Right now most of us are facing the most difficult time of our lives and it’s understandable that we can leave our health on the backburner.
Unfortunately, when we don’t eat well (snacking on all the things we usually avoid) it affects our body’s ability to produce the energy we need to power us throughout our day.
This can then lead to low motivation, fatigue, lower ability to cope with stress and frustration, as well as reducing our tolerance towards those around us.
And then there’s the undesirable side effect of… weight gain!
Now, although we can’t control what is happening in the world around us, we ARE able to control our immediate environment and help ourselves cope far better with the situation.
Thankfully there are some very simple things you can do to function better throughout your day… and it’s all about what you put (or don’t put) into your mouth!
My Top 3 Tips To Get Back On Track With Healthy Eating During Isolation
Top Tip 1: Drink Plenty Of Water
Did you know that your body gives you thirst signals throughout the day to encourage you to drink water and stay hydrated?
Hydration is vital for so many aspects of health, especially for detoxification via our kidneys and good blood circulation to our brain!
But what happens if we ignore these thirst signals? Or simply don’t even hear them?
A HUNGER SIGNAL!
The body tries to gain fluid by next giving us a hunger signal, in the hopes that food will contain some water.
Have a think about today for instance;
How much water have you drunk so far? AND how many times have you got up to visit the pantry or fridge?
I can almost guarantee these two things, water consumption and snacking, are interrelated.
And perhaps a more important question is:
How many caffeinated beverages and/or alcoholic beverages have you consumed today?
Caffeine and alcohol are both diuretics, which means they cause water to be pulled from the body and excreted by the kidneys (hence the frequent trips to the bathroom when you’ve had a few too many to coffees).
So, they cause you to lose water, plus you may not be drinking enough during the day – the perfect environment for snacking to take over!
THE SOLUTION: Aim for 1-1.5 litres of filtered water per day.
Try having a water bottle on the kitchen bench or desk and finish it every day.
Top Tip 2: Have proper meals & snacks
Many people who have been working from home and/or have had the kids home from school, have ‘lost’ their routine!
Food is readily available at all times of the day, the day is not broken up like it has been previously into clearly defined time schedules, and since we are not rushing around to appointments, kids sport or stuck in traffic, BOREDOM can creep in too!
THE SOLUTION: Keep structure in your day with regards to meals. Don’t get up late, skip breakfast then have a sugary snack to keep you going till lunch.
Have a proper breakfast, like you normally would on a workday, and do it before you start your day.
Stop for a proper lunch; a salad with a boiled egg or tuna is a great option, or maybe a wrap with chicken and salad. What about a simple omelette with veggies and fresh herbs?
These options don’t take long to prepare, and will really help keep you fuller over the afternoon and help keep brain function at its optimum!
And what about the afternoon pick-me-up? If you are hungry mid-afternoon (and I mean actually hungry, not thirsty or bored) have a ¼ cup raw, unsalted nuts, a piece of fruit or some veggie sticks with a little cheese or dip. Don’t reach for the chocolate as this will only end in an energy slump and frustration that you haven’t stayed on track!
Top Tip 3: Limit ‘treats’ to a certain time of the day and stick to your limit
Set yourself a time of day that you will have a treat. It may be mid-afternoon or after dinner.
Also, set yourself a limit of how much of that treat you will have.
It might be 1 chocolate egg or 1 row of chocolate.
The best options are sugar-free and/or very dark chocolate.
Enjoy your treat (trust me you will because you waited!) and remember to stick to your limit!
Remember, you don’t have to be perfect during this time, but your body and your mind will thank you for looking after it with good food and plenty of clean water!
Yours in Health
Naturopath & Remedial Massage Therapist
1. Did you know that up to 50% of all pharmaceutical medications can cause weight gain? This includes oral contraceptive pills, anti-depressants, beta-blockers, antibiotics, anti-psychotics, epilepsy & diabetes medications.
Certain probiotic strains have been shown to help with weight control.
2. Hypothyroidism can cause weight gain by slowing down your metabolism. A TSH on blood tests of 2 & over indicates that your thyroid is struggling. Many people still have symptoms of an under active thyroid but are on Thyroid medication because the cause isn’t being addressed.
3. One way menopause affects weight is that estrogen levels directly impact bile production & release from the gallbladder. Bile aids in digestion & fat breakdown. A decrease in estrogen also creates a huge problem processing fructose, leading to insulin resistance, high triglycerides & NAFLD (Non alcoholic fatty liver disease).
4. The optimal pH level of your body should be between 7.3-7.4. Too acidic and your digestive & thyroid enzymes can’t work optimally, you can feel tired, achy, constipated & gain weight.
5. Eating high calorie (sweet or fatty) foods to soothe anxiety, stress or depression can lead to weight gain. Identifying emotional or stressful triggers is important.
6. Cortisol is a stress hormone that when released in a large amount affects how your body metabolizes glucose. Over a long time this can lead to insulin resistance, an increase in appetite & changes to fat burning & storage.
7. Chronic Insomnia can slow down your metabolism. Feeling tired can cause poor food choices, increased appetite & changes in cortisol levels (see point 6).
8. A diet high in fructose, grains and processed foods over time can cause Leptin resistance, Insulin resistance, changes in appetite and weight gain/obesity.
9. Not only can low hydrochloric acid & digestive enzymes cause digestive issues like gas, bloating and diarrhea, it can also cause weight gain, especially around the abdomen.
10. Chronic Inflammation affects hunger regulation, metabolism regulating hormones, can cause systemic fluid retention & can be a factor in developing Insulin Resistance.
Using our state of the art VLA Quadscan device, in-house testing, analyzing blood tests & taking a thorough case history, our Naturopaths can help you with resistant weight loss.
Have you always wondered about your body composition? How much fat, muscle, water & skeletal tissue makes up your body?