Lockdown the junk: Covid-19 turns us into comfort eaters

The world remains grasped by the Covid-19 pandemic, and we are all locked up in houses, this is having a devastating impact, on individuals’ wellbeing not only now, but on their future wellbeing too.
Rising logical proof from this pandemic shows that those from less fortunate backgrounds are being hit the hardest and that they lack related wellbeing conditions, few are not able to meet their nutritional levels as they empathetically connected to social l hardship, which is regrettable results of Covid-19. On a contradictory note, few others have become victims of comfort eating.
Comfort eating is eating to make oneself feel happier, rather than to satisfy hunger, it is mainly related to a person’s emotion so it is rightly called as emotional eating- consuming large quantities of food -usually junk foods just to get rid of boredom and stress.
It is estimated that 75% of overeating is caused by emotions and there is evidence that suggests people have adopted unhealthy behaviour patterns like over-consuming unhealthy foods, and drinks. The physiological reasons for some of these behaviours is that when the body is stressed it produces too much cortisol— a stress hormone which controls our mood, motivation, and fear. This hormone produced by adrenaline gland not only makes us over-eat but makes us binge those foods which are high in fat and sugar.
Unfortunately, to add to this situation, many food companies, including big brands, fast-foods and delivery businesses have been immensely capitalizing on the government’s ‘stay home stay safe’ message by strongly promote their unhealthy food and leveraging on vulnerable captive emotional eaters, who have no scope to leave their houses to sweat out some kilos.
We are all following the ‘stay home, stay safe’ mantra in to protect our physical health and emotional wellbeing but these promotions of energy-dense foods with minimal to no nutritional value is not the type of marketing we need at this time. Rather, such companies must influence people to eat healthily and stay fit and demonstrate their modest contribution to the society which has made them grow into giants in past.

Coming back to comfort eaters, feeling unmanageable is a huge issue for people with these eating disorders. Here are few tips to control it:

  • preparing and munching on healthy immunity building food
  • Colorful fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants and photo chemicals which suppress stress hormones
  • Healthy carbohydrates like oatmeal can reduce your stress levels in great ways
  • Have a glass of water – you might be thirsty, not hungry, and sometimes we confuse the two.
  • Exercising at home and social interaction like calling up a friend can help bring cortisol down
  • Consider something which makes you feel calm, like reading, meditating, gardening and going for a walk.
  • Foods that are high in protein and fiber will make you feel fuller for longer so you wouldn’t be hungry more often (example beans and other pulses, eggs or nuts)
  • Think about positive benefits of lockdown- families are sitting down to eat together, you have time to get back on your hobbies, spend time with yourself etc that we wouldn’t have done previously

We have also been hearing from former patients, whose symptoms have returned in response to the stress from the pandemic. Get in touch if you are an emotional eater and The” Nutri monk” is here to help you as always.

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