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Eating Is Weird Now. Here's How to (Kind of) Get Back to Normal.

Mindless Eating

Mindless Eating

Processed foods never did us any good. The lockdown may be the ‘golden time’ to think about your mindless eating habits and throwing out the cereals, cookies, and boxes of snacks that are high on sugar and carbs while being low in nutrients.

Even if you stumble and end up eating junk food, don’t be too hard on yourself, and realize that it will take a few attempts to bring back normal eating.

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Eating Is Weird Now. Here's How to (Kind of) Get Back to Normal.

Eating Is Weird Now. Here's How to (Kind of) Get Back to Normal.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/15/smarter-living/coronavirus-eating-advice.html

nytimes.com

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Key Ideas

Eating Habits During Lockdown

Many of us have let go of our diet plans in the lockdown, due to the constant sitting at home, with access to the kitchen pantry, the fridge, and for some, the liquor cabinet.

The ongoing pandemic is providing us with a never-ending supply of stress, altering our eating habits. The health risks of eating more, or even less than normal, can be compounded with a lack of exercise and routine.

The Importance Of Structure

Life has lost a lot of its routine and structure, with personal and work times being blurred. It is imperative to reintroduce that structure to get our habits back on track, with regular, on-schedule exercise, and normal eating habits.

Having a specific time for lunch makes us less prone to indulge in snacking just prior to that while having a specific place for eating provides us with a sense of normalcy.

Home-cooked Meals

It’s not a revelation, but a friendly reminder that home-cooked food is healthier than the frozen pizza bought from the grocery store.

A good, home-cooked meal is a joy to cook and eat, and provides us more than just nutrients. The social time with your close family will act as a break from your work-from-home routine.

Mindless Eating

Processed foods never did us any good. The lockdown may be the ‘golden time’ to think about your mindless eating habits and throwing out the cereals, cookies, and boxes of snacks that are high on sugar and carbs while being low in nutrients.

Even if you stumble and end up eating junk food, don’t be too hard on yourself, and realize that it will take a few attempts to bring back normal eating.

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Reject the diet mentality

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Honor your hunger

Eat a sufficient amount of calories and carbohydrates to keep your body “fed” and satiated. Once you learn to recognize these signals in your own body, it becomes much easier to trust your instincts and repair unhealthy relationships with food.

Make peace with food

Give yourself “unconditional permission to eat.”

People realize they don’t really want that food that was forbidden before; they just got caught up in society telling them they couldn’t have it.

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People eat junk food mostly out of convenience
If you’re eating out all the time, it’s really difficult to eat well. Restaurant food tends to be loaded with salt and additives—stuff that makes it taste good and that won’t inflat...
Home-prepared meals are a key feature of healthy eating

If you want to eat healthier, the first and most important change you should make is to start cooking your own meals from scratch. And along with improving your health, you’ll likely save a ton of money by making your own meals at home.

The only time you have agency over what you’re eating is when you’re doing the purchasing and prep.

The only time you have agency over what you’re eating is when you’re doing the purchasing and prep.
The art of eating
The art of eating

... is a question of psychology as much as nutrition. We have to find a way to want to eat what’s good for us.

We make frequent attempts – more or less half-hearted – to change what we...

Food preferences are learned

All the foods that you regularly eat are ones that you learned to eat.  Everyone starts life drinking milk. After that, it’s all up for grabs. 

But in today’s food culture, many people seem to have acquired uncannily homogenous tastes: food companies push foods high in sugar, fat and salt, which means we are innately incapable of resisting them but that the more frequently we eat them, especially in childhood, the more they train us to expect all food to taste this way.

0.3% of young women are anorexic

... and another 1% are bulimic, with rising numbers of men joining them.

What statistics are not particularly effective at telling us is how many others – whether overweight or underweight – are in a perpetual state of anxiety about what they consume, living in fear of carbs or fat grams and unable to derive straightforward enjoyment from meals.

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Ketosis
... is a natural process the body initiates to help us survive when food intake is low. During this state, we produce ketones, which are produced from the breakdown of fats in ...
Benefits of a Ketogenic Diet
  • Weight Loss.
  • Keto naturally lowers blood sugar levels due to the type of foods you eat.
  • Mental Focus: Ketones are a great source of fuel for the brain.
  • Increased Energy & Normalized Hunger: Fats are shown to be the most effective molecule to burn as fuel.
  • Epilepsy: Keto diet has been used since the early 1900’s to treat epilepsy successfully.
  • Cholesterol & Blood Pressure: shown to improve triglyceride levels and cholesterol levels most associated with arterial buildup.
  • Insulin Resistance.
  • Improvements in your skin health.
Do Not Eat on a Keto Diet
  • Grains – wheat, corn, rice, cereal, etc.
  • Sugar – honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.
  • Fruit – apples, bananas, oranges, etc.
  • Tubers – potato, yams, etc.

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Eating Disorders
Eating Disorders

Eating disorders, from binge eating to calorie counting, or feeling guilty of eating 'bad' foods can wreak havoc on our health and happiness.

The core issue lies within our emotions, and ...

Eating to Relieve Emotional Discomfort

Eating can be an emotional activity, with deep connections on how our brains and bodies work. Emotional overeaters are:

  • Having a feeling of resentment after neglecting one's own needs to appease others.
  • Feeling undeserving of their success, with a fear of being shamed.
  • Being a perfectionist and being constantly anxious about the possible mistakes.
  • Suppressing of all negative emotions.

Overeaters tend to have an 'all-or-nothing' approach oscillating between an all-good diet or an outright unhealthy one, depending on the particular underlying emotion.

Being in Control

To be in control does not mean restraining. A person who is in control should have the capacity and freedom to self-govern.

Rather than fighting with your body, provide it with an autonomous control by allowing all kinds of foods back in your life, yet eating consciously, paying attention to your meals, savoring them fully. Being mindful can maximize your pleasure and minimize your eating.

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Mental Health During Lockdown

All over the world, governments have implemented lockdowns, restricting all non-essential travel, closing all the places where people can gather.

Lockdown isolation can lead to mental stress...

Lockdown Tips

  • Small things: Self-isolation can be dealt with ‘micro-lifts’, small, quick activities like saying hi to someone on FaceTime, joining an online group, or learning a bit of a new language.
  • A healthy diet: While it can be tempting to just sit on the sofa with zero movements, or snacking all day, it is a good idea to eat well, and eat healthily.

Engage With Nature

Whatever the limits and constraints, try to get some nature exposure and exercise, even in a garden, terrace or balcony. You can also take care of the houseplants or open the windows to let fresh air in the room.

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Skipping Breakfast

Researchers say breakfast doesn't kickstart the metabolism and may not be the most important meal of the day. Different studies have found that skipping breakfast doesn’t lead to weight increase an...

"Hot" Workouts

They won't really help you lose weight. Research suggests regularly sleeping in colder temperatures may be optimal for weight loss as they stimulate the production of brown fat, the "good" fat. Brown fat keeps us warm by burning through "bad" fat stores.

Turn down the heat at night. You'll trim your belly and your heating bills.

Tongue-Scorching Peppers

Hot sauce can boost your metabolism. But research suggests that more-palatable, mild peppers may have the same calorie-burning potential.

Pack your salads and stir-fry with sweet peppers-including bell peppers, pimentos, rellenos, and sweet banana peppers. They're just as effective as the hot stuff.

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Intermittent fasting
Intermittent fasting
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Benefits of Intermittent Fasting
  • It makes your day simpler: fewer meals= less stressing about what you'll eat.
  • It helps you live longer: you get the benefits of a longer life without the hassle of starving.
  • Still up for debate, but intermittent fasting may reduce the risk of cancer.
  • It is much easier than dieting, once you get over the idea that you need to eat all the time.
Different Fasting Schedules
  • Daily Intermittent Fasting: 16–hour fast followed by an 8–hour eating period. 
  • Weekly Intermittent Fasting: One of the best ways to get started with it - do it once per week.
  • Alternate Day Intermittent Fasting: incorporates longer fasting periods on alternating days throughout the week.
Struggling To Build Healthy Habits
  • We tend to bite off more than we can chew, go too fast too soon, and then get overwhelmed too quickly.
  • We’re conditioned these days to expect and receive instant gratification.
Your “Big Why”

As you’re determining the habits or resolutions you’re trying to set, make the habit part of a bigger cause that’s worth the struggle.

You’re not just going to the gym, you’re building a new body that you’re not ashamed of so you can start dating again.

Healthy Habit Building 101

There are 3 parts to a good or bad habit: Cue (what triggers the action), Routine (the action itself), Reward (the positive result because of the action).

You have trained your brain to take a cue (you see a doughnut), anticipate a reward (a sugar high), and make the behavior automatic (nom that donut). 

Compare that to a cue (you see your running shoes), anticipate a reward (a runner’s high), and make the behavior automatic (go for a run!).

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Mastering mindful mealtimes
  • Cook or prepare food yourself if possible.
  • Don’t scroll through social media when eating.
  • Turn off all streaming services.
Intuitive eating
  • It does not approve the diet culture.
  • It respects all body shapes and sizes.
  • It helps you recognize your body’s cues for hunger and fullness.
  • It helps you evaluate habits you want to change, but without policing food.
  • It helps you liberate from food’s control.
  • It makes you see food as fuel rather than filler.