Coronavirus: What to Eat if You Don’t Move Much During Self-Isolation

How much to eat, what to eat and how to not turn into a circle?

We used to move a lot. Just getting out of the house, taking a car or public transport was sufficient enough to give us a couple thousand steps a day. If you walked around your office or worked as a sales person at a store, you were at least getting some kind of movement. You’d go to the gym after work, take a class or meet some friends. All possibilities to get you moving.

If you are lucky enough to have your own room, apartment or a space to exercise then you really should be trying to get an hour of movement a day.

Here is list of sugestions from nutritionists and trainers for this one, Nick Mitchell, the owner and founder of the Ultimate Performance gym in DIFC and Lauren Jacobsen, the Nutrition Director Kcal World about food. have a brief look;

Question no 1- Should I consume less calories now that I don’t move as much?

Answer from Trainer: The answer is, yes. If you’re moving around less and generally less active, we simply do not need as many calories per day. If you’re more active with the kids and chasing around the house, you might need more! You need to think about your personal situation and whether you’re more or less active.

Answer from Nutritionist: Yes, you should decrease your calorie intake from your normal eating. The calories your body needs is directly related to how many calories you burn throughout the day.

You can determine your BMR using an online calculator that takes into account your age, height, gender, current weight and your activity level. You can also seek, the help of a professional nutritionist to help you determine your calorie needs. A meal plan can also help you stay on-track with the proper calories.

Qestion no 2- Can we try intermittent fasting to prevent our body from storing fat?

Answer from Trainer: Intermittent fasting is a great way to restrict the amount of food you eat. If you have 16 hours in the day where you do not eat, chances are you’ll consume less calories, which will reduce your chances of storing fat.

TIP: Eating your first and last meals at the same time day after day will do wonders for your sleeping routine and with controlling food.

Answer from Nutritionist: Intermittent fasting is a good way to help control and refrain from eating food within a set time frame. The best part of the diet is that it’s extremely easy to follow, just abstain from food for a period of about 15 to a maximum of 24 hours. You don’t need to fast everyday either. One fasting period every 3 to 5 days has been shown to have a 15 to 25 per cent calorie reduction over a week.

TIP: To consider, after fasting for a long period, it can be hard to shut off your hunger hormones, once you start to eat; be sure not to overeat during your feeding portion of your fast.

Question no 3- How should you divide your meals up?

Answer From Trainer: The best way to divide meals up depends on your preference. How long can you go before you feel hungry? The chances are, three or four meals a day will hit the sweet spot for you. Stick to 3 to 4 structured meals a day and try not to snack in between.

Answer from Nutritionist: First off, try to maintain a daily schedule that is close to your normal routine outside of quarantine. After breakfast, eat about every 3 hours throughout the day. This can be divided out as three meals and 2 small snacks.

Question No 4- If you aren’t moving, what is an example of an ideal day in terms of food?

Answer From Trainer: If you do not move, your body does not need as many carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for your muscles. It’s important to have some carbohydrates, however, as glucose is the primary energy source for your immune system and brain.

Protein is important to keep in the diet as it encourages your body to retain lean body mass (think muscle, bones, organs, and different tissues). Having healthy fats (olive oil, avocado, nuts and seeds) will keep your immune system and metabolism functioning at their best.

Answer From Nutritionist : The more active you are, the more carbs your body needs. Being less active, a higher protein, lower carb diet will be helpful to curb cravings and help maintain your body’s lean mass in the absence of being active. Here’s an example of your meal breakdown for the day:

  • Breakfast – egg omelette with avocado
  • Snack – handful of nuts
  • Lunch – chicken breast or any protein with green salad and vegetables
  • Snack – small yoghurt with berries
  • Dinner – salmon filet or any protein with green vegetables and cauliflower rice

Question no 5-How can you stop yourself from constantly snacking, which is easy to do when you are at home?

Answer from trainer : Snacking is all of our new worst enemies! It’s normally a result of being bored or not stimulated. You can find a good book to read, a friend to call or simply play games with the family! Other tips include only eating at one place in the house (the dinner table!) and avoid eating on the sofa, intermittent fasting is great and finally, preparing your meals for the following day.

Answer from nutritionist : Well, it’s ok to have 1 or 2 snacks per day, but limit it to that. Also, consider taking up a new hobby, learning a new skill or even language to occupy your mind.

TIP: As for snacks, pick healthy foods that will provide you with fibre and nutrients that will reduce your need to snack or eat more. Have vegetable sticks with hummus or guacamole, Greek yoghurt with berries, apple slices with natural nut butter or a handful of nuts and seeds.

Its a developing article stay tune for part 2: Exercise

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