!
Know your snacking triggers
Be aware of what makes you feel like you want a snack and try to avoid these in advance. If you’re getting up from your work from home station to stretch your legs, instead of heading straight for the snack cupboard, go and do a little productive task. Load the dishwasher, make your bed then fill up your glass of water and get back to work.
If you're stopping for a break at the same time every day to sit on the sofa with a cup of tea and half a packet of biscuits or the kids easter eggs, switch the chocolate for a bit of fruit or just portion control - one or two biscuits is better than 5 - let's be honest. Or, even better, get some squats done or go for a walk around your house. Challenge yourself to 1000 steps before you sit back down.
Plan a consistent meal time
Our routine has been knocked off track lately but just because we’re working from home, doesn’t mean we have to completely change our routine and our eating habits. Don’t skip breakfast if you usually have a hearty, healthy start to the day - it will only lead to excessive snacking or a massive lunch that will leave you feeling lethargic in the afternoon and your productivity goes out the window!
Plan your day and your meal times and if you find that you are working and then realise that without noticing it's 2pm and you’ve not eaten yet - set an alarm on your phone. Not eating on a proper mealtime will not only give you a burn out feeling, but also the urge you to eat more. It is important to schedule your meal, so your body clock will not be confused when you're eating food in a different time frame. Be mindful of the time and set how many times you will eat in a day.
Drink more water!
Simple, but the most underrated and most forgotten thing when we are at home is not drinking enough water. Drink water instead of soft drinks because water cleanses and helps our body to stay cool and hydrated. It also helps to stay away from the fridge overeating by providing a sense of fullness. Include mint, cucumber or lemon, to make it more appealing if water isn’t your favourite! Set yourself a challenge to drink 8 glasses of water a day and you will notice a difference.
Be kind to yourself
Lastly don't overthink it, remember that your goal here is to try and get some work done in a different environment to what you are used to. It will get easier as time goes by and before we know it we will be back to work as normal. Embrace the change and be as positive as you can.