Understand your stressors
While physically distancing from other people in these trying times is enough of a trigger to make you start stress eating, you need to do your best to understand your stressors even when you’re not in this type of situation. In order to be successful at your attempts to lose weight and keep it off, you need to start paying attention to what causes you to reach for a treat. Triggers can be various and everyone can have their own. Perhaps you are having problems in your relationship and are turning to food to deal with the sadness. Maybe you are worried about an upcoming event at work and are eating instead of dealing with the issue at hand. Pressure due to finances or health can also drive you to overeat. What is more, if you start beating yourself up over your binge eating habits, you can enter a vicious circle where you eat because you’ve eaten too much.
Make your home healthier
It’s normal to feel sad and uncertain about the future during this pandemic but it is still important to keep up with your weight loss plan and avoid emotional eating as much as possible. However, sometimes you might be really overwhelmed and not able to resist the temptation. In that case, it would be for the best to keep only healthy snacks around the house. When going on a grocery run, buy healthy alternatives. Get fresh fruit, nuts, carrot sticks and other veggies. Opt for unbuttered popcorn, baked chips, pretzels and other lower-calorie versions of your favorite snacks. Go for water instead of carbonated drinks and alcohol.
Get enough exercise
Your weight loss plan surely includes regular physical activity as well. Seeing as how you cannot go to your gym to get the necessary workout or even go outside for a jog, this whole effort might seem futile. However, there are plenty of ways how you can still work on your fitness even when in self-quarantine. It’s easy to do burpees, planks, squats, lunges, push-ups and a ton of other exercises that don’t require any equipment, but having some home gym equipment can provide you with even more variety when working out indoors. From strength training with dumbbells to working on your cardio on an exercise bike, being inside doesn’t have to mean the end of your weight loss journey. Not only will exercise help with this goal, but it will also boost your mood and make the isolation a bit easier.
Look for satisfying alternatives
Were these normal circumstances, you could be able to go for a walk outside or meet up with some friends to get your mind off what is bothering you and thus avoid emotional eating. However, as we’ve found ourselves confined to our homes and gatherings are prohibited, you will have to find some alternatives that can replace this craving. Look for activities that will keep your hands busy and prevent you from reaching for food. Play with your pets, turn to board games, try your hand at painting, knitting or origami – options abound. While listening to music, audiobooks, and podcasts and catching up on your shows are all good ways to pass the time, you might be tempted to snack along so beware of your behavior and keep healthy foods around.
Create a support system
If you are lucky enough not to live alone during this global lockdown, you can create a support system for yourself. Tell your family members or your roommates about your eating habits and ask them to check in every once in a while to see how you are doing or to mention it to you if they see you eating excessively. Talking to them is also a healthy way to deal with your problems, instead of eating your feelings away. If you do live alone, on the other hand, keep up with your loved ones over video calls or look for a professional who can help you control the temptation.
Just because we’re not sure when this COVID-19 lockdown will end, it doesn’t mean that we can forget about all our plans for the future. If you’ve started your weight loss journey, keep it up and don’t let this situation get you down. Learn how to control your emotional eating impulses and you will reach your goals.