Self-quarantining seems to be the way of life right now to protect ourselves from COVID-19. Unfortunately, having to remain at home can lead to some terrible habits, including overeating caused by anxiety and stress.
It’s quite familiar for people to indulge in comfort food when under stress, but overeating can adversely affect your health and lead to even more stress and anxiety.
Here are some great ideas to stop stress eating while staying at home:
One of the best ways to prevent overeating is knowing why this is happening, and the best way to understand this is to pay attention to yourself. There are many reasons, including stress, anxiety, and depression.
If you are eating too often or too much, it’s time to take a closer look at yourself. First and foremost, determine whether you are hungry or something else is bothering you.
Try and get in the habit of finding out how you feel before you eat. Are you stressed, bored, anxious, or lonely? Evaluating the circumstance will help you understand what drives you to overeat at this particular time and for the future.
If you are having problems trying to stop bad eating habits, you should consider seeking help for various disorders. If you continually overeat to the point of significant discomfort, this could be a sign of an eating disorder, and you should seek help.
1. Create A Healthy Meal Schedule
Just because you are stuck at home does not mean you can’t have a healthy meal schedule. Whether you are working out of your home or not, cook home meals, and incorporate healthy products in your meal schedule. If you are used to eating three meals a day, try and stick to the program and the same if you only eat two meals a day. Sticking to your regular schedule will help to prevent overeating and keep you on a good plan.
Even though it’s relatively easy to stray away from regular habits with your new lifestyle, it is essential to try and maintain regular eating habits as much as possible. The best nutritional plan is following your standard eating patterns based on your needs and regular eating times.
If you feel off-track for some reason, try incorporating two meals a day consisting of healthy products until you feel like you are back to some level of standard.
2. Don’t Deprive Yourself of Food
Do not deprive yourself of food or make your intake of food way too strict. If you set unrealistic goals, you will start eating high-calorie foods and binge and eventually overeat.
We are in stressful times, so following a very restrictive diet or depriving yourself of certain foods will backfire. Above and beyond all else, be good to yourself.
Research has shown that restrictive diets are not useful for any length of time, harming both your mental and physical health, leading to a great deal of stress, which you already have enough of.
3. Get Rid of The Temptation
Heck, you are stuck at home anyway, so start putting together a healthy diet meal plan and look into nutritional diet programs. If you have cookies or candy in bowels sitting on your counter, you will be easily swayed to snack here and there. Temptations like this should be hidden, so you are not just snacking down even when you are not hungry.
Allowing tempting foods to be in plain sight will lead to constant snacking. Research has revealed that high-calorie foods will stimulate the striatum, a part of your brain that regulates impulses and can affect overeating and increase cravings.
There is nothing wrong with treating yourself to a tasty snack once in a while, but, in general, keep these foods out of sight by putting them in your pantry or a cupboard. Keep in mind; overeating can lead to physical and mental health issues.
4. Pick Up Some New Recipes
With all difficult times, there are some silver linings. With so many restaurants being closed, this is the time to create your meals at home. Start looking for new, exciting recipes online, and start improving your overall good health.
A study showed that eating home-cooked meals seems to have more fruits and vegetables in their diets. Also, those eating home-cooked meals more than five times a week are less likely to be overweight or carry around excess body fat than those who only eat home-cooked meals three times a week.
Preparing nutritional diet programs and eating healthy products a few days ahead will help you fill up empty spaces in your schedule and improve your diet’s quality by reducing the risks associated with obesity.
5. Drink Plenty of Water & Fluids
Being stuck at home is the perfect time to create good habits, including drinking plenty of liquid. Having adequate hydration is essential for your health and also help you from overeating.
Additional research has shown that there is an association between chronic dehydration and the risk of obesity. Also, being dehydrated can lead to mood swings, lack of attention spans, and energy levels. All of these will also lead to bad eating habits.
Another great way to stay hydrated, place slices of fruit in your water, which should entice you to drink more water regularly. Fruits are right for you and won’t be adding sugar or calories to your diet.
6. Get Up and Move Around
There’s no doubt, having to stay cooped up at home is no great joy. You can’t go to your favorite gym because it’s been closed, you seem to have too much time on your hands, so you overeat or snack, become incredibly bored, load yourself down in stress, and the unspoken tension from little to no activity. You might consider something new and different, a workout on YouTube, taking a stroll in nature, or just walking or jogging around your neighborhood.
Studies have shown that physical activities will improve your mood, reduce stress, or reduce your level of stress.
7. Reduce Your Boredom
It’s a known fact; if you have way too much time on your hands, it’s so easy to let boredom take over. It’s up to you to fill your spare time. Start one of your favorite hobbies that have always been put on the back burner due to your hectic work life.
This is a great time to pick up a hobby you have always wanted to get involved in. organize that closet that has been pushed back, time and time again, start a new hobby, or take an online educational course and learn something fascinating and unique.
It’s a known fact that when you learn something new or you start a new project, not only will you unload boredom but will feel accomplished and experience a significant lack of stress.
8. Being in The Here and Now
There’s something to be said about catching up on a classic old movie or your favorite television shows when it’s raining out to get your mind off stress, but it’s just as important to be stuck in distraction, especially when you are eating. Distractions can lead to binge eating, which is not suitable for you.
If you have a habit of eating in front of your television, try eating in a lower distracting environment. It would help if you learned to concentrate on what you are eating and be aware of your hunger loss or know when to stop when you are full.
Being in the here and now while you eat may help you stop overeating and help you become more aware of your eating habits and food choice.
9. Pay Attention to Portions
It’s effortless to start overeating when you snack out of the container the food came in. A perfect example, you go to the refrigerator and grab the box of ice cream and eat a lot more than you intended to instead of taking a smaller portion and placing it in a bowl.
Instead of eating out of an enormous container, the rule of thumb, serve yourself a small portion that will fill you up but prevent overeating.
10. Get in The Habit of Choosing Nutritional Foods
Whether you are shopping for deliverable foods online or going to your supermarket, get in the practice of loading up your pantry or refrigerator with adequate nutrition for you. Try and stay away from fatty foods loaded in calories and replace them with foods that will help you cut back on snacking on stuff that’s bad for you.
Filling foods are loaded with protein, fiber, and good fats. Some examples include nuts, beans, eggs, fruits. These are foods that will be very satisfying and help you fill up on snacks and not cause overeating.
11. Be Aware of Your Alcohol Intake
Even though a cocktail or a glass of wine is excellent for relaxing, keep in mind that alcohol will increase your appetite, can lead to overeating, and lowers your inhibitions. On top of that, alcohol can harm your health in different ways and could lead to dependency.
Try and remain within the USDA guidelines, which suggests you limit your intake to one drink if you are a woman and only two if you are a man.
12. Pay Closer Attention to Your Overall Health
While there is no doubt that being compassionate and doing your very best during these stressful times, eating nutritional foods is the best way to remain healthy and happy.
Without a doubt, this is not the time to become restrictive, over-exercising, starting a fad diet; you should focus on your weaknesses but do not compare yourself to others. Be useful to you! If you struggle with body image issues, anxiety, or insecurities, use this time to develop a new, healthier relationship with your mind and body.
The Final Word
The COVID-19 pandemic is here for now, and there is no way around it. If you must stay home and feel stressed or bored, find positive things to do and stay away from overeating.
It’s perfectly normal for all of us to indulge in foods that are not particularly good for us, is perfectly normal. On the other hand, overeating day in and day out will harm your physical and mental health.
Hopefully, some of these suggestions will help you control overeating, lower your stress levels, and improve other aspects of your life and health in a much more positive way.