The current COVID-19 is poised to be a rough time. That means you can count on spending a lot of time being cooped up at your place. And in response to this vicious cycle, many people are finding themselves eating because of their emotional state. Emotional eating or stress eating is becoming a loaded phrase that believes overeating could be a result of an overdriving emotional state. But, that might exacerbate the problem of obesity even more. So, if you are also finding yourself hooked to your kitchen. Or find yourself reaching out to your fridge now and then, for the next round of snacks, here is what you need to do.
How to Avoid Emotional Eating During The COVID-19 Pandemic?
It won’t be a lie if I say weight gain is an inevitable process during this lockdown period. But, that’s not entirely true if you choose to stay on track with a healthy lifestyle. Before deciding on your routine, you must have a clear idea about your personal goals. For instance, whether you are looking for weight maintenance or weight loss. That’s the only ideal way to make a wise choice for yourself.
Schedule Your Meals Each Day
Whether you are working from home or have nothing to do, I am sure the growing pandemic would have disrupted the entire structure of your day. And that mostly includes your eating hours. You might end up doing one of the two options. Either you might find yourself grazing whatever is around, or you might be eating unconsciously to alleviate boredom. Whatever may be the reason, an eating schedule is a must to ensure the needs of your body. For that, experts suggest eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same time every day. It will help your body to train itself to be hungry at regular intervals. Also, by doing so, you will be able to keep a check on your number of meals in a day.
Opt For Portion Meals
It might seem a bit obvious. There is no doubt that less food on a plate would make you eat less. According to a 2018 study, people serving lesser portions of food found themselves eating less the next day. Research suggests that if you shrink your serving size per meal, you can help your brain to accept a similar portion size the next time as well. It is especially helpful now since you are stuck inside your home. So, start logging your food portions and time every day. That would be a great way to stay accountable for every meal or snack. You can either use a journal or an app to log your daily calories along with fiber or protein intake.
Avoid Snacking Too Much
It is going to be the tough one. Since you don’t have any other activity to do right now. However, you should not forget your weight loss or management goals and ambitions. So, whenever you find yourself standing in front of your fridge, ask yourself, “Am I hungry or bored?” If you are there because of boredom, step away right now. And if the answer is hungry, jump on it. However, make sure to follow these guidelines while snacking.
- Keep your calories less than 150 while snacking.
- Make sure the snack contains a minimum of five grams of fiber and protein combined.
- Limit the amount of sugar to 6 grams per serving.
Other than that, experts often advise not to eat in front of a screen (TV, computer, or smartphone). Also, eating from a bag won’t be a great idea as you can’t monitor your portions clearly.
Get Creative With Healthy Food Choices
Healthy eating is one of the most challenging of all. I understand the access to food might be limited. However, a few creative ways might turn your boring meals into a relishing treat. For instance, you can go for canned chicken, light string cheese, nuts, low-fat mayonnaise, cereals, other low-calorie healthy portions to keep up with your weight management programs. Additionally, it would be better if you drink 0-5 calorie beverages to avoid liquid calories. You can replace the energy drinks or pops, or juices with water or diet drinks. Again, milk is fine, but make sure that it contains 1% skim milk only.
Get Enough Rest to Control The Hunger Hormone Levels
Research confirms that poor sleeping habits can harm your food habits, which can further disrupt the proper functioning of hunger hormones. So, if you snooze, you can quickly lose. That’s the mantra that will help you get enough rest during this self-isolation period. Try using a tracking app such as Sleep Cycle. It will act as a sleeping aid to help you fall asleep quickly. Again, you must take steps to manage your stress or anxiety. You can control it by opting for breathing exercises, yoga, or meditation. You might also read a bit about mindful
Move Your Body
Physical activity is essential for the health of your mind and body. It helps to keep your hormones well-balanced. So, get creative with your tasks if the lockdown makes you a little lazy. You can download an exercise app or just play some music and dance. If it is safe for you, you can go for a walk or a run around your area. You can also play videos online and start your exercise routine right away. Remember, it’s the best time to make the most of this situation since we have little more time in our hands now.
The ongoing pandemic came rushing without giving anyone a chance to prepare for the worst. Some have lost their jobs, and others separated from their loved ones. And a few are dealing with tense situations within their families. Whatever may be the reason, the ongoing pandemic is making people overstressed with the fear of the unknown. And all of this is resulting in a possibility of stress or emotional eating. Remember, waiting or hoping that things would get fine on their own, would only make things worse. So, you must take active measures today to curb your emotional eating desires. It won’t only keep your weight in check. It will also make you feel upbeat throughout the day.