Staying at your home, during this coronavirus pandemic and following a social distancing is certainly not easy. But it is the need of time as there is no other way to control the spread of coronavirus. Being at home all day could easily make a person bored and stressed too and, in a way, it also affects his eating habits.
Sabina Valentine, a nutritional expert from the University of Alberta says; “You’re in a constant state of not knowing what’s going on, you’re fearful, and that makes it tough to eat healthily.”
This added stress can cause a rapid increase in cortisol level which a hormone, directly controlling appetite and eating habits. So, in a way, stress makes a person more inclined towards unhealthy, fatty foods and increase cravings for desserts and fast food.
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Valentine says that this home isolation increases the feeling of boredom hence increases the chance of untimely snacking. “People are looking for comfort, they’re looking for an escape, and unfortunately food can sometimes provide that.”
But this home isolation is also a chance to work on your diet and improve it. Here are a few things that could help you to adapt to eating habits.
1- Add more options to your diet
Valentine says; “Keeping those more gluttonous foods out of your cupboards means that when you do want a snack, you’re choosing something healthy rather than unhealthy. Instead of potato chips, buy popcorn. That’s a healthier option if you’re looking to snack.“
The experts suggest adding fresh fruits and vegetables to their diet and avoid taking frozen food. It is easy to substitute fruits and nuts with chips, candies, and gums. Being at home is actually a chance for anyone to make better and healthier life choices.
2- Plan your meals
Social distancing means you would spend most of your time indoors. It also suggests a restricted movement to the grocery stores so you have to make a list and stick to it when you go for grocery shopping. Search online, look for healthier food options and add them to the shopping list. This planning would save time and help you to buy only the most needed food items.
3- Follow your diet chart
Eating healthy is not just about buying healthy food. It also means to use them in creating tasty and appealing food recipes and stick to them for a long period. It is not necessary to use the same ingredients or shop the same items, there are a lot of food combinations that are healthy, low calorie and do not require much effort to prepare. Always be open to these options.
4- Involve all family members
The shift to healthy eating is possible if you are living alone. But if you are living with your family, it is better to take the whole family with you. You can spend a good time with your family while planning meals and shopping lists. Having more people to share their opinions, choices and suggestions would make you feel less stressed and bored and it would be easy to be on a healthy eating track.
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5–Pay attention to what you buy
It is necessary to identify your poor eating and shopping choices. Valentine says; “Recording what you’re eating for one to four days can really increase your awareness of what you’re doing, because you can look at it and go, “Oh my gosh, this is so different from how I usually eat.'”
6- Eat for improving immunity
The only way to prepare yourself during this coronavirus pandemic is by healthy eating. When it comes to immunity improvement, people often get skeptical about what to eat, what not to eat. However, the best is to look for reliable information. Valentine advises; “You want a diet that’s filled with adequate amounts of protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. If you have those in your diet, you shouldn’t need any of the supplements that are being marketed around the coronavirus.”
7- Eat healthy to beat coronavirus
Do you feel threatened by coronavirus pandemic? It is alright if you do. A deadly infectious disease can make anyone stressed. But it is important to follow all precautionary measures to reduce its risk for yourself. CDC has shared detailed guidelines to follow during this coronavirus pandemic and it also includes eating healthily and work on your immunity.
Valentine shares; “For the majority of us, it’s similar to having a bad cold, so ensure you’re getting enough fluids and healthy foods. The same principles we apply to a normal healthy diet should be applied if someone has COVID-19.”