|Many of you may find yourselves making lots of trips to fridge during this stressful period! It’s very likely that you’re experiencing more frequent food cravings. This constant grazing and munching will only result in gradual weight gain especially given the sharp drop in your activity level.
It’s not usual for this to happen at a time when you’re bored and looking for distractions. You’re probably spending plenty of time indoors with reduced exposure to daylight. Stress levels are up and vitamin D levels are down, and many of you are turning to sweet snacks to lift your mood and your blood sugar levels.
How to overcome boredom snacking?
1) Create a daily routine for yourself at home that involves set meal times and some exercise. Try to avoid skipping meals so that you don’t end up binging in the evening.
2) Include good quality proteins with your meals such as eggs, ful, beans, lentils and lean meat such as chicken, turkey or fish, and don’t forget the vegetables! These protein-based meals will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer.
3) This is certainly a time for foods that can help boost levels of the happy hormone serotonin. Examples: fish, nuts, dark green vegetables, seeds, oats, yoghurt, eggs and poultry.
4) Before you snack, ask yourself whether you think you’re ‘mouth hungry’ or ‘stomach hungry’. Mouth hungry is likely to be from boredom, while Stomach hungry is when you actually need food. If you’re leaning towards chicken and vegetables, it’s more likely to be stomach hunger, but if it’s biscuits or a bag of chips, it’s mouth hunger.
5) Deal with ‘mouth hunger’ by increasing your movement and by drinking water. Get up, stretch, and move around the house. Drink some water or even tea, then see whether the hunger still persists 10-20 minutes later.
6) If you feel ‘stomach hungry’ before your meal time, grab a healthy snack to keep you going till your next meal. A healthy snack should include a combination of fibre, protein and some healthy fat so it takes longer to digest and hence keeps us fuller for longer and won’t spike our blood sugar level. Ideally a snack should be within 100-200 calorie range.
Ideas for healthy snacks: