5 Easy Tips to Eat Healthily During Lockdown
If you’re one of the nearly half of the UK population who put on weight during this year’s spring lockdown – constant access to the fridge by day and boredom drinking in the evenings – you might be worried about this happening again with lockdown 2.0. However, we can learn from the last one, and with a few tweaks to our diet and the timings of when we eat, we could actually use lockdown 2.0 to improve our weight and to boost our immune system. Here, Jeannette Hyde, Nutritional Therapist and Author of the fantastic The Gut Makeover and forthcoming The 10 Hour Diet explains how…
- Try to finish eating and drinking anything with a calorie in it 2-3 hours before bed. In practical terms, this means for many people stopping eating between 6 pm and 8 pm. This will enable you to have a long overnight fast (ideally 14 hours) which leads to fat burning and weight loss without any calorie counting. Before Covid-19 many people worked late, shopped for food late, cooked late, ate late. With lockdown 2.0 – and if you are working at home – you can get ahead with cooking dinner in your lunch break or when you have a short break in the afternoon. Do the preparation and pop it in the oven and you could easily be eating by 6 pm.
- Stay out of view of the fridge. If you are working at home with the fridge in full view, could you change sit on the other side of the table? Point your computer in another direction? Work in another room? It’s a small change, but we’re only human when we see food, or think about food it triggers the production of saliva in the mouth and acid in the stomach in anticipation of oncoming yumminess and may lead us to think we are hungry when we’re not really hungry at all. That old phrase holds a lot of truth, ‘out of sight, out of mind.’ If you can’t see it, you’re much less likely to gobble it down.
- If you have a tendency to graze, change your environment, fill up at main meals, and don’t have snacks in the home. Whether it’s chocolate, crisps, ice cream or biscuits, if they aren’t in your immediate environment, you’ll be far less likely to have them. If you love ice cream or chocolate, have them as dessert at the main meal. We now know that eating little and often is dangerous because it keeps sugar levels and insulin (which is a fat-storage hormone) high.
- Here’s a caveat – if you are going to snack, plan it, legitimise it, and enjoy it and if possible, make it an opportunity to up your plant count for the day! We should all be aiming for more than 30 different types of fruit, vegetables, herbs, spices, nuts, seeds, pulses and beans over the course of each week. Variety of plant chemical polyphenols and fibre in plants feed good bacteria in the gut and help control our weight, mood, and immune system. Cut up a nice apple and have it with a piece of runny unpasteurised cheese (for the probiotic bacteria), or have a clementine and a handful of nuts on a plate. Go to my web site www.jeannettehyde.com and sign up to my newsletter to receive a copy of my Diversity Challenge. This is a worksheet you can fill in over the week and count your plant count.
- Get some live food in your fridge. These contain probiotic bacteria which you can parachute into your gut. Once there they communicate with your immune system to keep you healthy. Examples of live foods are unpasteurised cheeses such as Roquefort, Gruyere, Comté, Manchego, and Parmesan. If you like tangy flavours to liven up your meals buy fermented gherkins, sauerkraut, or kimchi. Have fermented milk kefir instead of yoghurt (it has much more bacteria) or get into drinking kombucha, the scrummy fermented tea.
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