Quarantine: many of us have been in it for weeks by now. So many of us are staying home all day every day, with the exception of grocery runs or maybe a short neighborhood walk (practicing good social distancing!) It can get dreary and it can get boring. So you wander over to the kitchen and mindlessly grab a snack to chew on while working remotely, helping the kids with homeschool, or binge-watching your favorite Netflix show. Or you may be stress eating. Sound familiar? It happens to the best of us, but, in this blog, we’ll be giving you tips to curb the quarantine munchies and prevent snacking excessively.
Time your snacks
Notice that we’re not saying ALL snacking is bad, a good diet can most certainly include a snack or two, but we’re talking about preventing snacking excessively. So sure, build a few snacks into your day but know how many snacks you’ve planned out and limit yourself to those. Have it in mind that you will only eat during those set meal and snack times, if you are hungry, to lessen your chances of wandering off to the pantry mindlessly.
Avoid mindless snacking/use portions
You grab a bag of air-popped popcorn and sit in front of the TV to watch a movie. Air-popped popcorn is definitely a good choice of snack, but, sitting in front of the TV, you easily will lose track of how much you’re eating. Instead, next time, rather than grabbing the whole bag, take a set portion of popcorn or your snack of choice. Having to get up off the couch to get more makes you much more conscious of how much you’re eating, and you’ll be less likely to overeat. These days, with the recommendations to have at least 2 weeks of groceries on hand, the food IS there in the house, the trick is to stretch it out.
Are you really having trouble with a particularly tasty snack that calls out to you too often? Try distracting yourself. Start playing a game on your tablet or game console, read a book, journal, or even look up some articles on health and weight loss for motivation. And if there is something that is just too difficult to control, then consider against keeping it in the house.
“Trick” your body with a low-calorie alternative
Sometimes your belly/mind just really needs a snack now. Quarantine and staying indoors is stressful and it’s easy to get frustrated if you are feeling restricted by a diet or specific snack times. So try a good-old compromise. Craving a drink? Try some unsweetened herbal tea instead. You can sip on it all you want! For food cravings, try a piece of gum. Chewing can distract you from wanting something more.
Lastly, know that we will get through this. Remember, these are stressful times for everyone, but you can empower yourself in these uncertain times by committing to your health goals. Resolve that you will come out of this time feeling encouraged and proud of how you coped. Follow these tips to prevent snacking excessively and you’ll avoid the “quarantine fifteen” everyone’s been joking about! Wishing everyone good health!