Updated: Apr 19, 2020
We could be stuck indoors for a long while yet, so let's make the most of it by eating well and heading towards meeting your health and fitness goals, rather than moving away and becoming unhealthier.
Whilst in lockdown we may start feeling more energy and mood lows. We are also likely to be moving a lot less increasing the risk of putting on weight by increasing our body fat levels. Let's ensure we keep our energy high and stable, are mood positive and our weight and body weight to target. Here are my tips and ideas for healthier eating during the Coronavirus lockdown period.
1) Keep Unhealthy Foods Out. Not only are we trying to keep Coronavirus away, we also need to keep out the unhealthy food. Out of sight out of mind. We are asked to not shop so regularly, so in our one shop a week we can get everything we need and enjoy but avoid the foods we often turn to when bored and for comfort eating. With the restaurants and takeaways shut we can take this opportunity to bring in control over our cooking and to reap the benefits of this. So next time you're at the shops, leave out the crisps and chocolates and you'll find that you'll be perfectly well without them. Also aim to reduce stockpiling. Apart from the ethical issues around this, you may be tempted to over-eat if the food is there piled up watching you and asking to be eaten.
2) Maintain a Regular Eating Routine. With the daily routine we were all used to being thrown out the window we will need to adapt to a new routine. Without a routine we will mindlessly be eating without thought, when boredom or stress arises. This is why we should set regular times for eating. This structure will make us feel much more settled, taking away decision fatigue and can help to prevent us from over-eating.
3) Meal Planning. Most of us, including myself, have plenty of extra time on our hands. I also have plenty of recipe books I've never used, full of lovely Vegan meal recipes. I've yet to open them but I will! I'll let you know how I get on with that. In the mean time cook yourself a meal you've never cooked. Take today to prepare a list of what you'll need to buy so you can stock up next time you do your online shop (or safely make your way to the supermarket maintaining social distancing)
4) Eat Whole Foods. There are plenty of fresh fruit and veg in the shops. Thankfully unlike with toilet roll there is no need to ration these. Therefore remember your 5 a day, but really that should be a minimum. Bulk up your meals with quinoa, buckwheat and brown rice.
5) Be Mindful When Eating. Turn off the news and focus on what you're eating. Chew and enjoy your food. This mindfulness approach will support a feeling of calm and help you to feel more satiated rather than when we quickly gobble down a meal. Simply practising this awareness around what you are eating will help you to catch any unhelpful eating practices and nip them in the bud.
6) Keep Busy. If you find you are boredom or comfort eating, distract yourself with other activities. Get out for a walk, meditate, practice Yoga or contact me for an Online Personal Training session!
Enjoy your food. Eating is my favourite part of the day. Be more mindful and follow the tips above to a healthier approach to nutrition in this period. This lockdown period can be a positive boost for good health! We have more time to prioritise ourselves, to stop and address many of our often unconscious actions. Make the most of this unsettling and very strange time.
Wish you all great health, stay well.