Health and diet are proving particularly difficult to manage as our regular exercise regimes are disrupted and most of us are working from home with constant access to our kitchens, and the treats within.
Many of us are 'grazing' through the day now that the structure of the workday has been thrown into disarray. This with the challenge of supermarket shopping means this can be a perfect storm for poor eating habits and weight gain.
We have a few suggestions of things you can do to help you stay as healthy as possible during this time:
Change what you buy
Some foods you'd normally buy like pasta, rice or canned tomatoes are not always available when you go shopping. It can be helpful to think about using food items that might be less popular and still on the shelves such as couscous or noodles. It can also be a good time to try out a packet or can of something that you bought and forgotten about in the cupboard!
Find ideas for healthy meals with limited ingredients from the British Nutrition Foundation.
Think about nutrition
No food or supplement can protect you from getting the coronavirus. Nevertheless, having a healthy diet is important in supporting your immune system and many nutrients influence the body’s ability to fight infection. Following on from the 5 ways and to keep learning, do you know what nutrients are good to support your immune system?
Learn something new about nutrition.
Plan your food
Make snacks or meals ahead of time, as if you were going out to work. Having fruit already chopped up, or snacks divided up into small portions means you are more likely to eat those snacks if they are ready, than reach for something more calorific.
Only take as much of the snack as you need. Do you need the packet of biscuits with you while you work? You can also really help yourself by avoiding having large amounts of high calorie foods in the house. Try, where possible, to buy healthier wholefoods to snack on.
Location, location, location
Some people find it helpful to have a rule of ‘no eating at the desk’ so they only eat when they have a break. If your desk is in your kitchen, how can you avoid reaching for those more accessible snacks? Do you need to move the snacks?
Focus on balanced meals
Do your best to create balanced meals with what’s available. Aim for a generous portion of vegetables (whether fresh, dried, frozen or canned), some protein, healthy fats and quality carbs, such as sweet potatoes, or whole grains.
Have a routine
Try to stick to your normal eating routine as best as you can. That means, whatever times during the day you would usually eat if you were in the office, eat during those same times at home.
No, not alcohol! Herbal teas and drinking water help prevent excessive snacking, because it helps to fill us up.
Extra support with eating healthily
If you are struggling with your weight during this time, the slimming clubs are still operating, albeit in on-line and virtual groups.
These are still a very good support, so take a look at what groups are offering, such as:
LiveWell Dorset can also help you with losing weight at this time.
Take control: maintaining healthy eating
Without routine or our usual food choices available, what can you do to support yourself? Ask yourself these questions:
- how can you change your environment to support healthier eating? Can you work away from the kitchen? Do you need to reduce the snacks you buy? What healthier snacks could you buy instead?
- how could you create a structure that supports less snacking? Choose when you will snack and have them ready and prepared. Do you need to make a rule of no eating at the desk?
- think about when you're most likely to eat unhealthy snacks or overeat and then come up with some strategies of things you could do; if you're tempted by an unhealthy snack, try making a drink or distracting yourself somehow
- do you feel you need extra support currently? How can you get that? When are you going to arrange this support?
Find more helpful information about healthy eating and weight loss, on the LiveWell Dorset website .
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