With so much time on our hands during the Coronavirus lockdown and not much opportunity to do more than watch TV or surf the internet we will have so many more snacking opportunities than before.
With all the panic buying over the past few days and weeks your cupboards are likely to be full – and with fewer people and colleagues around to judge your food choices or quantities it is going to take some careful planning to keep the situation under control. So here are some tips to make it easier for you:
- Plan ahead for your eating choices – after eating dinner, plan each meal for the following day and make sure you include (and limit) the snacks
- Press “pause” before just reaching for the snack – have a glass of water and make yourself wait 10 minutes whilst checking if you really are hungry.
- Avoid having the ultra processed food in the house – does anyone really need it? (crisps, biscuits, chocolate, cakes and ice-cream etc)
- If you really want an “indulgent snack” then you have to have a healthy option first- chances are that this might quash the craving.
- Keep any snack food out of sight – and put the healthy options where you can see them
- Wrap your healthy food in clingfilm/ keep in visible containers and place towards the front of your fridge – wrap less healthy options in foil and place out of sight
- Try and avoid eating in front of the TV or your computer/ devices – try and focus on what you are eating
- Divide up the snack food into smaller portions rather than grazing from the family pack. Put the family pack away and go somewhere else to eat- it makes it an effort to eat more
- Brush your teeth after eating and rinse with mouthwash- nothing tastes good when your mouth is really minty.
- Have a ready supply of “healthy snacks”
- Fruit (berries/ apple/ orange)
- Chopped carrots/ cucumber
- Prepare dips such as hummus/ yoghurt
- Seed/ nuts (but in limited quantities)
- Temple Vie snacks
- “snack on exercise” – add in little bursts of exercise doing one or two minutes as often as possible – instead of surfing on your phone whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or the microwave to ping
- Jogging on the spot
- Doing press-ups/ squats/ lunges/ star jumps
- Running up and down the stairs
- When you do go shopping for food, be smart:
- Don’t shop when you are hungry
- Don’t bulk buy more than you need or can freeze
- Shop with a mint in your mouth ( or chewing gum) – you will buy less because you won’t be able to imagine how fine it tastes!
It might also help to keep a record of what you eat – writing down everything that you put in your mouth forces you to be accountable to yourself and will actually make you pause before eating. If you keep a record of what you plan to eat and then document what you actually eat ( with a small note of why you are eating “off plan”) this will also help you to understand what is driving your food choices and keep you in control.