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How to Maintain a Healthy Diet during Challenging Circumstances

With most of the world being self-isolated and a part of it being under quarantine due to the coronavirus pandemic, everyone’s staying at home most of the time. The boredom, routine, stress, and anxiety might be the cause of overeating. During times of crisis, we mostly turn to comfort food and other unhealthy dietary habits. By the time this lockdown time passes, you might gain some weight and the unhealthy habits could affect your immunity and overall health. 

So, if you want to stay in good shape and remain healthy during this, or any other, challenging circumstance, here are some tips that will help you with that. 

Plan ahead

It’s easy to get lost in the endless day inside your home. So, what do you do then? One option is to reach for the fridge and prepare a hefty meal. And two hours later, you can grab a chocolate from your secret stash. If this becomes a daily routine, it can end poorly for your health and fitness. 

To avoid these “eating tantrums,” create daily menus for the entire week and include the in-between meals or snacks, such as nuts and seeds. Go beyond just planning – prep the meals in advance to ensure you’ll stick to your healthy dietary choices.

Choose a diet plan

Meal planning can be complicated, especially when you’re trying to include all the healthy and immunity-boosting foods while still keeping it tasty. The easier road to take is deciding on a specific diet approach, such as Paleo or Keto, and then choosing a meal plan tailored to it. For example, with a detailed Paleo diet meal plan, you will get a day-to-day guide that includes all the essential nutrients and is simple to follow. 

Don’t overload your plate

Controlling your portion size is one of the most important factors in maintaining a healthy diet. Most of us make the mistake of eating until we feel full, but there is one problem here – it takes time for your stomach to send your brain the message it is full. By the time you feel full, you have already overeaten. Here are two tips to help you keep things in check:

  • Use a small plate/bowl, especially when you are eating a high-calorie meal.
  • Keep track of the number of servings you eat.
  • Eat more slowly and mindfully. 

Stay hydrated

When you’re spending a lot of time indoors and you’re not as active as usual, you might not feel thirsty as usual. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need water. Your body is made of approximately 75 percent water and no matter how you are feeling, you do need your recommended eight glasses of the precious liquid a day. If you’re forgetting about it, you can use a hydration app or simply make sure you have your water bottle on hand throughout the day. 

Stock up on healthy foods

When you have a lot of healthy foods in the kitchen, the chances are that you will eat more of them and less of the unhealthy ones. Here’s what should be on your shopping list:

  • Fruits and vegetables are the best sources of vitamins and minerals you can find. Moreover, they are also packed with dietary fiber and low in calories. They can also compensate for the sensation of fullness you get from other types of foods. Depending on your diet plan and your preferences, opt for berries, tomato, leafy greens, lemon, oranges, bell peppers, etc.
  • Whole grains are a great way to introduce fiber into your diet, and you need that fiber to help regulate blood pressure and heart health. Some of the products you can choose include whole-grain bread, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, and oatmeal.
  • Fish, poultry, lean meat, eggs, and low-fat dairy products should be on your plate if you want to get the much-needed dose of low-fat protein. If you are on a vegan diet, you can choose alternatives such as legumes.

Don’t stock up on the unhealthy foods

You can’t grab a bag of chips if you don’t have one, right? Well, that should be your strategy. Try not to have high-processed, sugary, or food high in sodium in your house. Find alternative healthy snacks such as dark chocolate, nuts, seeds, dried fruits, etc.

Last but not least, it’s important to be aware of why you are doing this. By maintaining a healthy diet, you are keeping yourself healthy. But don’t be too hard on yourself. Allow yourself an occasional treat – as long as it doesn’t become a habit, you will be OK. It’s all about nurturing your body and maintaining a healthy relationship with food.