Maintaining a Healthy Diet During Lockdown

With lockdown fully in operation, most of us are spending considerably more time at home. Some of us may find it hard to keep entertained, and may find ourselves taking frequent trips around the house (and to kitchen cupboards!) to pass the time.  

Being in close proximity to foods and drinks all day everyday can definitely provide us with a challenge. We’ve thought about those we are facing during the current lockdown, how they can impact our day and hopefully, can provide some great strategies to help cope!

The challenges include:

  • Increased stress – Most of us will be feeling the stress of lockdown, with much more time in the house and less control of what’s going on in our lives. It can be common to eat more when we feel stressed for comfort, so trying to keep perspective while in this situation is crucial.
  • Boredom – Browsing in the kitchen or looking in the fridge while waiting for the tea to brew can lead to us grazing in-between meals, making it easy to eat more than we usually would having breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Lack of routine – routines may have gone out of the window and getting up last, therefore going to bed later may pose an issue with our body clock.
  • Takeaways – we know that lots of local shops are still doing takeaways and it can be easy to just pick up the phone to order in.

These things can definitely make it trickier to have a healthy balanced diet, and could lead to us eating more energy than usual. However this doesn’t have to be the case. 

Below are some great tips to lessen the impact of the lockdown on our diet:

  1. Do work in a room away from the kitchen. Always being in sight of the kitchen may tempt us.
  2. Try to keep to your normal  eating routine with snacks (if you have them) and meal times. Try to think about whether you are hungry before eating any snacks to ensure you are not eating out of boredom. 
  3. Include the whole family when preparing your meals as part of a homeschooling lesson. 
  4. If you struggle to limit the amount of high calorie snacks you are eating, try to avoid having these in the house altogether. Instead, keep the kitchen filled with healthier snacks such as fruit or nuts.
  5. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.  Often we mistake thirst for hunger, and it can be easy to forget to keep topping up that water bottle while we are indoors.
  6. Limit takeaways to a treat 1-2 times per month.  Always keep some easy foods in the freezer for lazy evenings when cooking seems like a chore. 
  7. Eat at the table where possible, and ensure wherever you are eating that there are no distractions such as the TV or games.  Distractions can stop us recognising when we are full and so we may eat more than we need. .
  8. When cooking, make extra portions to make bulk amounts and put the rest in the fridge or freezer for those lazy meals. 
  9. If you are struggling to manage your eating, keep a food diary of your eating habits so you can see an patterns in the foods you are eating, times of meals or portions
  10. Include exercise into your day as this will help burn energy, raise metabolism and boost mood!

Let us know if you have practiced any of these strategies, or have found the post useful!

If you want some advice you can contact us on Twitter (myChange_CIC) or email us at info@mychange.org.uk