How to maintain healthy eating habits during the lockdown

Ashley Riggs, Sports Editor

Before the pandemic, someone’s day typically may have consisted of school, extracurricular activities, work, eating, sleep and spending time with friends. However, since the quarantine began, the only activities for some students are sleeping and eating. While sadly, there are many people who currently may not  have enough to eat, there are many others whose boredom will lead to unhealthy habits. 

Research indicates that being bored effectively marks an appraised lack of meaning in the present situation and in life. We propose that state boredom increases eating in an attempt to distract from this experience,” said the article Eaten up by boredom: consuming food to escape awareness of the bored self.

Since it is more difficult to go grocery shopping, pantries and refrigerators may be missing certain foods. For instance, fresh fruit and vegetables can go bad fairly quickly. It is easy to stock up on chips and junk food that have later expiration dates. Junk food is okay to eat if it’s in moderation, but with extreme boredom added to the picture, people’s diets may be much less nutritious. 

This is why COVID-19 snacking may be compared to the “Freshman 15,”  when college freshman may gain weight from a change in lifestyle.  This quarantine is another drastic change in people’s lifestyles, so it’s possible they be less healthy, but there are ways to prevent weight gain or make boredom eating less harmful. 

First off, if someone has healthy foods available in their home, when the boredom hits and they start to get hungry, people should reach for an apple instead of the Doritos. If your boredom snacks are more nutritious, there is less of a chance of gaining weight, and it provides more nutrients for the human body.

Secondly, late at night is the least healthy time to consume food. Sleep schedules may be damaged by the lack of routine and students may stay up late, binging a show and eating snacks. The article Diet Truth or myth: Eating at night causes weight gain, said, “Northwestern University researchers found that eating at night led to twice as much weight gain — even when total calories consumed were the same.”  Therefore, it’s a good idea to change the routine and eat only one snack after dinner and then not eat anything until the next day. 

Right now times are difficult, and one’s food and snack options may be limited or not as healthy — which is okay. Due to the stay at home order, many people are not able to work, and may have to apply for unemployment, which means their usual income is being cut.

For families or individuals that do not have much savings, these times can be extremely hard to buy the most healthy foods.  But if people want to continue to stay fit there are still ways to do so. For instance, the gyms are not open, but most can still go for daily walks with those in their household. There are also many ways to workout at home, with or without equipment. There are videos and guides all over the internet that can help people find workouts that suit them. Not everyone is going to have the motivation to workout frequently during quarantine, so it is a good idea to just go for daily walks to keep  bodies moving and active. There are even fun things to do while stuck at home that keep the body moving, such as, kicking a ball around outside, shooting basketballs, playing fetch with dogs and many more games and ideas that can be played alone or with a family member. 

Other than working out and eating healthy, there are other ways to avoid boredom eating — trying the best to not be bored! There are many things to do in a house other than just watch television all day, such as painting, drawing, playing video games or board games, talking to friends and family over the phone, cleaning, writing, and listening to music. Doing more things throughout the day that keep the brain more active will make the day go by faster and make it easier to conquer quarantine over-eating. Now, it’s alright if people gain some weight over this quarantine, but if they want to avoid it, there are many ways to do so.