Last week we talked about why emotional eating during the COVID-19 outbreak is being experienced by many of us at the moment, especially while we work remotely, socially isolate and juggle ALL the things!
Maybe you’re working from home, homeschooling (or both!) and your experiencing the lure of the kitchen…the magnetic attraction to the pantry (or wherever you keep your biscuits, chips or other indulgent foods). You might not normally consider yourself an emotional eater, but perhaps the weight of the current situation has caused you to turn to food, or you’re feeling the uncertainty and just want some comfort food! Below are some tips and ideas on how to curb those COVID isolation munchies…
1. Be gentle with yourself
The first thing you need to do is be gentle and kind to yourself. This is an intense time for many of us and it is more than likely that you will look for food for comfort. Accept some comfort food but also know that things won’t go completely back to normal for at least a few more months yet, so remember to stay connected to things that remind you about being healthy (e.g. planning your meals, taking frequent exercise breaks, heading outdoors for fresh air).
2. Lower your cortisol naturally
The level of anxiety and stress at the moment may be releasing more cortisol (stress hormone) from your system, which over time can do more harm than good (high cortisol is a major driver in weight gain, for example). You can help to relieve your cortisol levels by doing things that produce dopamine and serotonin (neurotransmitters), for example aerobic exercise, time spent in the sunshine, massage, or even hopping on a zoom call with family/friends to get some love that way. Increase your oxytocin (cuddle hormone) levels by laughing, smiling, even a self-massage on your shoulder and temples.
3. Do little things that will help you to have better choices
- Fill a large bowl with fruit and make it extremely accessible to you, where you can see it in full view. Fill it with fruits that you love of course!
- Take some time to structure your meal times and food planning. Giving yourself more control over this aspect of your life can help you to experience more food freedom, helping you to let go of guilt and anxiety over food.
- Take a walk during your work calls – anytime your phone rings, pick it up and head straight outside for a walk around the block.
- Make sure your freezer is stocked with healthy grab and go foods like frozen fruits and veggies, cauliflower rice, healthy snacks.
- Have a great breakfast. Did you know that regularly skipping breakfast can lead to weight gain, obesity and diabetes? For a different breakfast idea try a warm meal of beans and greens, with an egg or tofu scramble on the side. The beans will help you to keep satisfied and properly nourished before lunch. No time? We have 7 day breakfast packs available to order with any meal plan.