Because of the ever-worsening threat presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, most of us have taken to spending a fair amount of time at home. In order to protect ourselves and those around us, it’s important that we limit public outings to errands that are absolutely essential. However, as anyone who’s ever been house-bound can attest, being stuck at home is liable to increase your appetite, especially if you don’t have much else to occupy your time with. While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional junk food indulgence during quarantine, giving in to such cravings too often is liable to have an adverse impact on your waistline and general health. Anyone looking for effective ways to stick to a healthy diet throughout the current crisis should consider the following measures.
Learn to Differentiate Between Hunger and Boredom
When people get bored, they tend to be a lot more open to snacking and junk food consumption. After all, if you have nothing else to do, indulging in food can be an enjoyable way to pass the time. However, allowing boredom rather than genuine hunger to dictate when and what you eat can prove detrimental to a healthy diet. To help prevent yourself from using food as a substitute for a hobby, you’ll need to learn how to differentiate between hunger and boredom. The next time you feel the urge to eat, take a few moments to conduct a quick mind-body-heart scan. During this time, be on the lookout for such hunger pangs as growling, grumbling, irritability, difficulty concentrating or loss of energy. Should you encounter any of these pangs, you’re more than likely dealing with genuine hunger.
Adhere to a Set Meal Schedule
If you’re currently working from home or dealing with forced time off, maintaining a sense of structure may prove difficult. Since so many of us plan our days around our jobs, no longer having to report to an office every day can suddenly leave us with a distinct lack of structure. Although some people are able to create their own structure with ease, most of us require a little bit of practice in this area. For starters, you’ll need to create a schedule for yourself that’s both realistic and manageable. Among other things, this schedule should include designated work hours, recreation periods, rising times and bedtimes.
Just as importantly, your schedule should include predetermined mealtimes. Getting on a meal schedule can be a boon to your metabolism and overall health and ensure that you remain alert and energetic throughout the day. In addition to mealtimes, take care to pencil in designated snack breaks, as light snacks can keep you sated between meals and help stave off junk food cravings.
Experiment with Health-Conscious Recipes
If you’ve grown accustomed to dining out on a consistent basis, being stuck at home is liable to throw a wrench in your usual meal routine. On the plus side, however, it also provides you with ample opportunities to hone your culinary skills and try your hand at a bevy of health-conscious recipes. To this end, when shopping for groceries online, keep an eye out for fresh produce, organic snacks and protein powder.
Get Some New Hobbies
As previously stated, hunger and boredom often go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, if most of your pre-pandemic hobbies involved leaving the house, you may be contending with boredom on a daily basis. To help prevent boredom from leading you down the path to poor eating habits, start indulging in hobbies that can be enjoyed from the comfort of home. For example, with streaming services now more accessible than ever, there’s never been a better time to make a dent in your media backlog. So, if there are any movies you’ve been eager to see or TV shows you’re dying to binge, why not take this opportunity to dive right in? Additionally, if there are any immersive long-form video games your busy schedule has forced you to place on the backburner, just pick up a controller and lose yourself in a world of fantasy.
Being stuck at home for long periods is synonymous with boredom, and boredom is synonymous with junk food consumption. As such, people who are dealing with unprecedented amounts of free time in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic may find sticking to a healthy diet somewhat challenging. If eating right while house-bound is proving to be an uphill battle, simply put previously discussed tips into practice.