By Sophia Perry
Self-isolation during this coronavirus pandemic has been challenging for everyone. At first, you may be thought you’d get the best out of all this suddenly available free time.
You could finally read all those books that have been collecting dust on your desk, binge on all the talked-about shows, or maybe learn a couple of new skills. However, as it turns out, it is very hard to stay motivated for a lot of people in times like these.
One would think that working out would come as a welcome respite from the daily routine, but people mostly just find themselves switching between their couch and their bed with frequent excursions to the kitchen. While this would be fine for a week or two, this prolonged inactivity could spell trouble for our physical health and fitness. If you are wondering what to eat if you don’t move enough during self-isolation, this guide will show you the way.
Coronavirus: What to eat if you don’t move at all during self-isolation and how
- Determine the number of calories you need
The main adjustment you might want to make in your diet is your calorie intake. This is one of the must-read tips on how to survive self-isolation. The less you move, the fewer calories you burn and hence, the fewer calories you’ll need. However, as always, no two people are the same. Some people succumb entirely to their couch potato needs and don’t move at all, while others still move a lot during the day.
This is particularly true for parents of small children, who are probably still having very busy days running around after their young ones. If you move very little, you should definitely consider lowering your calorie intake. Your best bet is to try to take in the minimum your body needs to maintain its current weight. There are easy online calculators for this that will take into account your height, weight, age, gender, and activity level.
- Consider intermittent fasting
If you didn’t know, intermittent fasting implies refraining from eating for a period of 15 to a maximum of 24 hours. If you do it every three to five days, you stand to significantly lower your weekly calorie intake. Another benefit of intermittent fasting is that it can provide some structure to your daily routine. It might be easier to plan out your meals if you know you have the first and last meal of the day at the same time every day. The only thing you should be careful about is not to go overboard during the days when you don’t fast.
- Planning your meals
While it’s not great that you don’t move a lot during quarantine, being home all the time can actually help you in having a more balanced diet. Generally speaking, whether you are wondering what to eat if you don’t move enough during self-isolation or not, a balanced diet means having many smaller meals throughout the day. The number is usually five, with three main meals and two snacks. Having a daily meal schedule will help you always feel full and not have dips in your blood sugar levels. A good rule of thumb is eating every three hours after breakfast. This will keep your cravings to a minimum and give you a balanced diet.
Even though most of us don’t go out much during self-isolation, some of us might have to move, either for good or for the duration of the pandemic. Moving can be quite the disruptor of your routine in many different ways, but your meal plan is probably the first thing to go out the window. Being busy with organizing the move might make you turn to easy snacks and junk food. This is why you want to put some thought into your food in case you need to move house. Plan your meals in advance and have some healthy snacks like fruit, nuts or energy bars on hand.
- What to eat if you don’t move enough during self-isolation
While planning your meals, you want to include all of the food groups. You should consume fewer carbohydrates if you do not move a lot. In addition to these, you want to have some lean protein, healthy fats, and different vegetables (some seeded, some fibrous). An omelet with a side of avocado would be a good breakfast heavy in protein and healthy fats. A grilled chicken breast would be a good example of lean protein coupled with some broccoli, peppers and tomatoes. For dinner, you could go for a delicious piece of fish (like salmon) and add some cauliflower or green veggies. Some healthy ideas for snacks would include different nuts, or berries with yoghurt. Finally, don’t forget to stay hydrated. Even if you are not moving around a lot, your body still needs a lot of water.
Coronavirus: How to exercise while staying at home
In case motivation suddenly strikes or you get tired of lying around, here are some ideas on how to exercise while self-isolating. Getting some form of exercise is surely one of the must-read tips on how to survive self-isolation. One of the easiest ways to get your blood going is to have a dance party. Not only is it good for your physical health, but bopping around to some of your favorite music will release all of the endorphins you need to feel better and more upbeat during the day.
It doesn’t require a lot of space and doesn’t take long to be effective. Another easy way of having a little bit of activity in your day is stretching. You can find some short videos on YouTube or even go for some simple beginner’s yoga. Neither of these requires any special equipment or effort and it will make you feel better.
Whether you are struggling with what to eat if you don’t move enough during self-isolation or not, you should probably cut yourself some slack. Try to stop worrying about dieting. There is a lot of talk online of using this time to improve ourselves in a million ways. However, this puts unnecessary pressure on most people. You do not need to come out of this with a new skill or anything else to show for it, besides your physical and mental wellbeing. So bear that in mind in your day to day. Be kind to yourself.