Pandemic Eating

31 Mar

Mindfulness and eating during the pandemic.

I’ll tell you the bottom line of this post right now. It’s be kind to yourself.

So many of us have a variety of deep-rooted issues with food. I’ve seen a lot of candid remarks and (funny because they’re true) jokes being made about not being able to stop yourself from eating too much On the flip side, people whose stress levels are heightened suggesting they just can’t face eating right now. The thing is there’s going to be a number of reasons for this. Are you willing to practice a bit of mindfulness to better understand what’s going on? And in turn, maybe making a small chink in the emotional eating chain? Or are you just going or are you going to accept, ‘This is just who I am’?

First and foremost, we are living through a global pandemic. Something no one in our lifetime has experienced. Whatever you’re feeling right now, is totally valid and no one is entitled to tell you otherwise.

It’s very common for emotions to trigger reactions with food. Whether that be eating too much or too little.

We’ve all found ourselves in very new territory. We’re quarantined in our own homes. While some are viewing this as an opportunity to get fit for summer – making use of valuable time that previously wasn’t available to them, others are taking a ‘well I’m not seeing anyone, so why does it matter’ approach.

Both need to be looked at with caution.

Allowing yourself to overindulge because you’re no longer going out, shows you value more what others think of you, over how you truly feel about yourself. Allowing society to dictate what you feel is and isn’t acceptable to look like. You need to be healthy for YOU! Be happy with who you are, for you!

If you’re on a weight loss journey or in search of a physical aesthetic, you won’t reach it if it’s for the benefit of others. It needs to whole heartedly be your goal. If your hearts not in it, you won’t be consistent, and consistency is that magic secret that everyone is always searching for.

 It’s proven that giving our bodies a good balance of healthy nutritious foods makes us feel much better. While there’s most definitely a time and place for junk food, I can guarantee binge eating and drinking won’t make you feel good right now.

The link between healthy body and healthy mind is no myth. Feed your body the correct fuel, and your mind will feel more settled. Fuel it with fast acting, sugary carbs may make you feel good for the moment that you’re eating it, but if you’ll regret it later, ask yourself if it’s worth it?

I’m by no means preaching that you shouldn’t be eating your favourite things, a world without chocolate doesn’t bare thinking about – I’m just gently suggesting (kicking your butt) that you practice a bit of moderation.

Touching on alcohol quickly here too, it’s a proven depressant. So, think carefully about whether you want that extra glass.

Now let’s take a quick look at the flip side of this, not eating enough and potentially over exercising.

We’re now at home, with potentially more time on our hands than has ever been afforded to us in our adult lives yet stuck in one small space with little to do with all that time. We are an ‘instant gratification’ generation and aren’t used to having to find things to do by ourselves. Until we adjust to this, it’s possible we will frantically try and over fill our new way of life. I personally do exactly this and feel almost guilty if I’m not busy all the time.

Online training is so accessible! And a really good way to still feel like we’re socialising, and getting those endorphins going. But we need to take cues from our body and bring that moderation word back in.

Doing purely body weight HIIT style training, will have a big impact. Literally. Impact on our bones, our joints, our muscular system. To be getting the most out of the work outs that you’re doing, you need to make sure you’re allowing your body time to rest and recover. Recovery is when all the good stuff happens.

When professionals train, even if they train every day, they allow muscle groups to rest.  Make sure you mix it up and don’t do purely high intensity cardio. Train smart – not excessively.

Eating too little, is a sure-fire sign of stress and anxiety, and mirroring everything I’ve already said, you will feel so much better by giving your body what it needs and fuelling it right.

Try small high calorie, nutritious snacks if you can’t face big meals. Add a protein shake into your daily routine. Most of the time, this ends up being a vicious starvation binge cycle and plays havoc with our metabolisms and hormone levels.

Overindulge or under feed yourself yesterday? Doesn’t matter. Todays a new day, start a fresh. Don’t over or under feed yourself to ‘make up’ for a previous day.

Try and stop and think. Are you eating because you’re bored? Will it make you feel good? Are genuinely hungry so therefore should you feed a proper balanced meal rather than a quick snack? Have you drunk enough water today? Be mindful to take cues from your body and give it what it needs.

All in all, don’t stress yourself out about things outside your control. Train smart and fuel right.


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