Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, everyone has been thrown out of their regular routine. With enforced quarantines, self-isolation and lockdown measures, many people are impulse buying food they don’t keep in the house regularly. As a result, people’s eating behaviors have been seriously impacted.
Are you struggling to manage your eating habits while at home? Well, don’t feel guilty about it because a lot of people are panic eating at this time. It’s very normal to turn to food when you are stressed. Gaining some weight during this period shouldn’t be too worrying as well.
You need to ask yourself what it actually means when you gain weight when you are completely thrown out of routine. For instance, does it mean that when you see your friends or family again they will love you a little less? Will become worse at your job?
Are you going to become a less valuable human? Well, the answer to all these questions is ‘no’. Actually, nobody might notice the weight gain during the lockdown period so you need to keep things in perspective.
As much as it doesn’t matter, it’s important to understand why people love eating when they feel stress or anxiety. Next, people need to challenge themselves to find a better way to manage those feelings instead of eating them out.
Why Do People Eat More When Feeling Stress?
If you have a stress response to anything, your body releases hormones that affect the entire body. The body’s response to stress is fight or flight. It means that your body is preparing to run from whatever is stressing you or fight it.
However, during the Coronavirus pandemic, people can only stay home and in lockdown. As a result, the first instinct is to eat as much food as possible. It’s prudent to eat less than normal since you are burning less energy than you would in your regular life.
How To Avoid Stress Eating
If you are feeling anxious or stressed, don’t rush into eating. Rather, you can do any of the following:
- Call a friend and talk about anything to keep you from eating.
- Go online and look for funny videos to watch.
- Stream your favorite songs and dance to them.
- Download your favorite exercise app and stretch a bit.
- Do your nails.
- Take a notebook and write down a list of things you are grateful for.
Basically, you need to calm your stress and anxiety. To do this, you need to fill your brain with signals that there is no need for fight or flight. As a result, you should be able to curb your need for stress-eating.
How To Avoid Eating When Bored
Do you often find yourself eating a lot because you are bored? Well, you need to find a routine and stick to it. Start by breaking each day into 4 sections. The morning should be reserved for household/work chores such as cooking and tidying the house.
Take a break during lunchtime and take time to eat your food. Go back to work in the afternoon. If you don’t have anything to do, you can find a creative outlet to do some charity work and occupy your time. In the evening, you should exercise, take your dinner and relax. If you have things to occupy your time, you will not be bored so there is no time for boredom-eating.
Create A Daily Food Plan
When you find yourself perusing the kitchen cabinets, you are instantly going to look for food to eat. You need to set some basic rules to keep yourself helpful when at home. Set a plan for the day and choose the time to eat as well as the snacks you will eat.
When you know that you are eating at a set time, you will not go looking for a snack all the time. Make sure there are healthy drinks and snacks such as nuts in your workspace to avoid going to the kitchen all the time.
Why Do You Eat When You Are Not Hungry?
Sometimes, people eat when they are not hungry. It’s simply a way of rewarding the pleasure center of your brain. Once you eat, there is a chemical reward in that part of your brain. However, there are many other things you can do to reward that part of your brain.
During this period, you can start experimenting to find activities that reward the pleasure center of your brain. These include:
- Find different ways to communicate with your friends. You can change to video chat if you don’t like group calls.
- Choose a good creative outlet. You can find a lot of puzzles online or learn how to play a musical instrument.
- Start exercising to feel good. You can find workouts such as dancercise, pilates, boxing, aerobics and many more. You can combine these exercises with a walk outside for the best results.
- Put on your favorite song and dance in the house.
- Look for TV shows or documentaries that keep you glued to the TV and enjoy them.
- Put some more time into your self-care routine.
You need to find ways to feel good about yourself to avoid going into depression. You need to remain active and avoid eating when you are not hungry. At the end of it all, you should remember that you are human. If you slip and eat something, you should forgive yourself.
However, if you keep your mind busy with other things, you can forget about going to the kitchen cabinet or fridge frequently to look for food.