Life sometimes gets in the way of healthy eating and training and Covid and the resulting lockdown have caused major disruptions in many people’s routines. Schools being off, working from home, gyms being closed/with limited availability, too much work on/too little work on, lack of time for food prep and exercise…
I have found myself making excuses for my bad eating habits and gaps in training a lot recently, “I’ll wait for the schools to go back and then get back into it”,“I’ll wait for things to get back to normal”.
The problem is that things may never go back to normal, or normal as we know it anyway. We’re going to need to constantly change things up according to differing circumstances and it’s something that many of us are getting used to doing. It’s very easy to fall off the wagon but it’s vital that you get back on and realise that healthy eating is a lifestyle not a diet.
My emotional eating had hit an all time high through lockdown and now I’m trying my very best to control it. These are some of the things that are helping.
1.Realising and that healthy eating is a lifestyle not a diet. Learning what my emotional and compulsive eating habits are and trying to do something about them. I now know that if I’m sad/stressed I open the fridge so I’ve been trying to leave the house as soon as I can when this happens and jump in the sea, go for walk until it passes. Also drinking as much water as possible because as Adam recently pointed out I’m more often dehydrated than hungry.
2.Not being impatient. Having realistic goals and expectations. A successful weight loss plan means losing weight at a healthy rate, I’ve lost weight too quickly one too many times and put all of it straight back on.
3. BEING PREPARED! I’ve tried to cut down on my carb intake recently and have cut out processed foods and sugar. The thing I find really really helpful is not allowing myself to get hungry and making soup every 2-3 days so I can grab a cup whenever I feel tempted to eat crap/fill a gap with something that will make me feel shit about myself. I allow myself a couple of glasses of wine on a Friday night and I really look forward to them.
4. Have a good support system. Talk to somebody be it a friend, family or professional about any emotional issues that you may have and team up with people to swop healthy eating ideas. My sister and brother have been constantly sending me recipe ideas and hacks that make the process of healthy eating seem like less of a chore and dare I say it quite enjoyable.
5. Rewarding myself with something other than food. Trying to get out of the chocolate with a cup of tea at night/dessert after dinner mindset. Having a nice herbal tea and couple of squares of dark chocolate at night when that dip in energy and sugar craving kicks in or just going to bed early and reading my book to stop me opening the fridge.
6 Don't ever forbid yourself anything, as soon as you do, you'll feel deprived, you'll wind up eating what you really wanted, and then you'll feel guilty. For me in the past it’s a vicious circle of self-loathing. over eating when I’m stressed, worried, upset and then hating myself and not feeling like getting out to train but now if I do find myself ordering a medium rare burger in Bunsen before I can help myself, I dust myself (and the fries) off and get back on the wagon again.