Managing Cravings During Quarantine
Now that we’re staying home 24/7 during the COVID-19 outbreak, some of us are experiencing what it’s like to live with our fully stocked kitchen full time. For a lot of us, that can mean constant grazing and cravings. What are we to do? Well, here is a list of tips and tricks to help you deal with cravings during quarantine:
- Set A Schedule
Our bodies love a good routine. From keep a work agenda to an exercise schedule, we have a way of creating habits and keeping to them. This works with eating, too! Try to set a schedule up with meals and snacks to keep you satisfied throughout the day. We suggest planning meals and snacks every 2-3 hours. Here’s an example of what your day might look like:
8:00 am: Breakfast
10:00 am: AM Snack
12:30 pm: Lunch
3:00 pm: PM Snack
6:00 pm: Dinner
When you keep a normal eating schedule and remain satisfied throughout the day, you’ll be less likely to get extremely hungry and eat tons at a time or have massive cravings that end up with you eating a lot more than you actually need.
- Portion Your Plate With Variety!
One of the most important things dietitians preach is portions and variety. It can be hard to know what your portions should look like, but a simple trick is to use your hand. A portion of meat, poultry, or seafood should be about the size of your palm, while fats like oil and peanut butter should be about the size of your thumb. Grains should fit in to one handful, while fruit and vegetables should equal a whole fist.
It’s also very important to get a variety of different food groups in your diet to make sure you’re getting as many nutrients as possible while keeping yourself full and satisfied. For meals, try to hit one portion of protein, carbohydrate, vegetables, and fat each. For snacks, mix a carbohydrate with protein or a fat, such as hard boiled eggs or peanut butter. When you mix food groups, it fills you up and keeps you satisfied until your next scheduled meal or snack!
- Listen To Your Body
When you’ve got full access to a kitchen at all hours of the day during quarantine, it can be confusing to know when you’re hungry, anxious about what’s going on, or just bored. An important practice for all of us to learn is to ask ourselves, “Am I hungry?”. Just by taking a moment before we got to the fridge or breaking into that bag of chips, we can honor our body’s needs and get into the practice of eating when we’re actually hungry and stopping when we are full. If the answer to your question is yes, then go ahead and portion yourself a snack or a meal. If the answer is no, then try to find something else to do, like pursuing that hobby, painting your nails, or trying a new workout (here are some awesome workouts to try through our Online Studio). Learning to understand what your body needs is an awesome skill to have now and for the rest of your life, so why not give it a try!
- Allow Yourself To Have A Sweet Treat
Remember when COVID-19 was first announced and many people were scared about not having access to groceries so they went and stocked up on milk, frozen chicken, and toilet paper? It seems silly, but we actually do the same thing when we restrict ourselves from having sweets or junk food. When our bodies think we will not have access to certain things, it makes us want them even more, so we have a subconscious need to stock up on them. That’s why when you tell yourself that you can’t have any of the chocolate chip cookies your child baked, you want it even more, and may find yourself eating quite a few later on after they went to sleep. A good way to target this issue is to actually allow yourself to have a portion of the sweet treat without any guilt to enjoy in the moment. That way, you can feel satisfied by the food and then get on with the rest of your day. And please remember, we’re all living in a very wild time right now, so don’t be so hard on yourself. If you find yourself eating lots of sweets or more food in general right now, it’s okay!
Trying to keep a normal diet and managing cravings in a time like this can seem overwhelming and stressful. By keeping these tips in mind, you can set up a routine for yourself while learning to listen to your body during the crisis. Staying satisfied and well-fed will help you manage your cravings and avoid eating too much of anything and everything