Have you found yourself thinking of food more often during COVID-19 shelter-at-home orders? If you have, you’re not alone. Without the normal routines and day-to-day structure we rely on to mark the time, mealtimes have become more fluid and your cravings may have turned towards comfort food. If you’re ready to reestablish healthy eating plans for you and your family, FitClub has advice to help you get and stay on track!
- Stick to a schedule. Adhering to a schedule is essential for living a healthy lifestyle during this unprecedented disruption. Just like work schedules and sleep schedules, meal schedules help to ground us and set the biological rhythms for our bodies. Scheduling and planning your meals can also allow you to stop focusing on food and start focusing on other tasks on your to do list.
- Quit eating out of boredom. Calories consumed during boredom can completely wreck your healthy weight-loss goals. If you believe you might be eating out of boredom, rather than actual hunger, distract yourself with healthier activities. Take a walk, jump into a FitClub video on the app, or read a book. Any activity that distracts you from the desire to eat is likely to alleviate the desire to raid the pantry during a moment of boredom.
- Manage your emotions and stress. Most of us are under increased stress during the shelter-in-place. According to experts, during times of emotional turmoil, people tend to have difficulty managing their relationships with food. A change in eating patterns has been linked to an attempt to mitigate unwelcome emotions. By better understanding our unique impulse to eat, we can start to correct the patterns we may be falling into. If you notice that you reach for food when you are tired, bored, or scared, you can pause, divert your attention, and overcome the urge to snack on unhealthy foods. This may be a good time for you to increase the length of your workouts, begin a journal, or learn to meditate. Recognizing and regulating your emotions during this difficult time can improve your mental health and help you avoid unwanted weight gain during this period.
- Reevaluate your goals. Is losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight a personal goal? Now would be a good time to reevaluate why you hold this goal close to your heart. Reminding ourselves of our goals can help us recommit to those goals. What else can you commit to in order to meet your goals? Could you commit to logging your food and tracking your calories and macronutrients? Could you meal prep and stock up on healthy pantry staples, fresh fruit and vegetables? You could, in fact, make each of these a mini-goal on your way to your larger goal, allowing you to see progress and achievement each day while also keeping yourself on track.
How are you managing your meals during this time? Share your tips with your fellow FitClub members. Now more than ever, we are in this together!