It’s easy to fall into bad comfort-food habits during times of uncertainty to alleviate stress. While turning to food can be a positive break from reality, it can also have harmful effects on our bodies. When our control over everyday life is limited, we can still have control over what we put into our bodies, and when we do so.
How many times have you turned to the fridge, not because you were hungry, but because you were bored? A lot of us keep returning to the fridge when we’re stuck at home all day instead of eating a few portioned meals and staying active like we might on a normal schedule. What if instead, we used this time of deceleration to set up new meal plans that create good habits—ones that will last beyond lock-down?
According to Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, a scientific research journal, those who snack frequently throughout the day or eat late at night have higher blood pressure and BMIs. Our circadian rhythms, when we wake and sleep, have an impact on appetite and digestion. It’s important to listen to our bodies based on our own rhythms. Staying consistent about when we eat and how much we are eating will not only keep us healthy; it’ll make us feel better in general.
Why are late night snacks unhealthy? Your body relies on gravity in the digestion process to keep your food moving along in the right direction. When you lie down, this process moves much slower and can cause heartburn.
Chances are, during the pandemic, you’re eating most of your meals at home. Use this time to decide on an eating schedule that will best suit the needs of you and your family. Once you’ve decided on a schedule, consider the following points to help you stick to your plan:
- Get up on time
- Make sure you have allotted enough time cook and prepare meals
- Don’t be afraid to take breaks in your day to stay on schedule
- Make sure your cupboards are stocked with everything you need
- Keep yourself from visiting the fridge for late night snack
Spend some time thinking about how the foods you eat make you feel and what daily eating times seem to bring you the most energy. Don’t forget to listen to your bodily rhythms. Form some healthy habits now that you might not have taken the time for before, and let them carry forward in your life once your schedule speeds up again!