Social Distancing-Induced Boredom Eating?
Do you find that you’re wanting to munch more than normal right now? Or that you are craving things that you haven’t since your surgery? Whether you’re bored from being cooped up at home, stressed from…so many different things…, or you just need some social interaction or time away from your quarantine buddies, there are many reasons why we might reach for food right now. In fact, it’s probably the number one comment we’ve seen on our Instagram feed lately. So what can you do to stay on track during this difficult time? Check out our ideas below.
Make a Meal Plan
Meal planning is one of the best ways to keep healthy foods both in your house and on your mind. When we get stressed, overwhelmed, or tired, our mind wants to go on autopilot. That’s why it’s often easier to make healthier choices in the morning, or why we tend to go back to old habits when times get tough. The goal of planning out your meals and snacks to make it just as easy to choose something healthy as it is to choose something, well, easy. It’s also a great way to make a grocery list, which is extra important when we want to or have to limit our trips to the store.
Involve Your Family and Friends
Growing up, my dad always did the cooking. The main thing he wanted from us was to tell him what to cook. Coming up with ideas for meals gets tiring, so why not ask the others in your household for their input? Even if some of their suggestions aren’t in line with staying healthy, they can still help you brainstorm. Live alone? Make a meal plan with a friend or family member who’d also like a little motivation. Use something like Google Docs to share inspiration and/or cook your meals together over video chat!
Make Eating a Decision
Boredom/stress/mindless eating is often a knee-jerk reaction that we use to try to fill a void. By making the decision to eat an actual decision instead of a reflex, you can determine if you really want to eat or if you are only doing it out of emotion. One way to do this is to take a 5-15 minute pause when you find yourself reaching for something. During that time, busy yourself with other things, go outside for some fresh air, take a walk, or just take a break! Afterwards, if you still want to eat something, that’s ok. Many people find that even if they still eat what they were craving, they eat less than they would have had they not taken a pause.
Sometimes that urge to eat can be satisfied by having something to drink rather than eat. Bored with water? Jazz it up! Make some infused water, add a splash of fruit juice, or try our Stomacol and Effervescent Vitamin tablets! Make it a routine to drink ½ Liter every 3 hours in order to get your fluids for the day.
According to the Office of National Statistics, alcohol sales have risen by almost 1/3 in the UK in recent weeks. While having a drink here and there is typically ok after surgery, you should be careful not to overdo it given how strongly alcohol can affect the body post-WLS. Alcohol also limits our inhibitions, making it that much easier to grab for those snacks sitting in the cupboard.
Staying on track during good times is hard enough, and adding COVID-19 to the mix doesn’t make it any easier. Find those easy wins to help keep yourself going, and remember that it’s ok not to be “perfect.”