Adapting Your Diet Post-Lockdown

Whether we like it or not, the elongated period of staying at home has elicited some unprecedented changes on our diet. Some people have started becoming more diet-conscious while at home, avoiding heavy foods that could negatively impact our health at times. Other people are guilty of overindulgence – reaching out for a snack more frequently than usual. Lockdown has also meant irregular schedules and changes in working routine too.

So, how do we get back on track with our nutrition? 

The key is to adapt to our new lifestyle/schedule/routine and find ways to restore rhythm into our regular working lives and our diets too.

Setting a goal of shifting back to an ideal meal plan, cutting out all snacking, stopping alcohol and tracking everything are all well and good. But when real life intrudes and makes you tired or demotivated, you’re more likely to give up if targets seem like a steep mountain to climb. Instead of crash dieting to lose a quick 10 lbs, opt for small changes that you build upon weekly. Maybe you are just focusing on having more water when you wakeup in the morning and with each meal the first week, and then adding in extra veg the next week once you have the water tackled.

When we were at home more often, we experimented with new and innovative recipes that we had never tried before. But now that things are starting to open up, most of us are likely getting outside more and getting back to the rigours of life pre-lockdown. Your motto during this time should be: “Not every meal has to be an event”. Keep it simple and make easy recipes for at least some meals to save time on preparation as you resume work. Even looking into ordering ready-to-eat meals could be an easy way to keep it simple and still have a variety of flavours. We love Honey Bee Meals for quick, easy and tasty meals, locally-sourced and prepared!

It’s not necessary to cook every meal from scratch. Leftovers can be creatively used to make a brand new dish altogether. Another idea could be to cook a bit extra during one meal and save time by reusing leftover preparations in the next one.

Sleep is as important as a healthy diet and exercise. For many of us, this lockdown has been a blessing for getting extra sleep in without a commute to work. But for others, the stress and disruption of our regular routines may have knocked sleeping habits out of whack, making it difficult to function normally when we’re awake. The most important factor in getting a good night’s sleep is to go to sleep at the same time every day. Ideally, we should aim for seven to nine hours of sleep every night to allow our bodies to rest and repair.

The bedroom should be a safe haven; keep it clean and tidy, and use it only for sleep. Avoid watching TV or looking at your phone right before bed, as the blue light from devices disturbs sleep. Doing breathing exercises, practicing yoga, meditating, reading a book or listening to soft music can help you switch off and relax before bed.

Most peoples’ reasons for change are all about the outcome. Instead of saying ‘I want to lose 10lbs’, try focusing on the reason behind the goal. This could mean switching to ‘I want to feel my energized and fuel my body with healthy foods so that I can be more productive during the day’. It puts the emphasis on the benefit, not what you’re missing out on.

This might sound cheesy, but one of the main traits I’ve seen in my most successful clients related to any goal was believing in themselves. Although, this current time is like new years (in that it feels like a “fresh start”), you can still set realistic targets as we move out of lockdown. And don’t worry if you have a little slip, pick yourself up, get back on track and continue working towards your target.

Blog Written By: Alysha Coughler, Registered Dietitian & Food for 6S Nutrition Coach

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