Diet during reduced physical activity

Epi­de­mic time and rela­ted lock­down do not enco­ura­ge main­ta­ining heal­thy eating habits. We have more free time, when we reach for snacks and also we try new, tasty reci­pes, which are not always heal­thy and low-cal. Addi­tio­nal­ly, our phy­si­cal acti­vi­ty was redu­ced, so our calo­rie inta­ke is lower. Unfor­tu­na­te­ly, it can lead to incre­ased body weight. If you want to pre­vent this side effect of the pan­de­mic, then imple­ment few signi­fi­cant, sim­ple rules:

1. Your meals sho­uld be eaten eve­ry 3–4 hours and don’t eat any­thing in betwe­en (if you are con­stan­tly pro­vi­ding your body with fuel from food, it will never use the rese­rve, name­ly fat tissue).
Last meal sho­uld be eaten 2–3 hours befo­re bed­ti­me, pre­fe­ra­bly con­si­sting of fresh vege­ta­bles with heal­thy fats (such as lin­se­ed oil, oli­ve oil) or a few nuts and fresh herbs.
Wri­te down the­se hours on a pie­ce of paper and hang it in a visi­ble pla­ce, pre­fe­ra­bly in the kit­chen. Your diet sho­uld be diver­se, rich in unpro­ces­sed pro­ducts and a lot of vita­mins and minerals.

2. If you are thir­sty, drink water. A glass of juice or beve­ra­ge may have as much as 100 kcal, which comes from sucro­se or fruc­to­se (excess of the­se sugars cau­ses, among others, insu­lin resi­stan­ce, non-alco­ho­lic ste­ato­sis of the liver, incre­ases the risk of gout and dia­be­tes). If you want to enrich water with nutri­tio­nal valu­es and fla­vo­ur, it is worth adding fresh mint leaves or this herb infu­sion. In addi­tion to good mint taste, it redu­ces body stress, sup­ports work of the dige­sti­ve sys­tem, has a soothing effect on dama­ged gastric muco­sa and anti­bac­te­rial pro­per­ties due to con­ta­ined tannins.

3. Get rid of calo­rie snacks, becau­se e.g. two cookies often have the same amo­unt of kcal as a sli­ce of bre­ad with vege­ta­bles. Howe­ver, it is worth sup­ple­men­ting your diet with pro­ducts con­ta­ining a lar­ge amo­unt of fibre (becau­se it pro­longs the satie­ty feeling) and anti-stress pro­ducts, sin­ce it is one of the main reasons of reaching for snacks. Pro­ducts rich in fibre inc­lu­de bran, who­le-gra­in pro­ducts and vegetables.
On the other hand, feeling of peace and quiet can be achie­ved by drin­king infu­sion of fresh lemon balm, used pre­fe­ra­bly instan­tly after the bre­ak. Con­ta­ined acti­ve sub­stan­ces are also help­ful in neu­ro­ses and ensu­re a peace­ful sleep.

4. If you suf­fer from blo­ating, con­sti­pa­tion or other gastro­in­te­sti­nal pro­blems due to less phy­si­cal acti­vi­ty, it is worth enri­ching your kit­chen with herbs. Basil, dill, savo­ry, thy­me, rose­ma­ry, par­sley or afo­re­men­tio­ned mint will be par­ti­cu­lar­ly valu­able in this case. The­se plants added to our tra­di­tio­nal dishes sup­port the dige­sti­ve pro­ces­ses, which helps with dys­pep­tic ail­ments (indi­ge­stion), adjust inte­sti­nal func­tion (inhi­bit diar­r­ho­ea and redu­ce con­sti­pa­tion), ease inte­sti­nal inflam­ma­tion and impro­ve peristalsis.

To sum up: heal­thy diet sho­uld inc­lu­de unpro­ces­sed foods and lots of fru­its and vege­ta­bles. It is worth enri­ching it with heal­thy fats, nuts and fresh herbs. Impor­tant thing is to eat regu­lar­ly and avo­id snacks and swe­et beve­ra­ges full of calo­ries. Artic­le was writ­ten in coope­ra­tion with Nina Łan­gow­ska, MSc — medi­cal nutri­tio­nist, bio­lo­gist, gra­du­ate of Medi­cal Uni­ver­si­ty and Uni­ver­si­ty of Gdańsk.