It’s been years since America, and many other countries all over the world have been on virtual lockdown. As countries are now slowly getting back to normal, many people have now probably started to enjoy the things they used to do before. However, despite the easing restriction, a lot of people are still anxious about the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on their everyday lives.
Keep reading as we reveal different tips to avoid stress eating while on lockdown.
What is stress eating?
Stress eating is when someone eats in response to stress. This can be emotional stress, like anxiety or depression, or it can be physical stress, like a difficult workout. Some people stress eat because they’re bored, while others do it as a way to comfort themselves.
There are a few different reasons why someone might stress eat. For some people, it’s a way to cope with negative emotions. Eating can help distract from bad feelings and make them feel better in the moment. For others, eating is a way to comfort themselves when they’re feeling down. And for some people, eating is simply a way to pass the time when they’re bored.
If you think you might be stress eating, there are a few things you can do to change your habits.
First, try to become aware of your triggers. What situations or emotions make you want to eat even when you’re not hungry? Once you know your triggers, you can start to work on avoiding them.
If you can’t avoid your triggers, try to find other ways to cope with them that don’t involve food. For example, if you tend to stress eat when you’re bored, find something else to do that’s more enjoyable. Or if you tend to stress eat when you’re anxious, try deep breathing exercises or talk to a friend.
Making changes won’t happen overnight, but with time and effort, you can learn how to manage your stress without turning to food.
Simple ways to keep yourself from eating while on lockdown
People are forced to stay cooped up at home to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We all want to find ways to fight boredom and anxiety-induced food cravings. The question is, what do we do while stuck at home with a pantry full of food?
Social distancing imposed during this COVID-19 lockdown can result in an unwanted consequence – stress eating. Anxiety has risen among many during this pandemic, and one way of easing the stress is eating your favorite comfort food.
Experts from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago share that emotional eating can be harmful both physically and mentally. In this blog, we share some tips from medical experts on how you can ward off unhealthy eating habits during the COVID-19 quarantine.
Follow Regular Eating Schedules
Your eating routine before COVID-19 struck should be the same schedule you follow during the lockdown.
You should stick to it to help you from going into your cupboard for an unscheduled snack. Having an outline filled with many activities may help you forget about food and overeating.
Set a time for work, eating, relaxation, exercise, and talking with your family. Being bored will eventually lead to more food intake. Drink plenty of water and add juices, smoothies, and lemonade. This will keep you hydrated and satiated for longer periods.
One benefit of being stuck at home is that we have more time in hand. You don’t have to rush eating your food because you need to catch the bus on the way to work. Eat slowly, relax, and chew your food. This will make you eat less and enjoy your meals.
Eat Healthy Meals
Don’t wait until you are hungry to plan your meals. Plan meals and snacks at the start of each day to avoid eating more than you should. Processed food may be more convenient to prepare, but these foods make us overeat and are not healthy for you.
Avoid the tendency to fill your grocery cart with junk. Many wholesalers deliver fruits and veggies to your doorstep, which is a healthier alternative. If you notice that you are on your seventh cup of coffee for the day, then you are part of the many who are eating due to stress.
Eating Nutella from the jar is another sign of gluttonous eating patterns stressed out people adopt in such stressful times like this. Actress Naomi Watts has even posted a picture on Instagram eating a whole cake with her hands.
We should also keep an eye on our children as experts predict that child obesity could be the next epidemic. Our kids are not immune to the stress due to COVID-19. Apart from spending time on tablets and phones, snacking on unhealthy food can be heightened during this lockdown period. It is essential to maintain a healthy diet during this time because it can help boost our immune system.
Take advantage of the time and prepare fresh and home-cooked meals for your family.
Avoid Eating While Working From Home
Due to the situation, many companies and businesses have shifted to the virtual working setup to keep their employees from harm. This setup became an advantage to many workers as they are able to have flexibility and freedom in their workspace. They are also capable of working comfortably as they now do it at home.
However, this flexibility in their own schedule also puts their health at risk. According to a recently conducted study, out of 125 respondents, 55% admitted an increase in their weight while on remote work.
If you are working from home, don’t turn your bedroom into your dining room. Eat at designated places in your home, keep work and relaxation areas separate from where you eat. We know that our normal routines have been turned upside down. We usually have breakfast, then leave for work, have lunch, and eat dinner when we get home.
Now you may be working from home or may not have any work at all. Eating is a way to cope if we just got laid off from work. Keep yourself busy by trying to find short-term gigs while waiting for this pandemic to blow over.
Moreover, as remote work allows you to have extra time to unwind and relax, make sure to include at least a 10-30 minute workout in your routine. This will allow you to cut down some fat you have obtained and also keep you fit, healthy and strong.
Stress is another trigger for binge eating during this lockdown period. Exercise is an excellent way to beat stress and keep healthy as well.
You wouldn’t want to gain 20 pounds and feel lethargic while stuck indoors. Do some household chores or reach out to a family member you haven’t talked to in a long time. Use technology like Skype or Zoom for video calls. There are many ways to manage stress and avoid stress-induced eating.
Minimal physical activity and eating anything you can lay your hands on will result in weight gain during this pandemic. Binge-watching Netflix can turn into binge-eating while watching your favorite series.
Don’t make this lockdown an excuse for unwanted weight gain; treat it as a chance to gain your fitness level, and lose the extra weight. If you find this blog helpful, try checking out our other mind boosters blog posts to learn more healthy lifestyle tips.