I know you’ve seen them: the memes about how much weight we are going to gain while stuck at home, the pictures of food all over social media, comfort-eating, and baking galore. How else can we release some energy while stuck at home? Cleaning out our closets is no fun. And you can only take so much news. My clients are starting to ask, “How can I stop gaining weight?”
Step 1: Have a plan. “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” If you just plan to eat whatever you have around, it might not the best thing for your body. But if you have a loose plan, then you will most likely go for the planned meal. I try to have a list of about 7 dinners that we have all the ingredients to make. That way when dinner comes we are not tempted to order take-out. Having a plan also keeps you from making more frequent runs to the grocery store.
Step 2: Designate only one area in your house for eating. If eating locations become a free-for-all, you might start finding crumbs in your laptop, on your couch, and in your bed. Limit eating to just the kitchen or dining room table and you will eliminate a lot of mindless eating.
Step 3: Make a list of positive things to do when you want to reach for food and are not hungry. Now that you are working from home, do you find yourself drawn to the kitchen when you need a break or are bored? You’re not alone. Everyone does it! Instead, keep a list on your fridge or pantry door with other enjoyable tasks. Here are some examples: go outside for fresh air, stretch, call a friend, write in your journal, put on your favorite music, work on a hobby, write a letter or card, play a game, pray, meditate, do something creative, clean out a drawer, organize your files, etc.
Step 4: Set regular meal and snack times. Make a realistic eating schedule for everyone in the family. After each meal or snack, clean up, turn the lights off, and “close” the kitchen until the next meal or snack. With children of various ages, this is a work in progress for me. But I’m trying.
Step 5: Embrace it. You know what, what’s the worst thing that could happen if you gain some weight over the next few months? We are all going through an experience we’ve never been in. It’s OK if you eat more than usual, stress-eat, or boredom-eat. This is a learning experience. Be patient and compassionate with yourself. Take it one day at a time (one bite at a time) and you’ll get through this. Give yourself a hug and keep this in perspective. There are a million things worse than gaining weight.
We are OPEN and happily seeing clients virtually! All insurance companies have temporarily allowed telehealth and we are so pleased to be able to still meet with our clients and help you through this difficult time. Go here to become a new client. Or, if you are a returning client, go here to schedule an appointment. I look forward to “seeing” you from the comfort of your home or office. We are here for you.