When we get bored a lot of us tend to snack a lot combined with the fact most of us are staying home/indoors with limited fresh produce staying in quarantine can lead to quite a few extra kilos. I was the same in the first few days I pretty much binged on chocolate, ordered takeout and drank some wine as I struggled emotionally with what was happening in the world, in my home country, in my town and what it meant for my family and my business. It is a hard year for all of us so I hope you are following your government’s advice and staying home/isolating as much as possible!
Before I share some tips to avoid weight gain during quarantine I also want to highlight that I know this is not so important in the scheme of things. We all have much bigger issues than a few extra kilos but at the same time, this is one thing we can control and it can also affect our mood and overall mental health if we start not fitting into our clothes. Better nutrition also means better health and a stronger immune system!
- Keep Some Meal Structure
It can be easy to have 3 breakfast, 2 lunches and 10,000 afternoon snacks after 10 days in isolation with not much to do apart from eating. Trying to keep a structure of meal times especially with children and families is very important. Keep structure meals at similar times everyday helps avoiding overeating and over-snacking. Breakfast, one morning snack, lunch, one afternoon snack, dinner and on occasion a treat after dinner.
2. Add more protein
Adding extra sources of protein in your meals will keep you satisfied for longer. Add tofu, lentils or beans in your lunches and dinners. Canned legumes are also great isolation food.
3. Load up on soup.
Soup is not only one of the best food you can do for your health but it is also very cheap to make, uses pantry items and is great for weight loss or limiting weight gain. (Just avoid adding too much oil/bread on the side!)
Pumpkin soup, lentil and sweet potato soup, broccoli potato and cauliflower soup are great soups to make. Or my cauliflower noodle soup.
4. Avoid Fats
The most energy dense foods are sources of fats and oil. So if you have a much lower energy expenditure aka sits on the couch all day it might be best to reduce fats. Avoid snacking on nut butters, adding too much oil, coconut oil, coconut cream, coconut milk and eating too many nuts and avocado.
Healthy fats are important but best to get them through moderate sprinkles of seeds and whole nuts as they also contain fibre to keep you full for longer and have a lower calorie count.
5. Fill up your plates with grains and vegetables
To avoid filling restricted or too hungry fill up on whole grains (brown rice/quinoa (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup per meal) and fill half your plate with vegetables. If it is not possible for you to get much fresh produce frozen or canned vegetables are also great for your health.
6. Limit sweets and baking
I know I share a lot of baking recipes but try to limit baking and sweet foods to once or twice a week! And best if you can share them with someone! I know I share a lot of sweet recipe on my page but I don’t bake more than once or twice a week and I share them with my 3 kids + husband! 🙂
7. Drink herbal teas
Drinking herbal teas is great to keep you occupied and add a little something into your day. I find herbal teas actually very comforting and have been loving chai rooibos, a bedtime herbal tea for after dinner and lemon and ginger.
8. Do home workouts
If you scroll your Instagram you might see half the people you follow now sharing workouts on their stories! Doing home workouts, running or going for a walk if you can go outside is a good way to keep fit but also avoid eating too much from boredom. I like Sarah’s day, Melissawoodhealth, pop sugar fitness on youtube for workouts.
Here is an idea of what to eat during your self isolation days to avoid gaining too much weight.
Breakfast: Porridge cooked in water with a splash of soy milk + fruit and cinnamon
Morning snack: fruit or rice cake and hummus.
Lunch: Soup (2 bowls if very hungry)
Afternoon snack: olives, veggie sticks, dip, crackers
Dinner: Chickpea curry with a bit of rice, lentil bolognese with pasta…, stews…
If you would like more help from a nutritionist I offer 1:1 coaching for weight loss. I currently have some available appointments for online consultations – if interested send me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org