Has lockdown done a number on your healthy eating habits? Don’t let the situation get the better of you. Here’s how to get your diet back on track.
Identify your lockdown demons
The past year has got to us all in different ways. Gyms have been shut, trips to food shops have been limited, even outdoor exercise was restricted for a while! If you know that lockdown is affecting your eating habits, start by figuring out how.
WHEN are you eating? Has your meal frequency increased or reduced? What are your meal time triggers during lockdown? Do you have a structure?
WHO are you eating with? Has your household changed because of lockdown, and is this impacting the type of food that’s in your house?
WHERE are you eating? Working from home can make portion control and mindful eating difficult. Try not to eat at your desk or on the sofa.
WHAT are you eating? Does your food shop look different to before lockdown? Have different foods and snacks crept in? Are you using delivery services and apps?
Gravity’s 9 tips to refocus lockdown nutrition
Track for a few days. It’s always useful to know how much you’re eating, so download MFP or keep a food diary to get a realistic idea of your calorie intake and macronutrient balance.
Plan your meals. Sit down once a week to plan your evening meals and weekend meals. This will focus your grocery shop, save cash, and help you regain control of your food intake.
Have go-to breakfasts and lunches. One of the simplest ways to take back control is to focus on a healthy breakfast and lunch. Choose meals that are quick to make, enjoyable, and have enough protein, carbs, healthy fats, and fresh stuff.
Remember your macros. Has your protein intake slipped? Are you eating a lot more sugar or fat than usual? Get back to your solid habits: lean protein with every meal, plenty of vegetables, enough fibre.
Think about micros. Micronutrients count too. Consider the vitamin and mineral, antioxidant, and fibre content of your meals. Load up on vegetables, leafy greens, fruit, berries, and wholegrains.
Are you a volume eater? Volume eating is a life saver if you find it hard to get full. Focus on soups, stir fries, salads, and protein smoothies to get the satiety you crave without way too many calories.
Have some rules around food. Nobody is saying you have to have a strict meal plan and weigh out your broccoli. But it’s a good idea to bring some rules back into your diet. Sweet treats twice a week, or one drink a week (maybe)? Or maximum two days in a row of eating chocolate? Identify your problem areas and put some structure in place.
Are you an emotional eater? If we only ever ate when we needed the energy, nutrition would be easy! During lockdown, have you been eating due to boredom, stress, loneliness, worry, or any other emotion? Keep an eye on this kind of thing and find non-food outlets for the emotion.
Practice mindful eating. Mindful eating combines habits and behavioural psychology to help us manage poor food habits. Try taking a pause before you eat anything, look at it first, and then savour your meals without distractions.
Join the Gravity Training Facebook group for more healthy eating tips from our coaches. CLICK HERE