Being inside all day can be a blessing and a curse. Yes, there’s no rush to get to work or school and we all have much more time to spend with our family but all that time can lead to boredom, which often means snacking. With some of us focusing on home fitness and using the time to get in shape, others are finding it hard to get motivated, with the only exciting time of the day being when it’s time to eat.
If you turn to food when times get tough, there are a few tips and tricks that you can do to help work out if you really are hungry, bored or whether you just need a little comfort.
The first thing to do is start the day as you mean to go on. Porridge is the perfect breakfast, and it doesn’t have to be boring! Add a sprinkle of sultanas, a handful of chopped fruit or some cinnamon over your oats for an extra bit of flavour in the morning. Porridge will leave you feeling full for a longer time than most breakfasts, and contains a lot less calories than a slice of bread coated in butter or a bacon butty. It’s often cheap to get hold of and lasts long in your cupboards too.
If you feel yourself reaching for the snacks mid-morning, try to distract yourself with a new activity. If you’ve been watching the TV, get up and do a jigsaw, yoga or something else that will exercise a different part of your brain. You may find that the hunger goes, and you were just bored after all.
Another tip to try and avoid the temptation of snacking in between meals is to plan ahead. You can’t nip to the shops as much as you used to, so the cupboard may be looking emptier anyway, but plan out your meals and try to stick to three set meals a day. Eating foods full of fibre mixed with at least half the plate made up of vegetables is the best kind of diet for when you’re at home. The fibre will make you feel physically fuller and last longer, whilst the vegetables have less calories than carbohydrates or meat. If you do have to snack in the day, try to go for things like carrot and celery sticks rather than a chocolate bar – it may not feel as satisfying initially but your belly will be just as full afterwards and you’ll thank us later!
Finally, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – move around and try to exercise wherever possible, at least three times a week. We’re not saying that you have to do a workout every single day, but being active whilst you do everyday chores like cooking is a great way of burning off some extra calories. Get your favourite tunes on while you cook and have a dance around your kitchen! It’s a great way of boosting your mood and you’ll be exercising without even realising. Squat while you brush your teeth, go up and down the stairs twice instead of just once when you need to – just get creative and get your step count up whenever you can do!
Overall, you don’t need to be a fitness fanatic to avoid putting on weight during isolation. You just need to put some extra thought into your meals, think of ways to beat the boredom and be creative about getting exercise into your day.