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The novel coronavirus outbreak has changed the way we live our lives. With working from home becoming a norm amidst this lockdown, several people have been experiencing problems with their fitness regime, eating habits, and sleeping hours, among other things.
One of the prime issues that we have noticed among the employees during the lockdown is stress eating. In this webinar by ekincare, our Clinical Nutritionist Devika Khare focused on discussing how to develop healthy eating patterns during the lockdown.
Even WHO has said that - In addition to exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and drinking, maintaining a healthy diet plays a ”crucial role” in determining how well people recover from coronavirus.
Hence it becomes crucial to include a balanced diet in COVID-induced sedentary lifestyle, working out daily, and giving your body proper rest.
Setting “SMART” healthy eating goals is a great way to make positive changes in your diet. “SMART” stands for goals that are:
Short-term goals are things that you want to do tomorrow and the day after. For example, you might decide to switch to low-fat or fat-free milk or soy milk instead of whole milk on your cereal to reduce the amount of fat you take in or cut back on eating fast food to once a week and many more.
Keeping track of your progress helps you see how far you've come. It also helps you stick with your plan. Use a notebook to keep track of the healthy things you do. Look this over when you begin to doubt yourself or feel discouraged and every time you meet a goal, reward yourself.
Don't let the stresses of lockdown take their toll and turn you into the snack cupboard. Rather work towards sleeping and waking up at the same time every day. Try to structure your day by setting aside time for meals and snacks. Don't skip any meal and keep drinking an adequate amount of fluid in order to feel and function at your best.
When trying to eat healthily, it’s crucial to plan ahead as it’s easy to run out of inspiration for what to prepare when you’re having all your meals at home. So, try planning out a few meals so you know what you need and don’t have to face the ‘what’s for dinner’ dilemma every night.”
While variety is key to a healthy diet, it is also suggested to avoid omitting any food groups while on lockdown unless you have an allergy.
“Three nutrients that you should definitely include (because they help to support your immune system) are vitamin A (found in sweet potato and spinach), vitamin C (found in berries, tomatoes & peppers), and zinc (found in meat, dairy, and bread)”.
Salt and sugar — they look so harmless, so basic, so essential. You can limit your intake of sugar by choosing healthier options instead. For example instead of sugary drinks, choose water or beverages that are low in added sugars, try drinking fruit juice mixed with sparkling water, or diluted with plain water.
Salt is also an important mineral that your body needs to function properly. However, too much salt can cause health problems (for example, high blood pressure or heart failure) and worsen other conditions. Eating less than 2,300 mg of sodium (about 1 teaspoon of salt) per day may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and its complications.
Keeping healthy and nutritious snacks nearby will ensure you don’t head straight to the biscuit tin at the slightest hunger pang. Choosing foods that have protein and/or fat + complex carbohydrates more often than not, but not always, will have numerous health benefits for you.
Making healthy choices to support our mental and physical health and immune systems is important now more than ever. Of course, choosing wholegrains and including lots of vegetables and fruit in our diet alone is not going to protect us from COVID-19. However, these whole foods help to provide the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytochemicals that we need to support stress and immune function and keep us as healthy as possible.