Nutrition for weight-management during lockdown

We’re all thinking it… “here we go again!” as we enter yet another lockdown in Aotearoa.

It’s a shock to the system suddenly finding yourself confined to your home, watching your daily routine abruptly fly out the window. With the feelings of anxiety, loneliness, boredom and frustration creeping in, it’s normal to reach for the fridge door and commence the week-long graze whilst working from home.

After last year’s lockdown, gym memberships soared! Partly because we all missed the accountability and camaraderie of training with others, but also because we found ourselves a few kilos heavier…

So how can we make sure we are making mindful kai decisions during lockdown?

Keep your damn routine! If it’s business as usual for you, you’re in luck. However if you’ve found yourself with irregular working hours, set reminders on your phone to eat as normally as you can.

Social eating! By socially eating we are talking more and eating slower, allowing the body time to feel satiated; ergo eating less. Get the flatties or whānau involved and enjoy quality meals amongst good vibes. If you’re living alone (or amongst people you don’t particularly like…), try facetiming a hoa or family member.

By failing to prepare, we are preparing to fail! The majority of us don’t set aside time to write a shopping list, and when we do, we usually forget it on the way out the door. Preparation is key, so try putting the list inside your shopping bags!

Plan your comfort food! It’s okay to long for the metaphorical hug that processed food gives you. Either plan out your week to account for 1 highly processed feed, or learn the art of moderation. Choose your demon.

Stick to the first aisle! If you’re looking to go cold turkey on the processed stuff, a word of advice: stick to the first aisle. All supermarkets are laid out the same; with fresh produce available by the entrance. Do not pass go, head straight to checkouts and avoid the temptation to peruse the confectionary aisle!

And lastly, be kind to yourself! Arguably the most important point. The saying ‘it takes 21 days to create a habit’ has been flunked; research suggests it can take anywhere between 18-254 days, and 66 days for a behaviour to come automatic. Unless you have unparalleled will-power, slip-ups are inevitable, so own them! We are only human afterall.

My dad always used to say “how do you eat an elephant?””one bite at a time”. If you set aside the animal welfare concerns, the meaning stands; chip away at a task for long enough and eventually you will complete it. So why not try adopting just one of these points? Begin to include it mindfully into your routine and in time, it will become second nature.

Only through education, can we pave our way towards healthier and happier communities. We will be running a kai/nutrition kōrero open (and free) to all on Monday 23rd at 12pm NZT via Zoom, so check out our 'Covid Updates' page to find out how you can join us!

Feel free to share! We will continue to put our free resources on a regular basis, so stay tuned for more of our 'Kai Series: Talking all things nutrition'!