Many Americans will likely find themselves a little bit flabbier once they emerge from lockdown and quarantine. Is it anyway surprising? Pantries are packed with junk and comfort foods. The refrigerator is packed with cheese, milk, and meat. People are baking cookies and pastries nonstop.
It’s tempting to just stay at home and seek relief from boredom by eating all day. Bloomberg has reported that popcorn sales have increased by 48%, pretzels sales are up by 47%, and potato chip sales have increased by 30%.
It is not surprising because people tend to eat when stressed. They become less vigilant about observing a proper diet. They resort to eating comfort food.
Of course, it’s not the time to go on a crazy diet, but social distancing is going to be a way of life for some time, so it is important that you keep yourself healthy during this time.
Here are some tips on how to avoid gaining weight during quarantine:
Create Daily Structure
Our new reality is a bit disorienting. We are not meant to stay at home at all times. So, to avoid eating all day, it is important to plan your day – no matter how repetitive it seems to be. You don’t want to end up nibbling on snacks and eating eight mini-meals just because you’re bored.
Set up structured meal times for yourself. Set a time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This will help you limit frequent snacking.
Remember the Importance of a Healthy Diet
This is the time that people should think about eating foods to boost their immune system. A healthy diet can help strengthen your immune system. This means eating foods packed with nutrients.
Stock your pantry up with healthy staples including canned frozen fruits, frozen vegetables, canned soups, whole wheat, canned fish, and nuts. If you are going to make your comfort food, make sure to use the healthiest ingredients.
Avoid Eating Out of the Bag
When you eat snacks straight out of the packaging, you could end up overeating. Do not open a giant box of crackers and eat straight out of that box. You could end up eating all of it.
Try portion control to limit the amount of food you eat. It is easy to do when you limit your access to food. It might help to use a food scale or measuring cup to limit your food intake.
Take the food out of the box. Grab only the amount that you can eat. Put the food in a place and enjoy it.
Indulge in One Treat Once a Day
It might be a good idea to follow the 80/20 rule. This means eating well 80% of the time and indulging in treats 20% of the time. It’s good to allow yourself to indulge at least once a day.
Grab a bag of air-popped popcorn. Enjoy a whole-grain pretzel or cracker. You can also indulge in a small portion of chocolate ice cream. Just make sure you eat nutritious foods the majority of the time.
Eat Nutritious & Balanced Meals
Load up half of your plate with veggies and fill up the other half with healthy fats, whole grains, or lean proteins. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and avoid highly processed ones like crackers, cookies, cereals, and chips. Your body will thank you for your healthy food choice!
Healthy food will help promote your mental and physical health. You will be able to deal with stress better. You will have more energy, be able to sleep better, and feel less bloated. You need to be on top of your game especially with the kids at home.
Drink Lots of Water
You need to hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! So, keep a bottle of water or a glass of water within easy reach while you work at home or go about your day. Avoid drinks with artificial sweeteners. These things can throw off your appetite and damage your teeth.
You might want to avoid alcohol or indulge in a glass at least once a day. Alcohol contains calories that can contribute to weight gain. It can also stimulate your appetite.
You can resort to other activities to help you wind down and relax. You can watch Netflix, do yoga, meditate, dance around the house, exercise, or listen to good music.
Eat without Distractions
You don’t have to go on a diet or avoid your favorite food altogether. Food can bring comfort during stressful times. It’s okay to eat your favorite food, especially during these times.
Just make sure to be mindful of the food you eat and how you eat. Avoid eating with distractions. Do not use your phone or watch television. Instead, savor your food and eat slowly. Enjoy eating without sacrificing your health.
Your goal during this quarantine period is to be healthy. Don’t sit on your couch and eat all day. A healthy eating habit will help you avoid gaining weight, and it will also help boost your immune system to protect you against the Coronavirus.