How to stop binge eating your way through isolation

This article was originally published by Yahoo Lifestyle
By Kristine Tarbert

April 12, 2020

Spending more time at home means a pantry full of distractions and for many snacking on the hour. With no one around to see you eating a jar of Nutella by the spoonful, it is even more challenging to not overeat.

You’ve most likely noticed your appetite has gone a little haywire while spending more time at home than usual, but to help overcome the temptation to eat ALL the food, Yahoo Lifestyle spoke to nutritionist and Amazonia ambassador Zoe Dent to get her top tips to stop binge eating while in isolation.

Here Zoe reveals how to stay nourished, and ensure you don’t turn into one giant Easter egg.

Preparation is KeyLike everything in life, the key is all in the planning and preparation. The first step is shopping. Remember that everything that goes into the supermarket trolley ends up in your stomach.

I would recommend you go shopping in the morning (online or IRL) as this is when motivation is high, and make sure it is after you have just eaten so you are not swayed by cravings.

Keep it Fresh

This means resisting the hoarding urge to stock up with packaged food. Whole foods remain in abundant supply and it’s much harder to overeat a whole foods like vegetables and fruit. It’s the ultra-high processed food that’s the problem with its combination of fat, sugar and salt that is designed to be addictive and encourage you overeat.

You can easily eat a whole packet of chips and while you’ve then over-consumed the recommended daily intake of fat and salt, you can still be hungry. With no actual nutrients, healthy fats or protein that signal to the body satiety, what you are actually craving are nutrients.

And if you need convenience, chose high quality whole-food based frozen foods, such as smoothie mixes, and frozen vegetables.

Keep Calm and Carry on Cooking

Cooking and preparing our own food is more than half the battle when it comes to eating well, and the upside is that we are now at home so no excuses.

It is actually the perfect time to commit to a new eating paradigm – less temptation of nights out, takeaway foods etc and going back to basics of simple home cooked whole food meals.

And if you are in the kitchen then make sure you cook once but eat thrice. This means cooking double the vegetables needed for that night’s dinner so you have leftovers to make the basis of the next day’s meals.

Keep it simple with a one pot meal and explore how you can add things like protein powders and nutrients into your baking to get the most out of what you are eating to keep you healthy and fuller for longer.

Stop Snacking

There is really no such thing as healthy snacking. We should be eating three proper, balanced, nourishing meals that will keep us full until the next meal.

Start the day by eating proper breakfast, balanced with vegetables, protein and healthy fats for satiety. A smoothie is one of my favourite go-to’s as you can load it with veggies, boost it with a multi supplement.

And you can keep some extra smoothie, soup, or stew in the fridge to ‘snack’ on during the day if needed, or reach for leftover roasted veggies or a whole piece of fruit instead of mindlessly munching a pack of nutrient void rice crackers.

Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate

Often you are actually thirsty not hungry so have a large glass of water, wait 10 minutes and reassess your hunger levels.

Keep hydrated throughout the day and mix up water with herbal teas or add some greens to your water for that extra energy hit.

Crush those cravings

To avoid the 3pm slump/snack hour go for a walk around the block, mediate. Often by utilising these quick resets your craving will often pass.

Psychologist Dr Amantha Imber agrees, telling Yahoo Lifestyle when stuck at home people are perhaps at a loss of what to do.

To try and combat the need to grab food if you’re feeling bored, Dr Imber stresses the best strategy is to “wait it out”.

“My advice would be to surf the wave of discomfort,” she says. “Rather than turning to food to get rid of the discomfort, wait it out and re-evaluate your need to eat something in ten minutes.

“Alternatively, find something else to do, such as go for a walk around the block. Upon return, you’ll probably find that your need to eat something has vanished.”