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Tips on healthy eating during lockdown

If I had a dollar for every time I opened the fridge, I swear I’d be a millionaire by now.

Realistically lock down is not smooth sailing for everyone, it can take a toll on your well-being, which can be reflected upon on your food choices.


Here are a few narratives you may familiarize yourself with:

· Bored? Bake some cookies and eat half the dough before it makes it into the oven.

· Tired? Reach for processed food.

· Stressed? Grab a snack.

· Zoom meeting with work? Pour a vino or 3.

· Working from home? Snack all day.


If you’ve experienced any of these, you’re not alone.

Whether you have found yourself adjusting to new habits from either working from home, not working or adapting to your bubbles way of eating. Try your best & be kind to yourself. Here are a few tips to adapt to your new lockdown eating routines.

  • 1st address the cause.

  • 2nd put a solution in place.





I’m an emotional eater


Due to facing such weird and uncertain COVID times, it’s not uncommon to suffer from stress or anxiety. Whether you may be seeking comfort in food or alcohol try not to beat yourself up about it, but rather bring your focus on the stress that’s causing the change in your eating habits.


Solutions:


  • Physical activity- Make sure you’re keeping physically active. A 30 minute walk can help you soak up that vitD and fresh air, all while releasing dopamine and serotonin to boost your mood.

  • Breaks- If you’re working, make sure you still take your breaks and spend it away from your work and computer.

  • Finding an alternative- If you’re eating to alleviate stress, try and create a new go to helpful habit to counteract emotional eating (have a cup of tea, ring a friend, google cute photos of puppies, watch a funny youtube video, …).


I’m sleep deprived


You may be finding yourself indulging in a Netflix binge until 3 am because “Who cares I don’t have work tomorrow.” or “My boss won’t notice if I’ve only had 4 hours sleep on my zoom meeting tomorrow.”

Alternatively you may be staying up browsing on social media until late, because that’s the closest thing to a social life you're currently getting.


Unfortunately, a tired brain equates to a hungry brain.

Being deprived of sleep can effect your appetite as well as induce cravings for processed foods to seek for an energy boost.

More so, being to tired can influence eating behaviours such as lacking self-control and eating intuitively.


Solutions:


  • Stick to a sleep schedule- Include a minimum of 7–8 hours of sleep. Try getting to bed at the same time every night

  • Reduce stimulus- Stay off screens at least half an hour before going to bed.

  • Bed-time routine- Create a routine which mentally prepares you to get to sleep (listen to a short podcast, read for 30 mins, listen to music, …)


I’m eating out of boredom


You use to be on track with your eating habits until… you stopped working due to COVID. You’ve tried all the possible Tik Toks out there and now your new-found hobby is to be a food critique. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve opened the fridge in the past hour you find yourself returning back and forth because well, “What else is there to do?”.


Solutions:


  • Intuitive eating-When you next find yourself opening your fridge ask yourself “Am I hungry?”, “When did I last eat?”, “Am I Just bored?”.

  • Keep busy- Make some small goals to focus on throughout the day (to do lists, finding a new hobby, …)


Remember to give yourself some breathing space.

Remember to be in tune with yourself and how you’re feeling.

Remember to be kind to yourself throughout these difficult times.

Remember it’s ok to not be ok and ask for help if you need.

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