The different emotions and feelings we are experiencing during this uncertain and stressful time may provoke our worst eating habits. Eating healthy now is important not only to prevent chronic disease and obesity, but also to ensure a strong immunity against the new and fearsome COVID-19, as well as to prevent the nasty common flu which is also usually doing its rounds this time of the year. Now is also not the ideal time to try and loose weight, but rather to focus on your health. We don’t have control over what is happening in our world right now, but we have control over our own diets.
Here are a few tips on keeping a healthy lifestyle during lockdown:
- Keep to your usual routine as much as possible. Keep to your normal sleep and wake-up times. Get up as usual, exercise, shower, get dressed, and have a wholesome breakfast. Fix your mealtimes and stick to them. If you feel the need to snack, these are good options:
Fresh fruit and plain yoghurt,
raw unsalted nuts,
- If you have extra time, use it wisely. Often, mums or busy bachelors confess that they don’t have enough time to prepare decent or healthy meals. Use your extra time to prepare nutritious meals at home. Maybe prepare extra if you can: Start getting into the routine of preparing freezer meals. Stock your freezer with freezer-friendly meals for when you have to go back to work again. Gather some healthy recipes and experiment with new healthy ingredients. When we have extra time on hands, we tend to go a bit overboard and cook rich and elaborate meals. Rather search for ideas on how to give those meals a healthier twist.
- Feel like eating constantly? Determine what you are feeling…
Ask yourself the question: Am I really hungry? If not, what are you feeling?
If stressed or bored: Do the things that you never get time for. Start reading that pile of books you’ve been gathering, paint a “masterpiece”, treat yourself to a face mask, build a puzzle, or garden.
Procrastinating? Or Should I say “ProcrastinEating”? You can easily gulf down an entire day of calories while working on a project (yes, even with “healthy” snacks). It’s important to first admit you have this problem, then create a schedule (include snack breaks) – and stick to the schedule, avoiding snacks that is not in the schedule. It is difficult at first, but you will unlearn this behaviour.
- EXERCISE!!! I can’t exclaim this enough. We all have heard about the wonderful “feel-good” hormones that get released while we exercise. It is particularly important during this time that we exercise to prevent us from becoming depressed, and to burn calories to prevent unwanted weight gain (as many of us will be sitting around for most of the time).
Here are a few ideas:
Walk / jog around the house if you can
Search for exercise videos online (there are thousands which you can choose from) and participate in an online “class”
Throw ball with the kids, skip like a kid, or build your own obstacle course if you have the space ?
Use the space you have. I’ve watched a video of a man who ran an entire marathon on his balcony…that was quite encouraging.
Whatever you pursue during this challenging time; remain hopeful, keep in contact with your family and friends, and embrace the positives that comes with slowing down the world.