3 Actions you need to be doing during lockdown

For some of you, being away from work may be a blessing if all the bad habits and temptations were work related i.e. constant morning tea shouts, birthday cakes, meetings at cafes etc. You are probably also saving a lot of money from not buying those lattes every day!

For others, that pre dinner snack might be coming in all during the day. It’s really easy to use food as a procrastination tool or if feeling frustrated, bored or stressed, eating emotionally. I am not going to deny it, I have totally done this! The first few days my whole routine went out of whack, I had to set up my work station in the kitchen as now my husband is working from home too and needs the desk in the lounge. So every break, I found myself wondering over to the pantry or fridge! I was mindless grazing which lead to skipping meals because I wasn’t hungry. Then not eating with the family and but later at night, ultimately not having a balanced diet or way of eating. I had a mindset of 'oh well, anything goes right now'.

Lucky for me there isn’t any refined foods in my pantry or fridge but still definitely picked on too many nuts, baking, peanut butter, scroggin mix and other things. Plus out came the wine with dinner each night (I am being very honest right now).  After a few days I already felt my shorts were getting tighter and in generally just didn't feel great about these habits I was creating.

I had to make a decision. Either this lockdown is going to get the best of me with continuing some new bad habits and I could tell myself ‘well once it’s over I will get back into a healthy mindful eating routine’, or... this stops now and I create some goals, change my mindset thinking, put systems and actions in place so that I come out feeling great about the way I look and feel. 

In these unpredictable times, you can’t always control your financial situation but you can control what you put in your mouth. Many of us (especially women) forget that. Sometimes stress does become overwhelming and dampens our motivation to engage in healthy habits, it’s like a cloud that surrounds us and almost controls our actions, especially when it comes to mindless eating or portion control. The worst part is the cloud covers your judgement and self-control, you absolutely know you shouldn’t be doing it but you do it anyway. Then once you start, self-sabotage talk kicks in. ‘Well you have done it now, might as well finish the tub, the packet, the bottle’. Start again next week. Sound familiar?

So after giving myself a prep talk, I want to give you one too J

Its totally ok to have a little splurge here and there, like enjoy a bottle of wine with hubby on a lockdown date night, eat too many home made biscuits with the kids for example but when it starts to become the norm and you are doing it because its a coping mechanism rather than something you enjoy mindfully then that's when issues arise. 

The great thing is you can overcome this, you can lift that cloud and regain control! Remember no time is perfect to start or stop a healthy eating routine. Healthy eating and your relationship with food is a journey that you will have forever internal factors influencing your control and external ones influencing decisions, e.g. a viral pandemic (external factor) influencing your own motivation, self belief or self efficacy (internal) around eating and exercise. How you react to inner or outer factors comes down to planning, self monitoring and accountability. Healthy eating is like a marriage. You have your ups and your downs, your arguments, frustrations but you just work through it, take each challenge as it comes. But at the end of the day, best to kiss and make up because love, respect and compassion goes a long way in a relationship and if you have this type of relationship with yourself first and foremost, you will find less self sabotage, less negative talk & guilt, more back on the bandwagon quickly and overall better relationship with food and the wonderful effects it can do for your body. :)

So if you are feeling abit overwhelmed, anxious and grazing/ stress eating, I would love to work with you but here are my 3 tips you can start now. 

3 actions you can do for the rest of the lockdown.

       1. Menu Plan, meals, snack, fluid intake and timings. This will keep you focused and less stressed so you don’t have to think about what you could we have for lunch or dinner tonight’. (There is a menu planner in the link below). Make sure you plan to get all your nutrients in to keep energy levels great (B vitamins, iron, magnesium). Keep to your menu plan schedule and when on scheduled breaks, don’t go to the kitchen unless you are getting a glass of water. A trick is to play upbeat music when it is break time so that your focus doesn’t automatically go to food. Keeps you happy when you might be working on a difficult task too. (There is a menu planner on the link below).


    2. Food Diary. One of the best things you can do right now amongst being out of routine is self monitoring of your food & fluid intake. (I mention fluid because dehydration can cause hunger and also add to stress). Also excessive cups of tea or coffee can cause dehydration through increasing water loss through the diuretic effects of caffeine (makes you pee more). You also lose through this process more vitamins and minerals.  And when you are stressed, you are going to need all the nutrients you can get! Stick your food diary on the fridge or pantry so its easy to keep track and write down everything after you eat or drink it. It can also be a great motivating tool to see how awesome you are doing!


3.Have a support person/team. Develop interventions, plan for obstacles, ultimately be proactive during this time, rather than reactive. What we eat and why takes into account many socio environmental factors. You may be the centre of your control system and yes self-belief, self-efficacy, self-control and self-motivation is key but other factors and people also influence your behaviours. For example your interactions with family. Hubby brings home a bunch of lockdown goodies including wine, chocolate, ice cream etc which one treat night turns into a week. Therefore support to not have those things in the house is important. Or perhaps it’s you bringing these thing home (especially a good excuse is it’s for the kids but half the time you will end up eating it too). You need to have some one there to support healthier alternatives. Another example is you need support developing a menu plan and getting the family on board so you are making a healthy meal the whole family will eat rather than separate meals. Or if you really don’t want to eat what the kids are eating how to eat make yourself something fast so it doesn’t feel like making 2 meals.


At Lifespark are always here to help get your ‘wish’ into a realistic ‘outcome’, prepping for ‘obstacles’ and executing a ‘plan’ to achieve results.

Please don't hesitate to get in touch for a support person who can help you overcome barriers and put helpful strategies in place. Email kateg@lifespark.co.nz

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