Helpful Dieting tips while we weather the Coronavirus Storm

Helpful Dieting tips while we weather the Coronavirus Storm

Helpful Dieting tips while we weather the Coronavirus Storm

1. Immunity and health first, weight later

While the country is in the grips of fear and uncertainty, the last thing you want to add to that is extra body weight. This requires a shift in your attitude during this time. You want to eat to honor your body and to keep all systems functioning as well as possible, not because you want to emerge from this lockdown looking fabulous.

These tips will help you eat to boost your immune system. Another nutritional goldmine for a healthy body at this time is antioxidants.  Antioxidants such as Vitamin C, may help boost your immune system during these difficult times.

Tell yourself during this time, “I need to eat healthy, balanced meals as much as possible, not because I’m scared of weight-gain, but want to stay healthy in a time when our health can be compromised.”

2. Pantry staples can be healthy

Yes, it is harder during this time to buy fresh produce daily. But that doesn’t mean you should shun healthy eating immediately. There is evidence that frozen fruit and vegetables can be just as beneficial to you as fresh. Here are quick tips to healthy pantry staples:

  • Choose whole grain pasta or brown rice.
  • Tinned tomatoes and tomato paste can add great flavor to soups and stews.
  • Legumes such as beans and lentils are packed with protein and fiber, and can add texture and flavor to sauces, soups and stews.
  • Don’t forget the fish. Oily fish such as tinned mackerel or tuna is high in omega fatty acids, which keeps your body and mind healthy.
  • If you’re a snacker, especially while working from home, dried fruit and nuts are a more nutritious alternative than sweets and biscuits.  This will help sustain energy for longer. 

3. Set a routine – and stick to it

Lockdown might feel like the beginning of a long, extended weekend for some – but this doesn’t mean that you should eat accordingly. If you shopped ahead, scan your pantry and fridge and plan your meals, at least for the next week. Also try to eat at set times. This will create a sense of normality and will keep you and your family from reaching for biscuits and crisps at random times.

4. No takeaway? Let the challenge begin

Always relied on takeaway meals? Unfortunately, we are denied this convenience during our state of lockdown as takeaway restaurants may be closed and delivery services may not be operating efficiently. Now is the time to get creative with what you have on hand. Search for new recipes to try and get the children involved as you prepare a meal from scratch.

Realistically, we know that is easier said than done – especially if your circumstances never allowed for home cooking.

These options might still be available in supermarkets.

Or why not use the time to recreate your favorite takeaway treat – but make it healthy? Here are some tips:

  • Make baked sweet potato or potato wedges with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and rosemary.
  • Stock up on frozen pizza bases and top them with tomato sauce and some of your favorite vegetables and lean meat such as shredded chicken.
  • Cook homemade curry as you can freeze the leftovers for another day.

5. Mind over matter (or food)

If you tend to stress-eat or eat while your mind is somewhere else, you might find yourself scoffing down food without fully enjoying it. It’s important to set time aside for eating and to fully enjoy your food without distractions.  Mindful eating has many benefits. 

The benefits of mindful eating are numerous and can:

  • Reduce the frequency of overeating and binge eating   
  • Contribute to weight loss and reduced body mass index (BMI) 
  • Reduce episodes of emotional eating
  • Help you cope with chronic eating problems such as anorexia and bulimia
  • Reduce negative, anxious thoughts about food and your body