COVID-19 brought work and school home in ways no one expected. Then we combined stay-at-home stress with having our kitchens just around the corner, and that left some of us packing on pandemic pounds. These tips can help curb your COVID cravings!
Eating on a schedule
Plan meals so you eat when you’re hungry and stay satisfied between meals. Maximize food value to offer plenty of protein and fiber, so you’re full after you eat a sensible amount. Limit snacks to one healthful option between lunch and dinner.
Keeping a diary
Keeping track of the times you’re hungry, how much you’re eating, and what you’re craving will help you spot unhealthy eating patterns. For example, some people eat when they’re upset or nervous and others snack when they’re bored—and some do both!
Drinking plenty of water
Hydration banishes cravings. And the good news is when you’re working from home, there are plenty of options for getting in the 10 or so recommended glasses a day. You can add a lemon or lime to your H2O, keep carbonated water in the refrigerator, or make various sugar-free teas. But remember that all beverages don’t pack the same health value, so avoid sugary options like sweet teas, high-calorie coffee drinks, and juices.
Making a break for it
Take a healthy walk, run, or bike ride. Getting daily exercise will pay off in added clarity when you sit back down to work, and it’ll also keep you busy and out of the kitchen.
Can’t eat just a few chips or one cookie? Then avoid temptation by skipping over those items at the grocery store. Choose treats with real nutritional value—roasted almonds, raw fruit, carrots, bananas—and set up a portion-control system. Snack bags, filled with the right amounts, make it easier to avoid overeating and regretting it later.
Don’t race through eating
Did you know that it takes from five to 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain when it’s full? That means, without knowing it, you could be eating for an entire 20 minutes when you should be finished. Combat that problem by eating slowly and taking breaks, keeping your mind and stomach in sync.
Don’t be mindless
Oversized food containers can turn you into a munching robot, with a hand-to-bag-to-mouth-to-bag eating pattern that might not end until you see the bottom. It’s especially easy to fall into mindless noshing when you’re distracted by scrolling through your phone or reading e-mails, so try not to do other activities at snack time.
The more you get your stress under control, the less it can derail eating habits. So, when you’re feeling stressed—and that’s pretty normal with COVID-19 hanging around—have a chat with friends or family members instead of turning to the kitchen for solace.
Moderate alcohol consumption
From beer to bourbon and everything in between, alcohol adds empty calories to your day, and after a few drinks, the chances of overeating increases because alcohol stimulates the appetite. But for many people, drinking in moderation is the right choice—a drink or two is still an option, it’s just not a high-calorie part of your daily diet.
Making your health possible
These great tips can help you with preventing work-from-home weight gain. And if you’re looking for more nutrition and exercise advice, contact us! We’re always ready to help you make your health possible.