If you’ve found yourself spending more time at home because of the coronavirus outbreak, you’ve likely gained more access to your fridge. “It can be difficult to maintain healthy eating habits when you’re at home,” said Hannah Smith, eastern region clinical nutrition manager for Rochester Regional Health. Keeping track of what you consume and making sure to manage a healthy, balanced diet is essential to living a healthy life, especially during times of stress.
Hannah Smith gives us her advice on how to maintain proper healthy eating habits and a healthy diet.
Develop a routine at home that includes scheduled times for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Small snacks between meals are okay but try not to eat at varying times every day.
“Don’t just eat a little here and there all day long,” said Smith. “If you can, try packing a lunch each day just like you would if you were working away from home.”
Write down what you eat and when you eat it. It can also help to document feelings in the journal, such as light-headedness or irritability. This will help determine what causes you to overeat.
“Things like boredom or too much time between meals can lead to unhealthy eating habits. Keeping a journal will help you decide what changes you need to make to help your diet.”
Skipping meals can lead to various physical and mental issues. Pay attention to your body and the hunger cues it may be sending.
“Having difficulty focusing, headaches, light-headedness, and thirst are various cues for hunger. It’s important to eat throughout the day to keep your glucose levels balanced.”
Oftentimes skipping a meal will lead to overeating at the next meal. Be sure to eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner and a few snacks throughout.
“Snacks should be around 100-150 calories and should be eaten between meals,” recommended Smith.
Our bodies are made up of about 60% water, and water plays a major role in how our bodies function, including digestion.
“Water can reduce overeating because it often makes you feel full. Drinking sufficient amounts of water will help you feel your hunger cues and keep your body balanced.”
Make sure that the majority of the food in your kitchen is healthy and nutritious. Small amounts of sweets are okay but try to avoid purchasing them.
“Buy whole foods like fruits, vegetables, proteins, lean meat, and fish. If there’s something you shouldn’t be eating, try not to bring it in the home because it will be harder to resist.”
It may seem more difficult to buy healthy foods when your trips to the grocery store are limited, but there are plenty of foods that can be purchased and kept for a long time.
“Buying fruits and vegetables frozen is just as healthy as buying them fresh,” Smith said.
“Root vegetables like potatoes and onions last a long time stored in a dark place. Canned fruit and vegetables are another option for healthy food that will last. However, be sure to rinse the canned food to reduce the amount of sodium or sugar that is in the liquid.”
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