Quarantine snacking fixer-upper – Harvard Well being Weblog

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The “battle of the bulge” gained a brand new foe this yr: quarantine snacking. Sales of snack foods like cookies and crackers shot up within the early days of lockdowns, and up to date shopper surveys are discovering that folks have modified their consuming habits and are snacking extra.

We don’t but have strong proof that extra snacking and consumption of ultra-processed food this yr has led to weight achieve. Whereas memes of the “quarantine 15” trended on social media earlier this yr, only some small research have advised a hyperlink between COVID-19-related isolation and weight achieve. However you don’t want scientific proof to know in case your waistband is tighter.

Snacking is not only a weight threat

Common junk meals snacking brings many dangers. Processed meals are usually stuffed with a great deal of unhealthy saturated fat and excessive quantities of salt, energy, added sugar, and refined (unhealthy) grains.

Consuming an excessive amount of of those meals can result in elevated blood sugar (which raises the danger for diabetes), constipation, or an elevated LDL ldl cholesterol degree (which boosts the danger for heart disease).

What you are able to do

In case your snacking habits are off the rails, listed here are some tricks to get again on observe.

  • Hold junk meals out of the home. With out junk meals mendacity round, you gained’t be tempted to eat it.
  • Plan healthy snacks. Inventory your fridge and pantry with wholesome snack meals comparable to fat-free Greek yogurt, berries, chopped greens, nuts (walnuts, almonds), hummus, or complete wheat crackers. Plan your each day snacks upfront, so that you’ll be extra more likely to snack correctly.
  • Zero in on starvation. Earlier than snacking, ask your self whether or not you’re hungry or simply thirsty. A great way to inform: drink an eight-ounce glass of water after which wait 10 to fifteen minutes. In case you’re nonetheless hungry, have a wholesome snack.
  • Know your cravings. Are you hungry, or are you lonely, bored, or pressured? Meals gained’t repair the issue. As an alternative, go for a stroll across the block, placed on some music, or select one other exercise which may distract you or enhance your temper. In case you nonetheless need meals, eat solely a small quantity.
  • Don’t skip meals. This may make you so hungry later within the day that you simply’re weak to devouring mega-portions of snack meals to produce your physique with simply digested sugars.
  • Don’t eat straight from the bag or carton. In case you snack on an open bag of crackers or a bath of frozen yogurt, chances are you’ll eat greater than a single serving. As an alternative, portion out your serving in a dish.
  • Eat mindfully. Flip off the TV, put down your cellphone, and take note of your snack. Savoring a chunk of positive chocolate will be extra satisfying than mindlessly wolfing down a complete chocolate bar.
  • Put together for snacks away from dwelling. Plan forward and preserve a wholesome snack in your bag or automotive. That method you gained’t flip in desperation to calorie-laden cookies or merchandising machines.