Pizza deliveries, comfort eating, a lack of routine . . . every day is mashing into the next with nothing to do but fill your time with lockdown eating, binge watching TV and filling your days with whatever keeps you sane. But all this lockdown eating will kill you if you’re not careful.
We have become used to seclusion in our homes but at what cost? Relaxing exploration of the farmers markets has been replaced with hurried trips to the supermarket. Social distancing has denied us of our social outlet of restaurants and cafes. We have replaced our cosmopolitan lifestyle with lockdown eating-readily available treats and snacks, meals in isolation and a bombardment of TV and news available 24/7. Comfort eating is the new hunger buster but at a digestive cost.
Comfort eating (also known as emotional eating) can replace the physiological, emotional and cognitive response to food intake, resulting in addiction.
“Eating can also serve as a welcome distraction from challenging life realities and a self-soothing coping mechanism during uncertain times. Biologically, stress is associated with changes in cortisol, which plays a critical role in energy regulation. We also tend to crave food higher in fat and sugar when stressed, in part because our body requires more energy to function when stressed, and simple carbohydrates are the fastest way to get a quick hit.” (Harvard Mental Health Letter, 2018).
Lockdown eating is no different. In fact, we often start to eat (or not eat) in a conscious or unconscious effort to suppress or soothe negative emotions brought on as a response to forced isolation and lack of regular routines and outlets. During the current pandemic, fear around the availability, accessibility, and cost of future food may affect the eating experiences of many people. This can lead to various expressions of lockdown eating such as binge eating, restriction or abstinence of food intake, emotional eating or an increase in consumption of packaged foods laden with high fructose corn syrup (toxic) and that are nutrient scarce.
Here are five simple steps towards controlling lockdown eating.
Nutrient-dense foods, fresh is best.
Nutrient dense food is food that is abundant in vitamins, minerals and readily usable energy. Your body requires clean fuel to operate efficiently. Nutrient dense foods give you the macro-nutrients of carbohydrates, proteins and fats, as well as the micronutrients that every cell in your body requires.
Colour rainbow- natures eye candy for health.
When we talk about eating from the colour rainbow, we ensure that the foods we consume have a wide range of vibrational frequencies. Did you know that foods emit light and vibration? The highest vibrational and light emitting food group is the vegetable, closely followed by fruits and then by seeds, grains and nuts. These are all alkaline foods and help fuel cells required for health, growth and happiness. Lower on the vibrational scale are fish, chicken, dairy, red meat, game and crustaceans. These are all acidic foods. They cause health problems in the lymphatic, circulatory, nervous, skeletal and muscular systems (to name a few). An acidic body leads to problems concentrating, illness, pain, anxiety and depression.
Schedule meals- routine combats consumption.
In lockdown, we have days that seem to be vacuous. We need to fill them but our usual routines are vastly disrupted. Make sure you schedule your meals. With a stricter schedule, you will snack less and turn to comfort eating less.
Family connection at meal-times or an Epicurean lifestyle.
In the times of Epicurus, people shared meals with friends and family,. The true Epicurean lifestyle involved music, discussion and joy. Epicurus opened his academy (an open air dining area) to his community. The rules were few but were enforced. You could not eat with anger, your day was left behind as you shared the main meal with people that you cared about or people that could add to your day (not detract from it). Happiness, mindful eating and music were all key components of the academy.
Ask yourself, is my family making the most of the evening or lunchtime meal? Are we being Epicurean or are we eating without care?
Ask yourself if you are hungry, and become more aware of your feelings away from food.
It’s important to separate hunger from emotion and boredom. Each time you gravitate to food, just work out if it is something you need or something you want.
The team at Wholistic Natural Health Australia have worked with many clients to help educate and coach through food addictions, emotional eating and nutritional concerns. Through Results coaching, consultations, nutritional counselling and workshops we have helped over 200 people regain a healthy relationship with food and the body’s response to stress.
We offer a 100% implementation guarantee on all of our sessions, programs and events.
To combat lockdown eating, we are offering a bonus coaching call with each Health Strategy Session booked.
Contact us and use the subject ‘LOCKDOWN’ to secure your bonus session.