Avoid Emotional Eating While Social Distancing

Lacey
April 15, 2020 0 Comment

Avoid Emotional Eating While Social Distancing

Today we take a moment to discuss how the shelter in place and social distancing has affected emotional eating. During the COVID-19 outbreak, social distancing and confinement can take a toll on your mental health — causing changes in your eating behavior. Being limited to your house can increase your anxiety, stress or boredom, it may be tempting to turn to food for comfort or control. You may be overeating while quarantine, or overindulge in sugary, fatty or salty foods. 

Emotional eating is never good and can negatively affect your physical and mental health. Emotional eating can cause weight gain, low energy, or make conditions like diabetes worse. Mentally these actions can also cause anxiety and depression. Especially if you’re not exercising as usual. It’s essential to pay attention to emotional eating as it can be a hard thing to recover from during these unprecedented times.

Stock Healthy Foods

ice cream, overeating while lockdown in place, overeating while quarantine

While everyone is stocking up on non-perishable items and highly processed foods, It’s important to buy fresh produce. When you make your meals from scratch, you have better control of the ingredients and keep it healthy from lots of fat, sugar, and sodium. While buying processed foods is way more convenient, these types of foods tend to be less healthy and make it easier for you to overeat.

What if fresh produce isn’t available? If fresh foods aren’t available, opt for frozen foods that don’t have added sugar or salt. when it comes to canned goods, look for items that are lower in sugar and sodium.

If you’re needing to treat yourself to some sweets, avoid oversized packages. It’s okay to indulge from time to time but just make sure your portions are small, like using a mug for your ice cream instead of a bowl.

Plan Your Meals 

Planning out your meals and snacks at the beginning of the day can keep your eating habits on a schedule. If you wait until you’re hungry and then picking what to eat, you’re more likely to end up eating more or choosing something less healthy. 

Your body can go into a “feeding frenzy” if you are starving which is never ideal because it can cause overeating or poor food choices. Add snacks to your daily plan. Knowing that you have a healthy snack in the lineup can stop you from eating too much between meals.

Keep To a Schedule

Just like planning out your meals for the day, creating a schedule will help keep your body and mind moving. One of the biggest reasons people overeat while at home is the lack of structure in the day. With social distancing and unemployment up to 18 million nationwide, it can easily throw off your day-to-day routine. Set a schedule that works for you and your family. Take a walk, do some chores before noon, prep dinner after stretching. Just stick with it! 

Having a set schedule and sticking to it will help to avoid wandering into the kitchen for an unneeded snack or meal.

Take a Break From Social Media

Probably one of the hardest things to do right now is taking a break from social media as most of us are sitting at home bored. As of 2019, people will spend an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media according to Statista Statistics. Now that may not seem like a long time while you have nothing to do but checking your phone all the time for updates may be contributing to your stress — and making you turn to food for comfort. This applies to the news as well, so take a break, take a walk, or start a project to keep you busy and off your phone.

Stop The Boredom – Stay Busy

With everything going on right now, it’s hard not to sit on the couch binge-watching “Tiger King” with a bag of Doritos. When you are bored, we tend to fill it with food and TV. The secret is to keep yourself busy. The feeling of being stuck, bored, lost or frustrated can have a solution. 

Keep yourself busy when you aren’t working or studying, try switching things up. Don’t just binge-watch Netflix for 10 hours straight. Watch a show for an hour, then work on a puzzle or read a book, or try some brain games to keep your mind sharp. 

While we all need food to fuel our bodies, and tasty food can bring a lot of happiness, it’s important not to bury your feelings in unhealthy foods. Making smart food choices and eating only when you are actually hungry will help ensure that you won’t gain a lot of weight or make chronic health issues as shelter in place and social distancing continue. 

Need some ideas on good foods vs bad foods? Read Eat This, Not That