Given the disruption of routines, it’s understandable that quarantine can be a stressor for many. As we’ve all had to find ways to rearrange our daily lives, many are abandoning their healthier eating habits due to a lack of regular schedule, stress and boredom. While there’s nothing wrong with indulging in comforting or convenient foods every once in a while, it should also be the exception rather than the norm. With refrigerators and endless snacks now always within reach, it may take a bit more self-control and mindfulness than usual to help keep the Quarantine 15 at bay. However, there are still ways you can eat well during this time of social isolation while keeping your sanity too.1. Fuel your metabolism’s current needs
When you’re working from home, chances are that you’re moving less than you were before. This is why it’s important to pay attention to the limitations of your metabolism as you’ll need to eat less than what you typically would. By practising some self-awareness, you can ensure you’re eating when you’re actually hungry and not because you’re bored.
2. Drink water to help curb snacking
If you find yourself hungry between meals and want to dive into a bag of chips, drink a glass of water first and then wait for 15 minutes. If you’re still hungry afterwards, try to opt for a healthy snack. Hydration benefits aside, drinking water will either make you feel satiated and curb snacking impulses or it will at least help you snack less.
3. Stock up on healthy snacks
Compared to the empty calories junk food is known for, nutrient-dense foods will make you feel more full for longer. Whether you typically crave carbs, fatty foods or something sweet, you can even decode what these urges mean to find a healthy substitute.
4. Avoid late night eating
Your digestion becomes much slower in the evening so your body will need to work harder to digest food. As you’re typically winding down during this time and moving less, this often results in stored energy and weight gain. For this reason, try to avoid snacking after 8PM to keep your metabolism in line with your natural sleep/wake cycle.
5. Bulk up on frozen fruits and vegetables
As we’re all trying to go to the grocery store less, you may find yourself making unhealthier meal choices by not having what you need, when you need it. To avoid this problem, try buying fresh produce to freeze later or you can opt for the convenience of pre-packaged fruits and vegetables. By having healthy staple ingredients on-hand, you’ll be setting yourself up for success later.
6. Opt for home-cooked meals
Whether you want to support local businesses during these difficult times or you simply don’t have the motivation to cook, take-out meals are notorious for large portions with tons of hidden calories. By cooking at home as much as possible, you’ll have a better understanding of the nutritional value of your meals.
7. Distract yourself
If you struggle with stress eating, you may find it helpful if you keep yourself busy. By keeping yourself engaged in creative activities or things that you love, you’ll be less likely to stress eat as your mind is distracted from ill thoughts.
8. Enjoy meals slowly
You may have previously developed of eating your meals too quickly because you were always busy or in a rush. Now that you're at home with an ample amount of time on your hands, try taking the time to sit down and actually enjoy your meals. By eating calmly and chewing your food thoroughly, you'll not only help your digestion but you'll be less likely to take larger second servings as you have more time to digest.