Surviving Lockdown, a Dietitian’s Guide.
My top 10 tips to surviving lockdown. Beat the endless breaks for snacks and stay on top of your goals!
- Keep routine.
- Loosely plan out your week. Most importantly, plan out your meal times. Allocated meal breaks based on your regular eating patterns and schedule in breaks for yourself.
- Have meals away from your working area (and ideally, where you can, set up your work area away from the kitchen).
- Enjoy meals formally at the table, and not in front of a screen.
- When planning out your week/day, make sure to include fun activities and things you enjoy.
- Exercise and fresh air daily.
- Try moving your body in some way each day. Try our 20 minute HIIT workout that our EP Brendan devised for lockdown!
- Walking, yoga, bike rides or a quick skipping session are fun and easy ideas to get you moving.
- If weather permitting, and you do so following state guidelines, fresh air and vitamin D will do wonders for your physical and mental health!
- Plenty of gyms and mobile apps are savvy enough to now have plenty of online classes to keep you interested. Maybe you’ll end up trying something you’ve always wanted to do?
- Focus on nutritious foods.
- Keep your fridge and pantry stocked up with nutritious foods. Think: plenty of in-season fruits and vegetables, whole grains and dairy (or alternatives).
- Aim for variety at each meal, and to stop yourself from getting bored with your lockdown meals! Try my Chicken and Chickpea Cous Cous Paella recipe.
- Have a mix of both fresh and frozen vegetables on hand. Canned vegetables, lentils and legumes can be a convenient and easy addition to every pantry.
- G. lentils, chickpeas, beans, tomatoes.
- Tip – try grabbing the “no added salt”, “low salt” or “salt reduced” (and/or sugar). If buying fruits in cans, opt for in juice rather than syrup.
- Plan out snacks.
- Especially if you find yourself a mindless muncher, planning out healthy and nutritious snacks will be a great idea to prevent a ‘snack-cident’.
- Schedule in your meal and snack breaks, and have prepared options on standby.
- Prepare snacks, and eat from a bowl or a plate so you can see the food (rather than eating straight from what seems to be an endless packet).
- Remove temptations.
- Try and limit or minimise the amount of nutrient poor, calorie dense, non-nutritious foods that are kept in the house. This will limit opportunity to overindulge or overeat in a sitting.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Try putting items you may think you will overindulge in at the back of the cupboard.
- It is important to enjoy everything within moderation, with alcohol being no exception.
- Current Australian alcohol guidelines1 recommend no more than 10 standard drinks per week, and no more than 4 standard drinks on any one day. The less you drink, the lower your risk of harm from alcohol.
- But always remember, there is nothing wrong with the occasional mindful treat – and it is important to enjoy without guilt.
- Experiment with new meals and mix it up!
- Turn it into a competition with family members, or housemates. Who can make the best dish? Judging optional and give out a prize!
- Hundreds of unused cook books in the kitchen cupboard? Pull out a random one and flick to a fun looking page.
- Share the cooking around the household.
- Stay hydrated.
- Remember to have plenty of small sips throughout the day. Aim for sitting down with a glass of water at each meal to keep your intake up.
- Thinking about snacking? Have a glass of water first and then decide.
- For further reading about the benefits of staying hydrated and how much water you should be having daily, read our Water, Wonderful Water article here: https://www.measureup.com.au/water-wonderful-water/
- Try a new hobby.
- Or maybe start one up again that you forgot about ages ago? Think of staying at home as an opportunity to explore; spending more time at home could be like getting sent to your room when you were naughty as a kid – you have the ability to rediscover old toys!
- Finish (or re-starting, and then proceed to finish) that book you’ve left behind.
- Try your hand at light stretches of a morning to get you revved and ready to go for a day of working-from-home productivity.
- Grow herbs. Not only are plants fun to grow and help keep you company, you can use them in the future for your cooking adventures!
- Give yourself a break!
- Naturally, as humans there is always an expectation to be doing something. There is nothing wrong with switching off and relaxing.
- Remember, planning out breaks throughout the day is just as important as getting work done!
- Stay connected.
- Probably most important of all the above is to stay connected. With friends, family, work colleagues and others. Be kind, and stay safe!
- Reach out if you need to.
- Lifeline 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636
- Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
- Butterfly Foundation 1800 33 4673
ISABELLE JARDINE APD, BNUTRDIET (HONS)
Accredited Practising Dietitian
1Australian Guidelines to Reduce Health Risks from Drinking Alcohol. 2020. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australian Research Council and Universities Australia. Commonwealth of Australia, Canberra.