Though being quarantined at home is the most effective way to protect against COVID-19, it can lead to overeating. The biggest factors are stress and boredom. It’s normal to take comfort in food to deal with our current situation but it can negatively affect your health and increase stress and anxiety in the future.
Here are 11 ways to prevent stress eating when you’re stuck at home.
- Check in with yourself
One of the most helpful ways to prevent overeating is to understand why it’s happening in the first place. There are many reasons why you may be compelled to overeat, including being stressed out or bored.
If you find yourself eating too frequently or eating too much in one sitting, take a minute and check in with yourself. First, it’s important to determine whether you’re eating because you’re hungry and need nourishment, or whether there’s another reason.
Before you eat, pay special attention to how you’re feeling, such as stressed, bored, lonely, or anxious. Simply pausing and evaluating the situation can help you understand what compels you to overeat and may help prevent overeating in the future.
- Remove Temptation
You can’t eat what you can’t see! It’s easy to eat when the food is in your line of sight. Like a cookie jar or a bowl of candies on the kitchen counter. If you like to snack, place fresh fruits or low calorie snacks on the kitchen counter instead.
- Maintain a healthy meal schedule
You should not change your normal eating schedule just because you are stuck at home. If you’re used to having three meals a day, try to continue that schedule while you’re working from home. The same goes for if you typically consume only two meals and a snack. Don’t break away from your healthy meal schedule.
- Don’t deprived yourself
I believe in the 80/20 rule. That means eating mostly whole foods and minimizing processed foods. It’s ok to enjoy foods that you deemed as a treat. An occasional burger or ice cream once in a while is ok. Don’t deprive yourself. It can only lead to binging and an unhealthy relationship with food.
- Bring out your inner chef
Did you know that according to a study, people who cook their own meals tend to eat more vegetables and fruits. Plus, it found that people who ate home-cooked meals more than 5 times per week were 28% less likely to be overweight and 24% less likely to have excess body fat, compared with those who ate home-cooked meals less than 3 times per week.
What’s more, planning your meals a few days ahead can help you kill time and has even been shown to improve diet quality and reduce obesity risk.
- Drink plenty of water
Water is not only for hydration but your life source. Maintaining proper hydration is important for overall health and may help you prevent overeating related to stress.
- Have an exercise routine
It doesn’t matter whether it’s weight training, yoga, on a treadmill just as long as you are moving. Just don’t sit on the couch all day.
- Watch your portion
Don’t eat foods directly from the container in which they are sold. It can lead to overeating. Use a small plate and sit on the dinner table. Practice portion control by paying attention to serving sizes.
- Just eat more whole foods that’s high in lean protein, plenty of micronutrients and high fiber
Eating more lean protein takes time to digest and it will keep you satiated. Vegetables and fruits are high nutrient dense foods with lower calorie content. Fiber is important in maintaining a healthy microbiome (gut bacteria). Overweight individuals tend to have an unhealthy microbiome.
- Be mindful of your alcohol intake
Sure you can have a glass of wine or a cocktail to unwind but drinking too much can only lead to lowering your inhibitions, increasing appetite, and may increase the chances of overeating.
- Make your health a priority
The reason why we are “staying at home” is to protect ourselves from getting COVID-19. The healthier you are, the stronger your immune system.
Starting next Monday, 4/13/20, I am excited to bring a new 30 day Lean & Quarantine Challenge. 1st place winner gets to win of Toilet Paper 🧻 😆 or $200 of Amazon Gift Card (whichever you prefer)
This is called, “John Pangan Fitness Lean & Quarantine Challenge 4.13 to 5.12”
Click on the link below to sign up:
This challenge is free for all my current trainees and only $97 for non-trainees. If you are serious and wants to stay lean during the quarantine, then this challenge is for you.