Lots of us are stuck at home right now and we’re parking ourselves on the couch and bingeing - and we’re not just talking about Netflix. As we try to fight boredom and pass the time during our coronavirus “home stays,” we’re binge eating all the provisions we stocked up on, from Oreos to chips as we pass the time and watch the news for updates.
Nutrition experts say this kind of situational stress-eating makes sense. Therapist Kimberly Hershenson explains that people are turning to emotional eating right now because it’s calming and it’s a temporary fix for boredom. And it’s hard to resist the temptation of a stocked pantry while we work from home, but when you add in the fact that gyms are closed and fitness classes are cancelled, all this binge eating could lead to the “Quarantine 15.”
So how do we break the stress-snacking cycle? Healthy-eating expert Tatiana Boncompagni advises adding some structure to your eating. She recommends planning times to eat, meals, and portions. She also suggests loading up on as many veggies as you can eat first, to fill you up so you have less room for junk.
Other good advice Hershenson offers is that you should “always eat on a plate,” not out of packaging, and that if you finish eating and still want more, to wait 20 minutes before going back for a refill. Do something else to distract yourself in that time and your body will usually recognize you’re full, but if not, then have something else.
And remember, this is only temporary.
(Photo courtesy of Dan Kitwood)
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