This is what I ate for lunch this time last year. I couldn’t eat this much now. Is this happening to you?
Why are we eating less?
We are eating less because during Lockdown we are burning less calories – yes, even me who’s teaching 10 classes online each week! It’s amazing how many calories we burn during a ‘normal’ day’s activities of popping out to the shops, visiting friends, playing with grandchildren, etc. Add to this the loss of muscles as we move less our calorie requirement could be half what it is outside of a lockdown or during self-isolation.
Are you listening to what your body needs?
The body has an innate mechanism to only eat what it requires. But perhaps you’re too busy to listen to what your body is telling you. Maybe you’re using food as a comforter, as a treat whilst we live under challenging restrictions and we often mistake thirst for hunger and satisfy our need for water with food that we don’t really need.
Two situations which will lead to accelerated ageing:
When we move less and exercise less, the body becomes weaker. Perhaps we only notice the flab, a bit of joint pain or breathlessness when climbing stairs or carrying things. The damage is more than this. Our heart and lungs become weaker, our metabolism slows down and we put on weight more easily. And then what will happen when your life returns to normal? Will you be able to enjoy your weekly walks with friends, will you still be able to pick up your grandchildren without back injury or even carry your shopping to the car?
This really is a double whammy…
The less you eat, the less nutrients you consume, the less fibre you eat and the less energy you have. Not to mention the problem of constipation. On top of this you turn to sugary things to give you a quick ‘fix’, a quick burst of energy, that ‘feel good’ factor, without realising the damage caused by snacking on sugary foods, the spike in blood sugar and then the lows, the havoc that sugar causes to your hormones.
And then this happens
The less you exercise, the less you (should) eat, the less energy you have and then the less you will be inclined to exercise.
- Plan physical activity into your day. Housework, cleaning, gardening are good. But including a formal exercise plan would be even better.
Most of us have a smart phone, tablet, or tv. If you are willing to brave the world of
online there are literally hundreds of classes to choose from. Something for every age and every ability. And if you can’t or won’t go online, then hire a personal trainer, have a phone consultation and get him/her to do you a home workout dvd. It won’t be ideal, but it’s far better than nothing. A PT will not only provide you with an appropriate exercise programme but will also give you inspiration, motivation and accountability.
- Eat a nutritious diet. Eat protein, healthy carbohydrates and a small amount of healthy fat (oily fish, avocados, virgin olive oil salad dressing) at each meal. Eat three balanced meals a day. Don’t eat late. Try to eat your last meal before 6 or 7pm. The body is not designed to digest food late in the evening. Eating late will over stress the body and prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep.
Question everything you eat or drink. Ask yourself ‘what will this do for me?’, ‘do I really need it?’
These are not options….if you want to maintain your quality of life, get the most out of your life and keep ticking off your bucket list.