We’re all feeling different levels of stress, uncertainty and emotions these days, so it’s frustrating to see so many joking on social media about gaining the “quarantine 15” or griping about eating too much. We all have our own worries and fears, but gaining weight shouldn’t be at the top of that list right now and registered dietitians who specialize in intuitive eating say this is why.
- Food helps us cope with stress – We crave comfort foods when we’re stressed or anxious and it may help us satisfy those emotions. If you notice you’re eating more or different foods than usual right now, registered dietitian Brenna O’Malley says it’s a natural response to stress and the changing environment. Instead of beating yourself up about emotional eating, try to be kind to yourself.
- Your life and schedule have completely changed – With social distancing and working from home, you might not feel like sticking to your usual eating schedule. If you’re stress eating, grazing all day long, and constantly thinking about your next snack, show yourself compassion and patience while you adjust to the new normal.
- Access to food has changed – With some shoppers panic buying and stockpiling, it’s not as easy to find everything we want at the grocery store these days. Feeling restricted by not being able to shop like you usually do or get your favorite brands and items may make you feel less in control and may lead to binging.
- The kitchen is right there – Being home all the time makes it easier to take more snack breaks. At the radio station, I may have crackers in my office, but at home, it’s like Golden Corral waiting for me at any moment.