Stuck in a lockdown food funk? Here’s how to get healthy eating back on track
Is your healthy diet in a lockdown funk? Amanda Cassidy gets some advice from nutritionist Kim Pearson
‘Nothing ever goes away until it teaches us what we need to know’ is a popular saying. And when it comes to managing weight during the current pandemic restrictions, perhaps it is time to see what challenges keep showing up time and time again. What is that trying to teach us?
As we roll from banana bread to sourdough and everything else in between, and with summer on the horizon, we spoke to Kim Pearson about some of the common themes she is seeing time and time again.
Kim is a qualified nutritionist and weight loss specialist based on London’s Harley Street.
“In some situations, the challenge can surround the way we have approached weight loss in the past. Choosing unsustainable or unhealthy approaches to weight loss teaches us very little about how to take care of our health or maintain a weight we are happy at in the long term,” she explains.
It’s easy to pinpoint emotional eating as a crutch at times such as this – after all, the highlight of the week is the Saturday night take-away or the croissant 5km walk away.
Identifying those unmet needs and working to meet them in a way that doesn’t involve eating can be hugely helpful
“Sometimes it can be about eating to fulfill unmet needs,” admits Kim. “If we only ever ate when we were genuinely hungry, and stopped as soon as we started to feel full, it would go a long way to helping solve the obesity crisis.
But we don’t. We eat when we are stressed and we eat when we are bored. We eat when we are sad and we eat when we are happy. We eat to suppress anger and we eat to top up the tank when we are depleted. Identifying those unmet needs and working to meet them in a way that doesn’t involve eating can be hugely helpful, even a life-changing process.”
Of course, now isn’t exactly the time to be calorie counting. But there are intelligent ways to get our healthy eating back on track.
“Other times, an underlying health issue can be the barrier preventing successful weight loss” points out Kim. “The challenge may have presented in the form of weight, but in identifying the underlying health issue it can enable that person to not only achieve their ideal weight, but also optimise their health. This can have significant impacts on long-term health and wellbeing.”
Weight challenges present an opportunity to teach us how to best take care of ourselves in a variety of different ways. Some nutritionists, like Kim, tend to look at things with a new perspective. “Reaching and maintaining your ideal weight is a side effect of:
Eating a healthy, nutritious diet.
Getting enough sleep.
Taking regular exercise.
Taking care of our mental health.
Understanding and fulfilling our body’s needs.
We should be doing this in a consistent and sustainable way.”
New normal, new you
Lockdown has brought an increase in home cooking and interest in cookery which is a good thing. Now it is about refining the psychology behind why we eat the way we do. Lockdown can also be a time to leave behind old habits. To make smart swaps such as cauliflower rice instead of basmati with our curry or coconut bites instead of biscuits with our coffee.
Obviously routine is key, but with the risk of having something thrown at me because our entire life is one giant routine of eat, walk, repeat… being prepared is half the battle. Let the vegetable chopping commence!
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