One: Listen To Your Body.
In this very unusual time you need to rely on your appetite signals, more than ever. The trouble is we aren’t really clued into these at all. We eat out of routine. We eat out of boredom, out of stress or just because it’s that time of day. We have a whole host of reasons why we eat with stress, boredom and emotions being some of the more powerful reasons.
It is therefore more important than ever before to really tune in to when you are hungry and when you are not actually hungry. If you want to read more about this idea of mindful eating, I would recommend ‘The Joy Of Half A Cookie’, and the book, ‘Intuitive Eating’. I would urge you to check out either or both books, especially during this time when you are likely to be less active.
Relying on your body’s appetite signals is going to be your best way to manage your body weight during this time, your body instinctively knows how much it needs. It knows instinctively how much fruit and vegetables it should be having and even how much junk food it should be having. This is if you are really clued in to what your body desires, at that moment in time. That’s going to be the main thing that’s going to prevent you from gaining weight during this lockdown.
Two: Eat Slowly
People often don’t believe that this really works and it’s a really hard habit to adopt. But if you remove all of your distractions when eating, so don’t eat in front of a screen, eat at a table and eat with others if possible. Eat your food slowly, by chewing it 20 to 30 times per mouthful, putting your knife and fork down between each bite. This way, not only will your digestion improve. You’ll also enjoy the meal more because you’re present with it, you’re tasting it more.
This works really well because you’ll also be more likely to be able to know when you’ve had enough food and when to stop. Don’t be afraid of wasting the food in this time, you can always keep it for later, or give it to other people, or other family members or even your pets. Being careful not to let your dog gain all the weight instead of course!!
Three: Eat Fewer Carbohydrates
If you are being less active in this time of isolation, so you’re walking around throughout the day less, you’re doing less training, you’re generally moving less than you normally would. Your body is going to need fewer carbohydrates, because carbohydrates are our body’s preferred and main source of energy for movement and for workouts. So if you’re using your body less for these purposes, your body will need fewer carbohydrates.
This does not mean not eating any of them, but if you can’t find pasta or rice right now in the supermarket, It’s not the end of the world. Potentially, you should just double up on vegetables and continue eating fruits in your snacks throughout the day.
Four: Do Not Be Restrictive
Although we’re looking at maybe be eating fewer carbohydrates and listening to our bodies, this doesn’t mean that you need to remove all the junk food from your life or eat 100% “clean”. You can still eat cookies, chocolate bars, sweets, crisps, pizzas, drink alcohol and have all of the delicious things in life.
It’s just about how those things fit in with the rest of your current diet. You want to maximise the body’s nutrients and remain eating at energy balance, so eating the same amount of calories per day that you are roughly burning.
Five: Move As Much As You Can
If you are fearing weight gain, then please do continue to move as much as you can. So throughout the day, take breaks from your workstation, move around, go up and down the stairs in your house or apartment block. Go outside into your garden or enclosed areas and soak up the sun. Buy yourself a trampoline like I have and bounce on that for a few minutes every hour. Make sure that you do go outside for that one exercise session a day that Boris has allowed us.
If you can, make that session a nice long walk in the sunshine, either at the beginning of your workday, or at the end of the workday, or even across lunchtime. At the moment, you are the masters of your schedule, so I’m sure that you can find that the time to get that in, and continue to increase your non exercise activity movement.