When faced with an anxious situation like COVID19, there is an obvious solution. Turn to something that gives you comfort. While you can’t snuggle in for a quiet nap with deadlines at your doorstep, the next best thing is to forget all your diet tips and to indulge in your favorite comfort food.
While an occasional treat never hurt anybody, binge-eating is bound to result in weight gain. Furthermore, carb-loaded foods can negatively affect your mood. Due to limited stock availability and fewer options, not to forget the isolation, it can be hard to eat healthy. Most people choose to stock up on instant noodles, prepackaged snacks and canned products to reduce their trips to the grocers. But they are low in nutrient content and tend to pack on empty calories.
But if you are determined to eat healthy, despite these temptations, here are some useful and easy to follow diet tips and plans to help you.
How to Follow a Healthy Diet Even During COVID-19 Lockdown
If you are struggling to stick to a healthy diet, here are a few pointers to help you get out of that rut:
Stock Up Responsibly
The coronavirus lockdown has highlighted several incidents of panic-buying and hoarding. Only take what you truly need and be mindful of others’ needs. At the same time, avoid unnecessary trips to the grocery store and minimise touching objects while outside.
While you may want to purchase food items with longer shelf life, you must also include fresh produce to your grocery list. The WHO recommends the inclusion of fresh fruits and vegetables to your daily meals. Swap unhealthy foods for healthier alternatives, and you will be less likely to consume them (out of sight, out of mind!).
Plan Out Your Meals
Experts all over the world have been stressing the importance of having a schedule. Having defined meal times establishes predictability around your household. Planning and prepping for your meal allows you to be strategic about your ingredients and enable you to follow healthier diet plans.
For instance, you can prioritise consuming the fresh produce before canned goods, and avoid wastefulness. With the isolation, you no longer have the excuse of being “too busy” to cook your meals at home. However, practice food safety while preparing and eating food.
Uncomplicate Your Food
While quarantine is bringing out the inner Masterchef in us, you can’t always whip up an extravagant feast or exotic cuisines. Now is the time to switch to comforting, one-pot meals that are not only easy to cook but also easy to clean up afterwards.
Try out something as simple khichdi, which is a complete meal by itself. Khichdi makes use of readily available staple ingredients, and can easily be customised depending on the vegetables you have around your home. Plus, it is easy to digest!
Consume Immunity-Boosting Healthy Foods
Make a conscious choice of including foods that boost your immunity and alleviate your anxiety. Here are a few inspirations to get you started:
- Vitamin C-rich foods such as citrus, tomatoes, and bell peppers can support your immunity
- Foods like cashew nuts, liver, and eggs are rich in zinc, which can help build antiviral immunity
Limit Your Salt and Sugar Intake
An average Indian consumes about 11g of salt per day; this figure is way above the recommended dosage of 5g of salt. On the other hand, a survey highlighted how cities like Mumbai and Ahmedabad were consuming above the 25g RDI mark.
Thus, try and add flavours to your food by experimenting with herbs and spices rather than salt. Further, satisfy your sweet cravings by switching to fresh or dried fruits. Add a drizzle of honey and fruits to your yogurt for a healthy dessert, and keep your gut healthy and happy!
BONUS: A Few Useful Weight Loss Diet Tips
While eating healthy is a priority, here are a few diet tips that will help you with your weight loss journey despite the coronavirus lockdown:
- Portion out your meals to avoid overeating. Alternatively, try intermittent fasting to cut down your calorie intake and establish feeding and fasting windows. IF can boost your metabolism, aid digestion, and help weight loss.
- Add more proteins, whole grains, and fiber to your meals for a prolonged feeling of fullness.
- Fitness enthusiasts are getting creative with at-home workouts, and you should give them a try. If high-impact exercises take a toll on you, opt for low-impact activities or yoga.
- Staying hydrated is crucial to stay healthy. Instead of soda and sugary beverages, drink copious amounts of water. You can always make infusions at home to give plain water a healthy and delicious twist.
- Avoid eating out, even if it is an option.
Staying at home during the COVID-19 lockdown and the ensuing Isolation is enough to divert from your healthy diet and to start binge eating. However, a little thought and planning can help you stick to a healthy diet plan, which will help your mood, build immunity, and aid weight loss!
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