It would be an understatement to say that the onset of the novel coronavirus has shaken up our daily routines. Due to the highly infectious nature of COVID-19, many of us have taken to spending a lot more time around the old homestead.
The more time we spend in public places, the more opportunities for infection we’re liable to come across. Although the situation is less than ideal, many people have accepted that staying home is among the most effective ways to protect themselves and their loved ones. However, when stuck at home, the temptation to give in to junk food cravings can be overwhelming.
While there’s nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, enjoying unhealthy snacks on a regular basis can prove detrimental to your mood, waistline, and general health. Fortunately, maintaining healthy eating habits during lockdown isn’t nearly as daunting as you may think.
Don’t Go Overboard with Takeout
If going to restaurants was among your favorite pre-pandemic activities or you’re simply not a fan of cooking, you may order a fair amount of takeout. While ordering in can be a great way to support struggling businesses during a truly horrible time, it’s recommended that you place strict limits on how often you order takeout and the kinds of food you order.
For example, since most restaurants now conveniently provide nutritional info for their menu items, you’d be wise to take advantage of this. If your favorite places don’t have meal offerings that comport with your nutrition goals, consider giving your business to restaurants that specialize in healthy cuisine and diet-conscious franchises with good reviews.
Limit the Amount of Junk Food You Keep in the House
In some cases, simply making junk food inaccessible can be a great way to stave off cravings. It stands to reason that the more unhealthy snacks you have on hand, the more likely you’ll be to indulge in them. With this in mind, make a point of limiting how much junk food you have in the house at a given time.
This means placing limits on the amount of junk food you purchase during grocery trips and adhering to them. If you’re used to buying unchecked amounts of unhealthy snacks, this is liable to be a bit of an adjustment. However, the more accustomed you become to following your new rules, the easier limiting your junk food intake will become.
Many snack cravings come about as a result of boredom. If you’re experiencing a lack of stimulation or are at a loss for things to do, you may be tempted to eat just to pass the time. So, the next time a junk food craving begins to take hold, ask yourself, “Am I hungry or just bored?” Next, engage in a stimulating activity for 15 to 20 minutes. If you decide you’re still hungry after this point, you more than likely are.
Substitute Healthy Snacks for Junk Food
When many of us think of snacks, our minds go directly to chips, cookies, candy, and soda pop. While there’s no denying that these items are snack time staples, healthy alternatives to them are readily available. In addition to stocking your fridge with traditional fruits and veggies, don’t overlook nuts, granola, hummus, and countless other health-friendly snacking options.
Hone Your Culinary Skills
There are many advantages to learning your way around a kitchen. Not only does cooking on a regular basis help build character and promote self-sufficiency, but it can also save you a tremendous amount of money. As anyone who consistently orders takeout can attest, a few meals a week can quickly put a dent in your personal finances. In the interest of conserving your resources and developing stronger culinary abilities, try to cook for yourself at least five days a week. Additionally, make sure to limit yourself to recipes that correspond to your nutritional needs and fitness goals.
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has upended our lives in ways many of us never thought possible. Among the biggest adjustments we’ve had to make is getting used to the idea of hunkering down for the foreseeable future. While there’s no denying that we’re living in relentlessly stressful times, this doesn’t mean you should be putting healthy eating habits on the backburner.