The coronavirus pandemic situation took its toll not only by infecting people but also by shutting down all businesses and causing post-isolation mental issues. No doubts our lifestyle has changed a lot. We work, meet and spend free time differently. Has our eating habits changed as well?
Meal Delivery Experts claims that since the beginning of Covid-19, the percentage of food delivery has significantly increased. The culture of eating out is gone, so no wonder people switched to takeaway. The question is why they eat more? Below you can find a few reasons explaining increased food consumption during self-isolation.
Food as an entertainment
The very first reason why people started eating more is simple – food is fun! People love to try different cuisines and experimenting in the kitchen. With the limited possibilities of spending spare time, folks gave themselves over to guilty pleasures which are eating and snaking over and over again. Eating more is also caused by the activities we have at home. We talk online with friends or family members, watch Netflix and work from home with the kitchen two meters away. We can’t do much during the day so the circumstances are just perfect for the “innocent” ten meals a day.
Extra time for cooking
When the quarantine hit hard everyone, many people started seeing the bright side of the situation and claimed that it was the perfect time to do everything they never had time for. Always too busy, overworked individuals finally found time for themselves and the things they always put on. That’s why all cooking enthusiasts ended up cooking twice more they can eat. Preparing the meal from fresh, good quality food and with no time pressure is a pure pleasure which also lets the time pass faster. Moreover, since everyone stuck with their families, friends, roommates for so long, preparing food is a great possibility to bond. Apparently, during quarantine, there is never enough bonding, and people always find a good reason to eat some more.
Stress and anxiety
That’s definitely one of the main reasons we consume more during self-isolation. Human beings are made to interact with each other and life has accustomed them to be among people. Such a long shutdown caused many mental issues, increasing stress level and anxiety. It’s normal that people tend to look for comfort in food. When we’re stressed, especially when it’s long-term, stress weakens endorphins and increases the amount of cortisol. Some studies show the link between sleep duration and increased craving for sweets while being unmotivated to do any workout. The shorter you sleep, the bigger the appetite you have. There is also a popular theory called stress-eat. Eating sweets like chocolate can temporarily increase the level of serotonin in your body and make you feel better as a result. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last long if you can’t fight the source of stress problems.
It is a well-known fact that people relieve boredom with food. The situation of self-isolation definitely contributed to it a lot. As I said before, many people use their spare time for baking and cooking or ordering a takeaway. Having regularly freshly made cookies and cakes definitely increase craves for sweets. Baking breaks up the monotony and increase the level of dopamine (the happy hormone), snacking as well. When people eat, they get temporarily excited and “busy”. In the case of quarantine, people turned innocent snacking into a constant-eating habit.
No way out
Last but not least, the reason we eat more during self-isolation is that we are being constantly separated from the real world. We can’t go jogging, running or even walking around. Many people have not enough space or motivation to work out regularly. Unfortunately with no way to burn the calories we consume the same or even more. Gym freaks with no special home equipment stopped their daily routine, eating the same amount of calories at the same time. A sedentary lifestyle and remote work are not helpful to keep a good shape.
How can we stop that?
There are several things we should include in our lifestyle that can help you keep control over the amount of food you eat.
- Make a nutrition plan, hung it on your fridge and stick to it,
- Motivate yourself! Look for some source that will hold you tight with your diet – motivating notes, perfect summer body pics, whatever.
- Drink lots of water and green tea, especially when you feel like snacking something. It will keep your stomach full and intoxicate your organism,
- Eat regularly in specific hours
- Make a list of food during grocery shopping and stick to it.
- Don’t shop when you’re hungry. Your craving for food will make you buy way more you can eat.
The bottom line
Self-isolation is a great time to work on your strong will. Try to pay attention to the amount and quality of food you consume. Remember that the quarantine is gonna end in a while and you don’t want to look like a walking potato, right?