So, you’re trying to stick to a routine, done your workouts, working from home and trying to keep yourself busy – Fantastic!!!! But you find yourself snacking more and ‘grazing’ on sugary and salty snacks throughout the day. Well you’re not alone. Everyone experiences emotional eating at some point, but this will be even more prevalent now due to self-isolation.
There could be a number of triggers ranging from; boredom, lack of concentration, anxiety, panic, and anger. The trick is to understand your trigger and find activities at home to combat them without using food as a coping mechanism.
If you’re feeling the urge to snack then try and opt for a mentally challenging activity like a crossword, sudoku, scrabble. Play a board game, twister, charades or get the cards out and play silly games like snap. The interaction with family members will be fun and take your mind off eating. Call a friend for a chat or read a book. Maybe start up an old hobby you haven’t done for a while like knitting or drawing. Slip into a relaxing bath and meditate.
Avoid buying large amounts of crisps, biscuits, chocolate and ice-cream. Instead replace them with healthier whole foods to graze on. Get baking there are so many healthy recipes for mini snacks that will trick your brain into thinking it’s having a chocolate muffin, but actually you’re eating a low fat brownie alternative that you’ve cooked yourself from scratch.
Plan the times you eat your meals and include plenty of vegetables and high protein foods as they keep you fuller for longer, leaving less room for junk food. If you’re feeling the urge to snack drink some water first then wait 10mins. Often hunger pangs are mistaken for the need to hydrate. If you’re working at a desk, take regular breaks to re-stimulate your brain. Low concentration levels often lead to reaching for the doughnuts. Brush your teeth after your evening meal and get you pj’s on. You’re more likely to not snack because you feel more ready to go to bed.
One last thing. Try and have a healthy perception of food and put the food you eat into two categories. Foods you eat on a daily basis, and foods you don’t eat that often. That way if and when you do reach for the treat tin you won’t beat yourself up with guilt.