The elephant in the room – food

Snacks - pretzels, cookies, chips, crackers

Eating more during this time of uncertainty, stress and isolation? Are you tempted by the chips, candy, cookies and crackers? Digging deeper into the pantry or cabinet during the day?

The elephant in the room is that we are stressed, maybe bored, and just off our game and may be eating things we normally don’t eat, or if we do eat them perhaps not as much as now.

We all react to change and uncertainty differently

 We all react to change and uncertainty differently and during these time, everything is just a bit harder.

Our routines are off, we may be caring for children or parents in our home 24/7. It is just different and we are all in this together.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

It is important to not to be too hard on ourselves, we are often our worst critics.

Woman in white shirt showing analytics, pie graph and bar/line graph
Does your weight scale look like this? Mine does.

I’ve notice that my weight scale is creeping up – argh.  I don’t often write about diet, but I realized that this was a trajectory that I did not like.  Here are a few options. What are your options?

  1. Do nothing and continue the upward weight trajectory
  2. Take a deep breath and do some analysis of what is going on
  3. Make a change – yes, we are getting use to change.

I decided to first take “inventory” of what was going on.  Here’s what I discovered that was food related.

  1. My husband is now in the house all day working from home.
  2. The portions at breakfast are a bit larger if he prepares it.
  3. Same with lunch.  My little sandwich that I made when home alone is now bigger. He makes lunch while I am on a noon call Mon- Fri.
  4. We both are enjoying appetizers before dinner with a glass or two of wine.  Does that sound familiar? Again, the portions are larger.
  5. We are eating dinner later and then going to bed. Oh, did I mention, there is often bread with dinner, which we normally didn’t eat previously.
Cut down portions, maybe just a little in a cup vs. the bag

Food quantity is increasing

So it’s pretty obvious.  Food quantity is increasing and those appetizers are more carbohydrate intensive than in the past.  My husband was often traveling or away during the week prior to mid-March. That left me to my beloved salads instead of a full dinner.

Now, how to fix it.

Wide male blue eyes
Eyes on the solution
  1. Thank my husband for making meals, it is a truly kind gesture.
  2. Have a container out and ready to go before you sit to eat meal. 
  3. Portion control what is on your plate by putting some food back in that container.
  4. Be more direct with specifying the portions that are preferred. 
  5. Bring out smaller plates?
  6. Plan and prep on the weekend to have veggies ready to go for the week ahead.
  7. Have more fresh fruit (that does not mean dried fruit) on the counter instead of chips and cookies.
  8. Don’t buy chips and cookies. If you must please put them in a place that is difficult to reach or more inconvenient to get to.
  9. If you do reach for those “bad foods” take a slow deep breath and ask yourself – do you really want it?

A few small steps can really make a large difference, try it

Obesity and COVID-19 risk

This was an article published today in the NY times that discusses how obesity puts younger people at higher risk for COVID-19. This is extremely worrisome as we watch the faces of the people that have succumbed to the virus and many of those people are obese.

The history of obesity

This video explains what happened to the Western Diet and why we are becoming a more obese society.  How we got to where we are is very sad. It is something that can’t continue in our society if we want to live a long, healthy life.

Bottom Line. Eat healthy, reduce portions and try our best. Our life may depend on it.

Stay safe, stay at home, and practice social distancing when you have to be out and about.

Sandi Feaster