Dieting during this ‘Stay at home’ period

Covid-19 has presented all of us with significant challenges. No one knows for sure how long we are going to have this ‘stay at home’ period. And there is also a chance that there are a lot of white collar jobs that may move to people’s homes. While this probably have health benefits such as less exposure to pollution, less commute, less stress, don’t have to deal with annoying co-workers, etc, staying at home can make some of us eat or snack more and exercise less. We tend to eat more when we are bored or don’t have much to engage us. It is those foraging trips to the kitchen every few minutes that cause all the weight gain.

What is the best solution to keep yourself eating healthy when you are spending lot of your time at home?

 Throw away all the highly processed and easy to eat snacks and make sure you don’t buy them no matter how enticing they look. If it is not there, you can’t eat it. I did that and now at every one of those foraging trips, my family and I go back saying “there is nothing interesting to eat in this house!”. But it keeps us all healthy. Getting off of mindless snacking is extremely difficult (esp. if you are addicted to it) and those Costco snacks are irresistible!.

  Schedule eating times and stick with it. In the office, we have a set lunch time, but when at home, there is no schedule. So, develop one and stick with it and for the foraging trips, keep healthy items such as nuts, fruits and veggies.

  Replace all prepacked and processed snacks with fruits and veggies. –1) Keep some chopped veggies in the fridge for easy snacking. I like roasted veggies (long Japanese eggplant cut into thin slices and roasted – some say, it tastes like jerky or bacon).

  Snack on nuts a little expensive, but has a lot of benefits and it is full of protein and healthy fats. And has high satiety due to the fat content. So, a handful can give you the feeling of fullness. What about the high calories of nuts? High calories of nuts don’t do any harm. More and more studies are showing that eating nuts don't seem to increase weight and people who snack mostly on nuts have increased health benefits. One recent study also found that people who ate nuts actually lost weight. I don't know for sure whether you will lose weight on nuts, but, it is increasingly becoming clear that it is not the calorie count that matters – it is where the calories are coming from that is important. I will have another blog on this very topic soon.

  Eat food that you made yourself from scratch. One good dietary habit I have adopted (heard about it from a TV host of a cooking show) – is that you can eat as much as you want if you make them yourself from scratch. Example, you can eat as many apple pies you want, as long you make them yourself from scratch. Three things happened as soon as I adopted this principle: (a) I couldn’t bring myself to add that much butter in that pastry dough; (b) Is apple pie really that tasty for all that effort? – nope! I figured it is much more easier and tastier to eat the apples as is (or make baked apples with some cinnamon). Laziness can sometimes be beneficial for your health! (c) an additional benefit of cooking is that it is also an exercise – I am usually exhausted from all that cooking and cleaning up after. I know cooking is not for everyone, but making something yourself at home from scratch is a good way to eat healthy.

Loosing weight is an important part of self-care and we will be having several blogs on this very topic - stay tuned!

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