The Quality time you’ve been spending with your fridge and snack cupboard could be undoing your healthy eating habits

Shelly Bowien, Registered Dietitian at Alex Royal Dietetics, shares how to undo all your lazy lockdown eating habits and replace them with healthier ones.

Related:Can skipping meals help you lose weight?

You can still snack, just make it healthy

It’s so easy to grab a bag of chips or bar of chocolate when you’re bored or peckish in the house and haven’t had time to prepare healthy snacks. Or, you may think that snacking on a lot of fruit (which is actually very high in sugar), is the healthy choice? Ideally, Shelly says that you should be filling up on vegetable-based snacks, which help you to control the calories and also keep your blood sugar quite level. Make your own hummus with tahini, garlic, chickpeas and lemons and then dip carrots, cucumbers and other crisp veggies into it. 

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Preparing and planning your meals properly helps with food wastage and managing your budget, but mostly ensures that you eat healthy and delicious meals in the week ahead. On a Saturday or Sunday, sit down and plan at least your main meals for each day in the upcoming week. 

Don’t neglect formal meal times, schedule meal times

Sometimes it’s just a bit of a mind shift – make sure that you’re prioritising yourself and placing more importance on your mealtimes. 

Routine and an eating schedule is very important, especially when people are working from home like they are now. Just because you’re at home all the time, doesn’t mean that you should fall out of your meal routine! When you forget to eat or eat at random times, you could end up being too hungry at the end of the day and then binging on things that you shouldn’t be. Also, ensure that you adopt mindful eating habits – listen to your body’s hunger and satiety cues while you’re eating, don’t watch TV or sit on your phone during meals, and try eating more slowly, as well as take deep breaths between each bite. 

Related:Meal planning tips for busy moms

Don’t feed your emotions, deal with them 

Be kind to yourself and forgive yourself quickly if you have an unhealthy day. Always keep your personal goals in mind, and try not to compare yourself to other people (especially what you see on Instagram – a lot of that isn’t real!). Set small and achievable goals for yourself and then journal these by writing them down. This may help you identify why you’re eating emotionally and what your specific triggers are.

Also, make sure that you have no nutritional deficiencies such as Vitamin B12, Vitamin D or your iron levels. Low levels of these could call contribute to anxiety, depression and emotional eating. If you are suffering from a mental health issue, some medical aids like Fedhealth have mental health programmes which can provide the right support.

Don’t stop baking, bake healthy treats instead

A lot of people have been baking all sorts of unhealthy treats and snacks over this time and we understand why – we all need a bit of comfort. But as we continue to spend so much time at home, perhaps now’s the time to experiment with some healthier desserts? Here are some easy swaps to try, next time your sweet tooth rears its head.

Our health has never been more important than it is now. Think of food as fuel, and start to prioritise what you and your family eat, as you turn lazy dietary habits into healthy ones. 

Healthy recipes you might like:

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.