If being home all day is new to you then finding ways to keep yourself busy might be challenging. For some people this can increase the temptation to snack on things they wouldn’t normally snack on. After all, having something to eat can be a good distraction from the things happening around you. Add to that the sudden rise of home baking, panic buying and discounted treats which may mean more treat items in your pantry to indulge in.
Also, in times like these we can become overwhelmed by feelings of anxiety, sadness, loneliness and boredom. For some, this may lead to turning to food for comfort.
While there is nothing wrong with enjoying treat foods in moderation, it can cause problems if it starts to replace your overall healthy diet, or if it becomes your only coping mechanism to deal with your emotions. You might just be looking for alternatives so that you can keep on track of your weight loss plan.
Stay on track
If you’re looking for healthier distractions, then a great place to start is taking stock of your pantry and fridge. Do the foods you keep in the house encourage healthy snacking? If not, then put them in a container out of easy reach, and next time you’re at the supermarket or ordering food online only buy foods that fit your healthy eating plan such as fresh fruit and veggies, low fat dairy, whole grains or nuts. You can also try these tips for healthy snacking:
- Make sure you have plenty of fruit. If fresh is hard to come by, try frozen or canned in natural juice. If you’ve got other people or kids at home with you, they too will benefit from fresh fruit as snacks. If you find yourself getting bored of traditional fruit presentation, check out our delicious fruit ball skewers recipe here.
- Cut up some vegetable sticks ready to snack on if you feel like munching on something. For example, carrot, celery, capsicum or green beans.
- Explore some of the recipes on our website.
- Write a daily plan for when you’ll be having your snacks. This may be particularly helpful if your routine has been changed as you won’t have your normal cues such as a lunch break or home time.
Alternatives to snacking
There are many ways of keeping yourself distracted or helping to cope with emotions that don’t involve food. The first step is to write a list for yourself of the activities you’d like to do and keep them close by to refer to when you feel like reaching for a snack. Below is a list of ideas to get you started but it’s important that your list reflects the things YOU actually WANT to do so don’t let this list restrict your creativity:
- Try a puzzle, this will challenge your mind and the whole family can get involved. If you don’t have any puzzles, look online to get one delivered.
- Write a letter or email to a loved one. Not only will this take your mind off snacking, it’s a nice way to brighten someone’s day and you might get a nice letter in return.
- Do an at home day spa – paint your nails, put on a face mask, soak your feet. For the men out there, it might be an old fashion shave. Or if you’re at home with someone else, why not take it in turns to give each other a massage. Self-care is more important now than ever
- Get out into your backyard or balcony or just open a window and do some stretching in the fresh air. You’ll be surprised at how energizing and refreshing some sunlight and fresh air can be.
- Get creative, start a drawing, painting or try your hand at photography around the home. Who knows, you might find a hidden talent or new hobby.
- Learn something new. Ever wanted to learn a new language or to play the guitar or how to write a blog? Jump online and see what courses you could pick up to occupy your time and get your brain into gear.
- Light a scented candle or use a scented hand cream to engage your senses.
- Read a magazine.
- Have a cup of herbal tea.
- Meditate – there are some great free services for meditation that you can find online.
- Talk to a friend. Social distancing doesn’t mean you can’t still reach out to loved ones. Now is the best time to call your friends or if you’re feeling tech savvy, why not use the camera and see their faces at the same time.
Remember that feeling stressed or anxious is normal, especially given the current climate. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and simple strategies aren’t helping then you should reach out to a loved one or support services such as Lifeline (0800 543 354 NZ or 13 11 14 AUST) for extra support.