How to stop lockdown and quarantine overeating
Welcome back to Sandtondiet and to what feels like the 567th day of lockdown. Today’s post is a little different to my usual posts. Rather than posting a recipe I thought it would be more apt to write a post on how to manage all the lockdown overeating that is going on. So many clients have reached out to ask for some tips on how to manage the constant overeating and so I thought I’d share the ideas with all of you. I think if we don’t try and do something about the constant trips to the fridge we are all going to waddle out of our houses at the end of lockdown. So here are some thoughts and ideas on how to manage your COVID-19 lockdown overeating…
# 1 – choose healthy food
So let’s start of with tip number one and that is to try and make sure that what you are eating is nutritious and filling. This might sound obvious but there’s a good reason for this recommendation. So for example if you choose to eat a chocolate, its certainly delicious but it’s not nutritious or filling. So after eating the chocolate you are a lot more likely to go looking for something to eat again soon after eating the chocolate. Whereas if you choose to eat chicken and salad it’s a lot more nutritious and filling and it will sustain you for a lot longer.
#2 – plan your treat
This is not to say that you should never eat the chocolate. But if you want the chocolate try and plan…. So for example if you plan for a certain (reasonable and limited ?) amount of chocolate tomorrow you won’t feel deprived. At the same time if your treat is planned amount you will know when to stop
# 3 – healthy snacks
It’s also a good idea to plan your snacks so that rather than constantly picking, which can quickly get out of hand, you can plan your snacks for the day. This way at least some of your day has a bit of structure. You would be quite surprised how quickly ‘picking’ and ‘grazing’ can add up. Try snacking on fruit, nuts, dried fruit and popcorn as healthy snack options
# 4 – do healthy carbs exist
Should you be eating carbs? The answer is yes you can eat carbs and that carbs are fine to include in your meals or snacks. But you should note that not all carbs are created equal. When choosing carbs you are much better off choosing slowly absorbed carbs that take a long time to digest. Examples of these are sweet potato, brown rice and whole wheat pasta. This way you’ll be left feeling fuller for longer and are less likely to need a snack
# 5 – high fibre foods
Fibre is another really important addition to your food. Fibre adds bulk to your food and results in a meal that is a lot more filling and sustaining. The easiest way to do this is to add lots of vegetables to your meal. Not only is this really healthy but you will feel full for much longer than a meal with no vegetables in it. The other value of adding vegetables to your meal is to give your meals variety and is also very healthy. Adding fibre and vegetables can also help prevent constipation while we are more sedentary than usual
# 6 – high protein foods to curb your appetite
Protein is also important to include in your meal because it helps to keep you feeling fuller for longer. So you’ll find that if you include protein in your meal you are a lot less likely to be hitting the fridge soon after your meal
# 7 – portion size
A key factor to not gaining too much weight during lockdown is portion control. A common misconception is that if your food is healthy then portion doesn’t matter. This isn’t true… Whether your food is healthy or not, portion counts. The value of choosing healthy foods is that the portions are generally bigger than an unhealthy food. The exception to this is fat..
# 8 – eat a variety to avoid feeling hungry after eating
Don’t forget to vary what you eat to avoid overeating. When your food is similar all the time it gets boring and then people tend to look for something delicious which in turn tends to be unhealthy. If your meals are varied and delicious you are a lot less likely to go searching for junk food
# 9 – meal prep ideas to avoid boredom
A really good use of your time and something that I regularly recommend is planning and preparing. Now is the perfect time to get some new recipes together, to put planners together for meals or to try cooking some new healthy recipes. Planning is an extremely constructive use of your time and can even be used post lockdown. So for example if you put together a planner with two to three weeks worth of dinner ideas then you can keep rotating this and then dinner is sorted for a long time. If you really want to get organised then you can plan a file with recipes for each dinner in your planner. This type of planning alleviates a lot of the stress of constantly having to think of meals
# 10 – drink water to get rid of hunger pangs
To stop overeating during lockdown don’t forget to drink. Often when people are thirsty they mistake this for hunger and they eat instead. So before you eat try having a drink of water instead
# 11 write down what you are eating
Keeping a food journal is a really good way to curb your overeating during lockdown. Writing down what you are eating has many benefits but a key factor is accountability. Writing down what you are eating makes you more mindful of what you are doing and often helps to make you pause and think if you are really hungry or if you are eating for the sake of it
# 12 – eat out of small containers or packages
This is also something I often recommend. If you open a small bag of crisps you are likely to finish the bag. But if you open a big bag of crisps you are likely to finish that too. The same goes for chocolate. If you are given small chocolate you will probably finish it. The problem is that if you are given the slab you may finish that too. So choose foods or treats that are single portions or in small containers so that you aren’t tempted to finish the bigger portion
# 13 – use your time constructively
My final tip is to try and make the best of a bad situation and use this time to try something new or to try that “something” that you never have time to do. This will be a great distraction from overeating during lockdown and could create some positive from all of this
I hope that this had been helpful and that you have some new ideas to tackle your lockdown overeating. If you feel like you need some more direction or help with your eating then feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For some extra reading why not check out some the other great articles that I have on my website. How to lose weight for good or Massive diet mistakes or How to plan for maximum diet success are all really informative and may help you on your path achieving your nutrition goals. If you need a bit more help then my one month COVID-19 menu planner is a really useful resource too.
Don’t delay, let’s begin your healthy eating journey together!!