Tweed dietitian reveals how to eat healthy in isolation
IF ISOLATION is making you bored and the only exercise you are getting is walking to and from the fridge, you are not alone.
Comfort eating is high on the agenda for many people forced to work from home or stay indoors during the coronavirus pandemic but there are some ways locals can stay healthy and reduce isolation weight gain.
Advanced accredited practising dietitian Amanda Clark, from Great Ideas in Nutrition at Coolangatta, said although comfort eating during stressful times was a "false friend", there were plenty of ways to create good eating routines.
"Those who are not used to working from home may find it difficult to stay focused in the new environment," she said.
"You think eating is going to make you feel better but often it has unintended consequences of weight gain, which may make us feel worse.
"Think about doing something nurturing like cuddling the dog or putting on hand cream, because that never comes back to bite you."
Ms Clark said the loss of an "eating structure" combined with food always within reach had people eating more than usual.
"At work people tend to eat around midday and there may be a midmorning and midafternoon tea break or coffee run," she said.
"But when the kitchen is stocked and just outside the door it can be easy to find yourself in there more often than before.
"It can be a good idea to pack yourself a lunch and two snacks definitively in the fridge so you set a plan in place for your eating for the day.
"Create a clear schedule of what you're going to do and what and when you're going to eat in the day."
With supermarket shelves bare of things like pasta, Ms Clark said people should be buying "longer storage" fruit and vegies.
"A once-weekly shop at a well-stocked supermarket can ensure you can buy cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and other vegetables with a longer storage life and plan to eat those fruits and vegetables that ripen quickly, like bananas, early in the week," she said.
"You can also access mixed and ready-made meals such as canned soups, frozen meals, vegetarian patties, ready-made fresh curries and lasagnes, where most of the refrigerated options may be frozen for longer storage.
"Supplements may be beneficial to help to lessen the severity or duration of any infection."