Avoiding Poor Eating Habits When You’re Stuck at Home
With the COVID-19 pandemic keeping millions in their homes, the stress-level is undoubtedly high. For some, it might feel like the calorie intake is just as high. You may be suddenly finding yourself a SAHM-WFT, also known as a Stay at Home Mom (or D for the dads out there) also Working Full Time. The impossible storm of a looming pandemic, financial strain, major change in routines, homeschooling, and sharing a lot of time and space at home with your family may feel like a tough mountain to climb. How are you supposed to also think about your eating habits, exercise, rest, and avoid all of those snacks during the day? This major shift in your environment and daily schedule can be a slippery slope for letting bad habits creep in. But taking proactive measures might help you feel a bit more in control.
As with any challenge, preparation is a key to success. Just because things may be different for the time being, it doesn’t mean that you can’t plan healthy meals and snacks for yourself and your family. Prepping in bulk means things are ready to grab and go, or heat and eat, meaning more time to sit down and mindfully eat during a meal or snack and less time spent worrying about prepping and feeding everyone else.
If you’re home schooling, use cooking as a means to practice skills with your kids and grandkids. Cooking includes reading, math, and science! Depending on their age, think of ways they can get involved. Turning food prep and cooking into an activity kills two birds with one stone – just make sure you give children appropriate tasks that won’t result in more work for you!
We talk about staying hydrated all the time for a reason: it is important! Keeping your body appropriately hydrated helps virtually every human function. Water helps you curb hunger, support your immune system and feel more energized throughout the day. This applies not just to bariatric patients, but everyone. If your kids are home, challenge them to drink more water as well.
Some find that using a large bottle helps track their intake and motivates them to drink throughout the day. Others prefer to track water consumption by the number of cups. Whatever your preferred method, make your hydration a priority. If you are a post-op bariatric patient (talking to all you bypass patients out there), remember to avoid drinking while eating to decrease the chance of experiencing dumping syndrome by washing out your pouch too quickly.
Proper sleep is key to making sure you are ready for your day. Try to stick to a schedule – waking up and going to sleep at roughly the same times each day. Don’t want TV (or be on your device) right up until bed and try to finish your meal at least 2-3 hours before bed. Try to avoid heavy meals, caffeine and alcohol later in the evening. And remember, you can sleep too much too. So, try to get somewhere between 7-8 hours of sleep a night. That works best for most.
If there are no unhealthy foods in your home, it is going to be much harder to eat poorly, right? When you make that grocery run (or better yet grocery pick up using an app or online system to practice physical distancing) add only the good stuff to your cart. You don’t need to put those high sugar, high sodium, and high carb options in your cart, virtual or physical. Again, make a plan! Use a list with what you need for your planned meals and snacks. Get creative with textures and flavors to keep healthy options interesting.
Give Yourself Some Grace
This is a hard time. Expecting perfection in all aspects of life is not realistic right now, or truly ever. Don’t let the stress get the best of you. That will only amplify your issues. Focus yourself on the good things and factors within your control. If you find yourself struggling, give us a call! Our team is here for you. We are happy to be your cheerleaders and help you find that boost of motivation.