As we are all maintaining social distancing to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 infection, many are becoming sedentary and consuming food simply due to boredom. Lockdown was imposed by several countries of the world in order to break the transmission cycle of the infection and protect people. However, sitting in the confines of home all the time has affected people negatively. Many have turned towards ‘stress eating’, leading to overeating and weight gain. Binge-eating during favourite shows like bad eating habits are even more damaging than we realize as the snack we eat is high in salt and fats. And on the top of it, there is minimal physical activity which leads to fat accumulation. The weight gain through this will not only affect the physical appearance but may also lead to some health issues.
Expert from the top-rated healthcare facilities such as Medanta hospital, have been advising all people to take care of their physical and mental health during the Covid-19 lockdown period. So, it is high time that every one takes care of their body and aim to look fit and healthy.
Here are some tips that can help you restrain and prevent over-eating during the lockdown or self-containment period:
Keep a check on the food items that you eat
A balanced meal is what every health expert will advise. Start looking at what in your daily meals can contribute to gain that weight. Try avoiding or limit those items. As stores have now opened up and most items are readily available, purchase the healthy groceries. Weight gain was due to overeating is mostly attributed to sweets, alcohol and fried foods. So it is important to limit those kinds of food items from your diet, especially when you feel bored or stressed.
- Things to add in your meal.
Starting the day with adequate protein is a good way to balance the blood sugar levels. The first meal of the day is important as it helps optimize the blood sugar levels for the rest of the day. You should add eggs, sprouts, pulses or even a protein smoothie to the breakfast. This will not only ensure that the stomach is full, but will result in fewer food cravings throughout the day. And, also it supports in losing weight.
- Healthy snacks
Snacking while you are at home, during work or watching shows is fairly common, especially among the young generation. The best we can do is eat healthy snacks in between regular meals. This may include nuts and seeds, vegetable sticks and hummus or nut butter. Add some fruit, avocado or even a smoothie to bring a change. Avoiding excessive calories is a challenge but it can be managed.
Also, increasing the high protein items such as grass-fed meats, eggs, fish, and lentils and beans is also a good way for healthy snacking.
- Plan the meals and follow the schedule
It has been found that if a person plans and prepares for all the meals, including snacks for the entire day, it helps prevent untimely and unhealthy eating. Also, it gives a chance to prep for healthy food items and lesser chances of picking up a snack bar when hunger strikes. Many people just reach out for anything available in case of intense hunger and end up eating more and unhealthy ready-made foods. If you plan and organize for a healthy meal for the whole day, you can also add moderate amount of sweets or other things you want to eat.
Another thing is to follow a schedule for the breakfast, lunch and dinner timings, to allow for a snack in between. This will prevent overeating in one sitting. Also, try not to skip a meal, as you will hungry at the wrong times. It might be difficult to follow such rules while at home, but gradually a routine will form with schedule for proper meal timings. It will make your day even more productive and less lazy as optimal eating will keep sluggishness away.
- Eat in the Dining Room with proper cutlery
Do not have all your meals in the bedroom, or keep the snack there as it will be harder to avoid munching. Put your meal on the dinning table with proper cutlery. You will not only enjoy the food more, it will also allow you to be more active every time you have to eat.
- Eat slowly
Give enough time to meals. Plan your day in a way that you can have good time for lunch and dinner. Working from home provides the benefit of setting up meal timely. No more rushed breakfasts or quick breaks in the office. You have all the time to eat food peacefully and enjoy it to the fullest.
Another tip is to drink lots of water and add more healthy beverages. Staying hydrated is not only important for good health but also in keeping sated. Drink lots of water or have juices, smoothies and lemonades. You may also add green tea or herbal teas for soothing the stomach.