Your favorite Netflix show might not be the only thing you can binge on during the coronavirus crisis. Anxiety, uncertainty in public health and easy access to the refrigerator could prompt you to “stress eat” your way through the lockdown provisions that you have bought beforehand, munching them all until they are finally gone.
, a Midtown Manhattan, NY-based therapist who specializes in eating disorders, thinks that people turn to situational, emotional stress eating for these simple reasons: It is calming and temporarily solves boredom.
One downside? Increased weight gain, and that is not good in times like this, when you have to stay home for weeks without enough time or space for any physical activity.
Maintaining your weight is as crucial now as it was before the outbreak of the virus. To keep yourself healthy while at home over the next few weeks, here are some tips that will help you combat weight gain in the face of the coronavirus lockdown, courtesy of the New York Post:
Follow A Structured Eating Plan
“Try to create some structure to your eating, […] Plan times to eat, meals, portions. Have a cutoff time for eating, to curtail grazing,” said Tatiana Boncompagni, healthy eating expert and founder of Eat Sunny, a meal delivery company that delivers freshly-made, “chef-created, doctor-approved” meals on people’s doorsteps. To help you manage your eating habits, you can either write reminders on your phone or use a health-tracking app that will help you be accountable for what you are eating.
Eat Lots Of Vegetables
Boncompagni also recommended “eating as many vegetables as you can,” adding that your body will have less room to be filled by junk food if you load up on these first. This will keep you assured that you have eaten some healthy stuff especially if you end up eating unhealthy grub later.
Eat Food On A Plate
You may have no one seeing you eat right now, but that is not an excuse to be greedy when it comes to munching on your favorite snacks.
Hershenson said that you should “always eat on a plate,” and not out of the packaging. This puts a buffer between yourself and the food you are craving to consume. If you feel tempted to get a refill, she said, you may choose not to stand up and do it at all.
Have A Healthy Dessert
No, not a dessert that increases your calories, but a psychological one.
“After eating, wait 20 minutes and do something else, such as meditating, watching a show or call a friend. […] If you are truly hungry after 20 minutes, have something else, but usually after 20 minutes, your body recognizes you’re full,” Hershenson said.
Find Other Ways To Handle Panic
Hershenson also recommended finding other outlets for your coronavirus panic that do not involve food. “Journal and write down what is stressing you out. […] Have a mantra such as ‘This is only temporary.’,” she said.