Written by Michelle Yandle, Nutrition Coach, speaker and author based in New Zealand
Here in New Zealand, as we come slowly but steadily out of the other side of lockdown, many of us are hastily searching online for the best diets, detoxes and weight loss plans.
The number of searches for ‘binge eating’ and overeating have steadily increased and overall many of us are feeling like 6+ weeks in lockdown surrounded by food, comfort baking and comfort eating has left us feeling a bit out of sorts and ‘out of control’ around food.
But never fear! Restrictions are easing and we can now go hard at the gym, go hard on our nutrition and go hard on our bodies. But should we? Not in my opinion.
I believe that firstly, we need to be compassionate with ourselves, this is a global pandemic, not summer holidays. The last few weeks have been full of upheavals, uncertainty and stress like we’ve never experienced before. Going HARD on ourselves is an added intensity when things are still very uncertain and very stressful for many of us.
So, where should we start? How DO we get back on track?
Reset your WHY
Before you start anything it’s important to know WHY you’re doing it. Sounds like a no-brainer, but if you don’t know your 'WHY' it’s really difficult to sustain any changes long term. Your WHY should be compelling and based on your values. You can ask yourself some simple questions to get started. Write the answers down and keep them somewhere handy.
Why do I want to eat better?
Why is this important to me?
How will life be better?
Make a plan
If you want to start eating more nourishing foods again, the most important thing is to start meal planning again. When we take the time to plan some of our favourite healthy meals and snacks it becomes super easy to nourish ourselves because everything we need is in arms reach. It doesn’t have to take long, start with your current faves and go from there.
Bring in awareness
Now, I want you to practice asking yourself another important question: “Am I hungry?” Simply asking yourself this question before you grab something to eat can be an insightful way to tune into your eating habits and triggers. Before you grab that third snack, try to pause and ask yourself if the physical symptoms of hunger are there. If not, what’s going on? What triggers are causing you to want to eat? Are you bored? Stressed? Not sleeping? Checking in with hunger can open up so many useful answers.
Feed the need
Once you’ve asked yourself, “Am I Hungry” and determined that you are indeed NOT hungry it’s really important to feed the true need because if you’re not hungry in the first place, no amount of food is going to satisfy you. If you’re bored, try to find something enjoyable to do. Stressed? Practice mindfulness. Lonely? Call a friend or snuggle up to your pet. Only you can determine what alternative will feed the true need, but I promise you that doing so will do wonders for your mental and physical health.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it a million times again – completely overhauling our entire diet may work short term but is rarely a long term solution without some level of stress. Instead, start to flip things around to focus on getting more of the stuff that makes you feel awesome. Look for ways to get more vegetables into your life, add fruit to your snacks, try some new whole grains, spoil yourself with fancy olive oil. The more we focus on ‘adding in’ the less room there will be for the stuff that may not make us feel so great.
And if there’s one thing that you can add in right away that can have amazing effects on how you feel, it’s Good Green Vitality. Everyone I’ve ever known who has started taking it, myself included, have noticed its positive effects on how we feel.
When we go hard on ourselves through diet or exercise, it’s as if we’re punishing ourselves rather than caring and the number one theme of these past few weeks has been to simply be kind. Let’s apply this kindness to our bodies and enjoy the lasting health effects of gentle nutrition and joyful movement.
Remember, this is an unprecedented time. More than ever we need to engage in care and kindness. Not just to others but ourselves as well. Together we’ll continue to get through this and before you know it you’ll be back on track to feeling great again. One day at a time.
Disclaimer: The information provided on Nuzest is for educational and informational purposes only. The information provided on this site is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional advice or care. Please speak to your qualified healthcare professional in the event that something you have read here raises questions or concerns regarding your health.