A flu-like disease that began to affect people’s immune systems in China in December, last year has turned out to be a deadly pandemic. It is the seventh month of the year 2020, and it doesn’t look like COVID-19 is getting weak. Since late February or early March, most countries have been in lockdown. In India, we have crossed the 100-day mark, and still, people need to stay at home, and only people who have offices or are in essential services are allowed to leave.
All these prevention tips are important so that we stay safe and flatten the curve. But that does mean that we will be spending more time at home. So, eating a lot of comfort food while watching Netflix or working is a thing now.
In such times, when even the availability of fresh and organic produce is low, how can one stay fit and ensure that they eat a healthy and nutritional diet? Diet is an essential element of staying fit and making sure our immunity levels are high. If you slack off your diet and eat a lot of indulgent food, it will lower your body’s defense system. So, finding a balance between healthy and indulgent food is one of the first things you need to do.
Moreover, finding ways to eat healthy without having tons of produce is also a challenge. Let’s see below what we can do to ensure that we only improve our diet in quarantine, and not ruin it.
1.Plan your menu and buy accordingly
No matter how properly we store our produce, they won’t stay fresh for more than a week. So, in order, to eat fresh, and not let anything go to waste, plan your whole week’s menu. You can do this easily using a planner and share it with your family or print it out, so everyone can give their opinion.
Make sure you create a menu that has protein, fiber, good fat and carbs, and other healthy nutrients. When you create a menu, you know what to buy on your weekly run for fresh produce.
The groceries that you can store for longer, like flour or oil or snacks, you can get in excess amount, but don’t buy too much that you don’t leave anything for others.
Planning will help you make a menu that is healthy, and if you don’t find the right ingredients, you can change it to another healthy alternative. An impromptu meal can lead to eating unhealthy food.
2.Eat less salt
Too much salt in your diet can lead to high blood pressure and bloating. To maintain your blood pressure, cut back on salt from all your meals. Eat no more than 1-2 teaspoons of salt every day. Even while picking canned produce or snacks, make sure they don’t have too much salt or added salt.
Also, if you like a bit more salt in your food, switch to Himalayan pink salt as it is better than the regular one.
3.Include fruits, vegetables, and variety of food in your diet
You cannot get all the nutrients that the body requires by eating one type of food. So, eating a variety of food like legumes (lentils or beans), green vegetables, whole grain (wheat or multigrain bread or brown rice), fruits, and milk or animal products like eggs or fish is necessary.
Balance your diet, eat a protein and fiber-rich breakfast, and include a protein and whole-grain dish for lunch and dinner. Also, while eating snacks, opt for fruits or raw vegetables, nuts, or a small bowl of salad.
4.Do mind the portion
Everything in moderation is the right motto to go right now. Anxiety, loneliness, or boredom can lead to hunger pangs which make us eat a lot. That is why don’t skip meals, and eat them at the same time every day. Most importantly, whenever you serve a dish, put small servings on the plate. If you control the portion of the dishes that you eat, you can eat all the things that you like, and not feel like you put on 10 pounds.
Portion control is necessary. So, if you feel like eating a chocolate dessert, don’t eat the whole cake, instead eat just a slice.
5.Try using alternatives for unhealthy food
So, you love sugar, but we know, eating tons of sugar will increase our insulin and blood sugar levels. Also, it is not best for maintaining our weight. But you don’t have to stop eating sugar altogether. You can use healthy alternatives. For instance, fruits are a great dessert, especially if you freeze a bowl of grapes, and eat them. Or you can put a layer of yogurt and put some cut berries on it and freeze. They make for awesome bite-size sweets.
Similarly, instead of refined sugar, use Cane sugar or jaggery powder, the latter has tons of benefits and makes your dessert sweet as well.
Likewise, find healthy alternatives for the unhealthy food that you like. Also, try making most of your food at home, this way, you know what you are putting in it.
6.Limit or avoid alcohol
Alcohol is not a healthy beverage. If you can avoid it totally as it will only ruin your diet, and that is not good during a pandemic. If you can’t stop drinking, limit your intake. A glass of wine sometimes during meals is fine, but overdoing even that is not great.
It is best to stick to water, coconut water, or lemon water to have a chilling drink during meals or otherwise.
7.Choose healthy canned products
Since finding fresh produce might still be a challenge. It is okay to opt for canned food. But make sure, you pick brands that are healthy and have fewer preservatives. Also, try to eat a fresh dish with your canned food.
These tips are not hard to follow. Also, you can indulge in your favorite dish or dessert once a week or eat a little portion of it every day. The trick is portion control, and getting in some exercise every day. Taking a walk, dancing, yoga, cardio, HIIT, or swimming (if you have a pool) are all perfect ways to ensure your body stays active. So, don’t use the pandemic as an excuse to eat anything and everything in your sight.
P.S. wash your produce thoroughly and dry them before eating!
Diksha Rai is a professional content writer. She is very passionate about writing articles related to health, diet, weight loss, yoga and fitness. I have been inspired by the most prolific weight loss authors and have a desire to become fastidious researcher with an excellent talent for divining future situations.