How are you managing your weight during COVID-19?
Are you struggling to manage your weight during COVID-19? It can be a real challenge, adjusting to a new work-from-home routine, being isolated from family and friends and dealing with the stress and emotional turmoil that living in a pandemic cause. This can lead you to think “what the hell, I’ll eat what I like, I just need to get through today”, and to use food as a form of comfort and as a way of coping. The problem is over time this can lead to weight gain and habits that do not serve us in a healthy way.
We’re all dealing with these struggles, I know I certainly am, and if you can relate to some of these struggles here are some tips that will hopefully help you maintain your weight or even encourage weight loss during COVID-19.
We all know what a healthy portion size is so why do we try and trick ourselves into thinking that we are eating a healthy portion size. I am definitely guilty of eating more than I should. While I am preparing a meal, I’m usually snacking mindlessly on the ingredients, then I serve my meal up on a small plate to convince myself that I am having a small portion. This normally backfires on me though, because once I have eaten I think “well I only had a small plate so I am allowed seconds or a treat” when in actual fact I have already had a good portion size between snacking and my meal.
Yes, this is a habit for me, and to start to break the habit I need to become more mindful about what I am doing, how I’m preparing the meal, eating the meal and how I feel afterwards. Mindful eating means paying attention to all the ingredients that form the meal, of all the mouthfuls you take, noting the flavor of each bite and how it is made up of all the ingredients you prepared. Just by becoming aware and mindful we have a greater ability to notice how much we are really eating, and we can work towards changing our habits.
We all have a choice of what food we eat, sometimes it’s decided by budget, by cravings or by nourishment. You may have noticed during these challenging times that you have been reaching for comfort foods and food that might not serve you in a healthy way.
This tip may help you in your food choices. Set your fridge and pantry up to have healthy food choices at the front so when you open up the fridge or the pantry you are more likely to choose something that serves your body in a healthy way and makes you feel good. Another tip is to plan your food and meals, just like you would plan your exercise each week. Not only will this help with your grocery shopping and stop you from buying unnecessary items, this will give you a guideline on the foods to eat instead of trying to decide at the fridge or pantry and impulsively eating the wrong thing.
Do you find yourself overeating when your stressed, tired, exhausted, or overwhelmed? This is emotional eating, something I tend to do a lot. We are prone to thinking that eating food will give us energy and help us fix our problems but guess what? It doesn’t, we just overeat and end up feeling guilty and sorry for ourselves and end up feeling worse than we did before we ate.
Instead of going to seek out food, take a moment to rest and relax, take a few minutes to calm the body and the mind then think about what you would like to eat or ask yourself if you’re actually hungry or if something else is going on. Do some deep breathing exercises, look out the window, go outside, have a cup of tea but take a moment for yourself then go and have something to eat if you are hungry. Another good technique if you think you want to eat but are not sure why is to fill a water bottle and focus on drinking it.
Most importantly, remember we aren’t perfect and we don’t have to be, but being mindful of what we are doing and how we are feeling will certainly help to move us forward in choosing eating patterns that serve us in a healthy way.
If you need help in understanding your eating pattern and eating style, I am here to help you. Please reach out via Facebook, Messenger, or email.
Remember you are not alone; we are all in this together!