With a positive attitude, good motivation and noble intentions we are creating new social habits—socially distancing, repeatedly washing our hands, wearing face masks and working at home as much as possible to adhere to the guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to flatten the curve and reduce transmission of the coronavirus. Alongside these steps, it’s also important that we are mindful of other newly developing habits, especially in regards to nutrition.
Here are a few tips on how to establish a healthier routine during this time:
Build an eating routine and stick to it. The most important planning you can do is having a structure for eating to keep your body healthy. Eating at random times or skipping meals creates hormonal imbalance, which in turn makes you eat more, crave foods and gain weight. Practice eating at the dining table, and avoid eating while working on your computer, watching TV or reading a book.
Limit or skip the late-night snacks. Eating late at night will increase inflammation and add unneeded calories. Allow your body to fast during the night for 10 to 12 hours to help strengthen the immune system and improve overall health.
Add more fruits and vegetables. I know you’ve heard this from me many times before, and now is a great time for you to incorporate my advice. These can be simple modifications: Try adding a ½ cup of peppers, spinach and mushrooms to your breakfast omelet. Aim for 1 to 2 cups of cooked vegetables as a side dish at lunch and dinner, or maybe even try making cauliflower rice part of your meals. Grab some fruit as a snack between meals for a quick energy boost.
Keep hydrated. Focus on water and skip sugary drinks. Try to drink at least half of your body weight in ounces of water each day. For example, if you weight 150 pounds, aim for 75 ounces of water. This equals about nine 8-ounce glasses of water. Water is vital for the brain and many organs in your body. Water also improves your mood and can help you with weight loss.
Be active. Shoot for 30 to 45 minutes of moderate-level exercise, such as brisk walking, each day. Exercise improves your mood and strengthens your immune system. If free time is hard to come by for you, take advantage of time between work calls and meetings to squeeze in 10 to 15 minutes of exercise at a few intervals during the day. Keep your eye out for free online resources. Most fitness studios are offering online pre-recorded exercise sessions, making it a great time to try yoga or any other class in the comfort of your home, especially one that might otherwise be intimidating to attempt in the studio.
Practice being mindful. As we go through this situation, accept and adapt to celebrate small successes in your day. When things don’t go as planned, think about ways to make changes the next time you are in a similar situation. Having a mindful, intentional structure to your day helps in reducing anxiety and make you more likely to succeed.