Lessons from Lockdown – Part 2

A recent study showed that 40% of UK adults report that they were eating more than usual during lockdown, compared with before lockdown, which may have led to some experiencing unwanted weight gain.  If this sounds like you, you’re not alone, and here in ‘Lessons from Lockdown – Part 2’ I share some ways on how to get the balance back.

I found that about 8 weeks into lockdown, despite my daily dose of exercise I noticed a slight increase in my weight.  We do bake a lot of cake in my house anyway, but I put this down to a reduction in my day-to-day ‘toing and froing’ and a change to my usual exercise regime.  So, what did I do to regain control?

  1. Keep a diary! – I’m used to doing this in my head but it’s easy to forget what you had for breakfast unless you write it down.  So, get some paper, notebook or there’s various apps you can use on your mobile phone to record what you’ve eaten, drunk and even what exercise you’ve done!  Keeping track of what you’re doing now can make it so much easier to see where you can make some changes.  Be critical, pay attention to when you’re eating and how much you’re eating, as well as the quality of the food you’re choosing.  Can you swap that biscuit for a piece of fruit or do you need to plan a snack mid-afternoon to prevent overeating at dinner or later in the evening?
  2. Plan your meals – I like structure to my day and food helps to provide that (especially during lockdown or when working from home).  So, I plan the main meals a week ahead and ensure we have enough healthy snacks in the cupboard for when we need them.  For more tips on how to meal plan see Guest Blog Post by Sarah Alder ‘Meal Planning – What’s in it for me?’.  If you’re working from home, it’s so easy to use food as a coping mechanism for feelings of fear, anxiety, stress and boredom and planning ahead can help manage these situations and support good mood.  For more information on how food and mood is linked see Blog Post ‘Does What I eat affect my mood? 5 things to consider’.
  3. Make working from home ‘work’ for you – like many others, it was a real juggling act for us fitting home schooling, mine and my husband’s work, but for us we shifted work hours outside the normal 9-5 and created a proper lunch break which suited us all.  Use working from home to your advantage, it could be the ideal opportunity to give you a great work life balance.  If you previously commuted you may have found you’ve gained time to cook from scratch, spend more time with the children or just doing something for you!
  4. Get outside – It’s so important for our bodies to move and provides benefits not only physically but mentally too.  I’ve always preferred my exercise later in the day but found my ‘work slot’ was in the afternoon which encroached on my exercise time.  So, in order to fit it in I started walking before breakfast on weekdays and it really worked for me.  It’s not only helped keep my weight in check, but it’s a refreshing start to the day and I can let the rest of the day unfold safe in the knowledge that I’ve had a bit of ‘me time’.   Can you use what would’ve been your commute or perhaps create an extended lunch break to ‘get out’?

There are so many more ways of tweaking your food and activity to achieve your lifestyle goals, but whatever change you make, ensure it’s sustainable and works for you and your lifestyle.  If you would like inspiration, support or motivation then do get in touch here or at llnutritionandwellbeing@gmail.com.  You can find also find me on Facebook and https://www.instagram.com/lydialnutrition .

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