COVID-19: How to manage our emotional eating?

COVID-19 has made some remarkable changes in our lifestyle. Entire families are at home, work and school schedules are disrupted and we suddenly had to adapt ourselves to a completely new lifestyle. It’s proven in research that a loss or change of a daily routine can increase anxiety and stress. This may result in an uptick in our coping behaviour, leading to more comfort eating and emotional eating. However, do not worry, this is completely normal! We are here to help you understand emotional eating so that you can manage these emotions better.

Let’s start with small steps to feel better and to manage these emotions!

  • Schedule your daily meals: Creating a structure for your meals is the first and the most important step. If you have a plan, things are much easier and it is less likely that you will graze on anything you find.
  • Plan a food shopping list: Buy and arrange the groceries beforehand, this will help you to avoid snacking all day.
  • Engage all family members in cooking: When everyone helps in cooking, it creates a fun atmosphere and kids tend to appreciate their food more.
  • Eat balanced and nutritious meals: Choose meals that are high in protein, fibre, fruits and vegetables. These foods help to make you feel full and prevent cravings between meals by stabilising your blood sugar.
  • Create a workout routine: Regular physical activity helps to relieve stress and stabilise appetite.
  • Learn a new art or pursue a hobby: This works wonderfully to combat stress and anxiety.
How to satisfy Physical Hunger How to satisfy Emotional Hunger – get your brain busy
Eat regular meals & snacks Exercise, go for a walk
Eat a variety of foods Meditate
Eat food that you enjoy Call a friend
Do not create food rules and restrictions Listen to music, dance
Consume foods that are rich in protein and fibers Create a list of activities (other than eating) that you enjoy!

By Dr Surabhi Jain, Dietitian, Nutritionist

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