While I didn’t want to see us back at Level 3, I’ve put a checklist together to turn Lockdown into a positive time for your health and well-being.
- Exercise daily. Keep up with you usual daily walk. To compensate for being home-based with fewer daily steps I’d encourage another short session at the other end of the day – could be a walk or cycle or an online fitness class. Short, brisk exercise keeps energy levels up, supports better food choices and helps with appetite control.
- Keep your hydration up. Plain water is your choice of fluid for the best hydration. If you have a different routine in Lockdown, make sure you have a system for consuming water that fits. Thirst is one of our most poorly developed senses. Maybe set phone reminders or link it to meals while you are in this different routine. Aim for 1.5 litres over the day.
- Careful with the alcohol. From the previous Lockdown I can see alcohol intake for many did increase – either as a coping tool to a stressful situation or because the days were more relaxed. Either way I would encourage you to keep alcohol to weekends. If your “bubble” does like to have a mid-week drink – let’s keep the glamorous glass with ice and a slice and replace the alcohol with soda and a splash of bitters or sparkling water.
- Framework of 3 meals/day. The routine of breakfast, lunch and dinner is powerful for providing improved appetite control and moves you away from many of the tempting snack foods that are promoted so readily to us.
- Mind the home baking! I’m a fan of home baking over commercially mass produced items as the quality ingredients provide fuller flavours that are more satisfying. However you want to use any baked items in a way that suits you. There may be several generations in your “bubble” and usually the younger ones have a requirement for a higher intake of kilojoules. Maybe put your cooking skills into food products that offer good nutritional value – such as a frittata that can be served for lunch with a salad or homemade bread that could be your carbohydrate serving.
- Go for greens. The physical action of chewing fresh or lightly cooked greens provides longer lasting appetite control. If you’re not an online shopper or don’t want frequent trips to the supermarket – then frozen greens may be a good option. We’re spoilt for choice and they offer a good back up.
It’s an easier time for some than others, but a few simple steps can make all the difference to health and weight outcomes.