Soul Food: How to avoid overeating in isolation

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A piece of chocolate, a glass of wine, a package of potato chips: tasty snacks and drinks can give a satisfactory and good feeling. Especially in times of crisis like everyone is experiencing with Coronavirus at the moment, one reaches out for the favorite sweet and snack more often.

In Germany, people bought 34 percent more wine from the end of February to the end of May than in the same period last year. The USA has an increase of 48 percent in popcorn, 47 percent in pretzel, and 30 percent in potato chips sales in the past few weeks compared to this time in 2019.

This is because the human body tends to crave high-calorie and high-sugar foods during stressful times. Additionally, stress leads to elevated cortisol levels which can lead to an increased appetite. That is the reason why stress eating is a common response to work-life distress.

 

By Pauline Stahl

Whilst there are more and more workout videos circulating on the internet, people start to run or go for a lot of walks, there are also complaints and concerns about gaining weight in times of isolation and social-distancing. However, situations like that are not the right time to chasten oneself. “Restrictions, whether it be a physical restriction or an emotional restriction, can have a backlash effect and increase disordered eating behaviors“, is what Katherine Kimber, a dietitian, and spokesperson of British Dietic Association told the BBC.

Good food is an important part of staying healthy, mentally as well as physically. While vitamines and the substances of fruits and vegetables help to boost the immune system, a good tasty meal can help to keep positive and stay in a good mood.

Here are some tips that help to stop overeating when staying at home the whole day:
  1. Have meals together with friends or family. If you’re living alone, have a dinner-date via Skype!
  2. Try to keep a routine: Get up early, get dressed, plan your breaks, go to bed early.
  3. Lean into your emotion rather than stuffing them down by means of food!
  4. Look for distraction as soon as you think about eating when you’re not actually hungry.
  5. Plan your meals and try new and healthy recipes.

To help you with point 5, I have created a Facebook group where members can exchange recipes for healthy soul food and motivate each other. The name of the group is Soul Food and you can click here to find it. Feel free to join and share your own ideas or try recipes of other members!

What are your tips to avoid gaining too much weight at the moment?