The past few weeks have been quite a change for all of us. Life has changed completely as many of us are in directed or self-imposed lockdown. Many of us are working from home and the kids are doing school online. We are making fewer trips to the grocery store and healthy eating is more challenging. Most of us are eating more and exercising less. No movies, dining out, going to the gym, or social gathering with friends - all things we look forward to. These things make us happy.
Now that has been replaced with eating. My family and I have been cooking, baking, eating and eating! This has become our pleasure! Ice cream, chips, cookies and cake- and sweatpants!
A few treats are okay. But emotional eating during the coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic can worsen your mood and create anxiety. While now may not be the time to stress about putting on a couple of pounds, it is important to maintain a regular routine, and ensure you are taking in an optimum level of nutrition with a good balance of micronutrient and macronutrients, including protein intake, and essential minerals and vitamins. Eating helalthy will not only make you feel good, but will boost your immunity and energy levels!
Tips to Manage Stress Eating
1) Plan Grocery Shopping
Buy fewer processed foods and less high sugar snacks. Buy more fruits, vegetables and lean proteins. Protein bars which are low in sugar make a great snack.
2) Have a designated area to eat.
Don’t eat in the bedroom or living room. Keep your work space and relaxation space separate from your eating area. This helps reduce emotional eating.
3) Make a Schedule
This creates a routine and helps to reduce anxiety for you and your family.
4) Stay hydrated.
Drink plenty of water. Avoid soda and juices. Opt for flavored water instead. Staying hydrated helps reduce hunger cravings.
5) Enjoy an occasional comfort food.
It’s normal to cope with food. Now is not the time to feel guilty about how you are eating. It’s not the time to stress about putting on a couple of pounds. However, food should not be your only coping method.
During this time it is important to take care of yourself. Better eating habits help strengthen the body’s immune system and increase energy levels. I have been overindulging these past few weeks and have decided to follow a healthier lifestyle again. I use Neat Nutrition products as meal replacements and/or snacks. These products are rich in protein and are fortified with vitamins and minerals. I will have good days and bad days. I will not be too hard on myself but will keep trying to be as healthy as I can.