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Quarantine nutrition tips: stop overeating and stay healthy!

As countries around the world, including Thailand, are taking stronger measures to contain the spread of COVID-19, self-quarantine and the temporary closing of businesses may affect normal eating practices. Good nutrition is deemed crucial for maintaining good health, especially now when a strong immune system might need to fight the virus. Stress, feeling of confinement and boredom and limited access to fresh produce, can change people’s diet patterns, unfortunately, sometimes for the worst. With many individuals noticing the additional weight on their scales, this article is a reminder that it is possible to stay healthy and slim, thanks to these quarantine nutrition tips! 

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How to avoid overeating? 

Stress eating is a common and understandable response to distress, especially if one must work from home, and can’t leave it. Stress eating can lead to overeating and rapid weight gain. To better cope with the issue and to avoid overeating it’s best for one to develop some alternative strategies for managing emotions. While stress and associated boredom and a feeling of loneliness are not the sole triggers or underlying issues for overeating, they will be our sole focus for today. 

One of the biggest problems of stress eating is that it feels good in the short term and provides initial comfort, however that state is often followed by guilt, which increases distress and may potentially lead to more anxiety and repeated cycle of overeating. One of the methods to avoid overeating includes finding alternatives to stress eating. This also requires a lot of self-awareness, and the need to question yourself each time you want to snack on that chocolate bar, sugary beverage, or pack of chips. Some of the alternatives to prevent stress eating are as follow: 

  • Maintaining healthy and regular relationships with friends and family, so that you have someone to talk to in times of stress;
  • Finding ways to relax, such as taking a bath or listening to your favourite music; 
  • Having a few hobbies, activities, or tasks on hand to do, such as puzzles, or a long-overdue closet cleaning;
  • Finding a way or space where you can calm yourself down, e.g. your bedroom for a quick meditation, or petting your pet if you have one;
  • Simply asking yourself a question: What am I feeling right now?

The aim of these alternatives is to find out the reason behind stress eating; as you don’t necessarily need that chocolate bar, but you just need a quiet space to rest or relax, or are bored and need to find more stimulating things to do. 

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Quarantine nutrition tips

Sometimes a poor diet can also lead to overeating, as a lack of certain nutrients can trigger our body into looking for a source of these nutrients elsewhere. While your shopping ability has shrunk, here are some quarantine nutrition tips to help you eat a healthy diet: 

  • Make a list of items you need to buy next time you have a chance. That also includes making a plan for meals for the next few days. 
  • Out of sight, out of mind. If you’re planning to stick to a healthy diet, don’t buy any unhealthy snacks, as the chance is, if you have it at home you will eat it. 
  • Prioritize cooking at home. Yes, many restaurants now deliver their delicious foods, but to really control the ingredients in your meals, it is best to prepare them yourself. 
  • Freeze uneaten dishes and foods that can’t be eaten before their expiration date. 
  • Be aware of portion sizes. Look online or at the packaging for caloric intake for the foods you are consuming, and if possible, get a kitchen scale to weigh your food and portion it into the size advisable for one person. 
  • Follow health and safety rules in your kitchen, and keep it and your hands clean, before, during, and after cooking.
  • Limit your intake of salt, fat, and sugar, and since your new stay at home lifestyle is more sedentary than before, focus instead on increasing your fibre and water consumption. 
  • While it might be tempting to drink every night, you should also avoid alcohol intake, as even in small quantities it can undermine your body’s ability to cope with infectious disease, including COVID-19. 

These are some practical tips on how to make it easier to adapt to the new reality, while staying healthy, and hopefully, not gaining weight during the self-isolation period. For detailed nutritional and diet advice, you should seek a licensed dietitian, who can help you set up a balanced diet plan that works perfectly for you and your body’s unique needs. Nutrition sessions are a popular benefit in many employee benefits plans and sometimes occur as an outpatient benefit in individual health insurance plans, too. 

Add activity to your daily routine

The easiest point in this article is this part where we give you a few simple ideas to incorporate more activity into your daily life. While jogging and gym are out of option, there is a considerable number of  YouTube videos with home and no-equipment exercise sessions to follow. If you’re afraid you’ll lose motivation, video conferencing is now not reserved for company meetings – you can video chat your whole training session either with friends or with a training coach! 

If this type of exercise is not your cup of tea, it’s worth reminding that cooking, cleaning, and repairing items burn calories, too! All you need to do is do something that gets you off the couch!

That’s it from our side! We hope that these quarantine nutrition tips were useful and if you need further information regarding health, and health insurance in Thailand, do not hesitate to contact Pacific Prime Thailand at any time! With over 20 years of regional experience, we can help you in all health insurance matters: from finding and comparing insurance plans, to renewing and taking care of claims and any other administrative tasks that might fall on you in the process. Get in touch with us today! 

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Content Writer at Pacific Prime Thailand
Elwira Skrybus is a content writer at Pacific Prime. In her everyday work, she is utilizing her previous social media and branding experience to create informative articles, guides, and reports to help our readers simplify the sometimes-puzzling world of international health insurance.

When she isn’t writing, you are most likely to find Elwira in search of the perfect plant-based burger or enjoying Hong Kong’s great outdoors either at the beach or from the boat - the closer to the sea, the better!