The Nutricoach, Debbie Devane from Laois advises on how not to gain weight during the Covid-19 lockdown
Are you one of the many people finding yourself at home more, working and looking after children who are missing the routine of school, are you missing your routine and having one to many coffee breaks and finding yourself mindlessly snacking?
Making too many “wrong” food choices and mindlessly snacking can quickly lead to weight gain. Here are my top tips to help “stall the stone” while isolating during Covid-19.
AVOID FAD DIETS
The internet is full of fad diets and magic pills that claim to help you lose weight and “boost” your immune system! Its important to remember there is no specific food or supplement that will prevent you from getting Covid-19 or prevent you from gaining weight. However, a healthy balanced diet that’s low in sugar and processed food, is the best thing you can do for your immune system and your waistline.
Skipping meals is never a good idea, going long periods without eating causes your blood sugar to drop, which leads to fatigue and cravings for sugary snacks and stimulants (think the 11am/3pm slump). Aim for 3 main meals a day and include a maximum of 2 nutritious snacks if you feel you need them, such as a piece of fruit with 4-5 nuts, 2 oatcakes with hummus or sliced apple dipped in nut butter.
EAT A SOURCE OF PROTEIN WITH EVERY MEAL OR SNACK
When you eat carbohydrates alone they quickly get digested and converted into sugar, which is then absorbed into your blood stream causing a spike in blood sugar, however including a source of protein with your meal or snack slows down digestion, this leads to a slower absorption of carbohydrates, therefore a lower rise in blood sugar, so less of the fat storing hormone insulin is needed, and protein will help you feel full for longer resulting in less snacking.
CHOOSE LOW GL CARBOHYDRATES
GL stands for glycemic load, which is a measure of the speed at which different carbohydrate foods are absorbed and raise your blood sugar. Bread, white pasta, long grain rice, mashed potato, chips, breakfast cereals, biscuits and baked goods all have a high GL rating, therefore they will raise blood sugar quickly, resulting in increased insulin secretion, which leads to increased body fat storage. Instead choose lower GL carbohydrates such as, brown pasta, brown basmati rice, wholegrain brown bread, quinoa, sweet potato, oats, vegetables, salads and berries.
Image by LUM3N from Pixabay
FOLLOW THE HEALTHY PLATE GUIDE
The healthy plate guide is an easy way to make sure you are having a well balanced meal, just fill half your plate with vegetables, ¼ your plate protein/healthy fats e.g. chicken, meat, fish, eggs, lentils, and ¼ your plate low GL carbohydrates e.g. sweet potato, brown pasta or rice, quinoa.
Drinking water has many benefits, including boosting your metabolism and suppressing your appetite. When you don’t drink enough water, your body receives mixed signals from the hypothalamus, which is the part of the brain that regulates appetite and thirst, so a lot of the time when we think we are hungry, we are actually dehydrated! Aim to drink 2 litres of water a day. This can be achieved by starting your day with hot water and lemon, adding lemon slices, cucumber and mint leaves to a jug of water and sipping throughout the day and having some herbal teas.
One of the best things you can do for yourself is to plan meals a week in advance and write a shopping list for the ingredients you need. You can have the best plans for the week ahead, but if you don’t have the ingredients, it can lead to making the wrong food choices. A shopping list will save you multiple trips to the shops!
Debbie Devane from The Nutri Coach is a qualified nutritionist and health coach, Debbie runs her clinic from the Glenard Clinic in Mountmellick and also offers one to one online consultations.
Debbie is also Nutritionist to the Offaly GAA senior footballers.
For more information or to make an appointment email Debbie at firstname.lastname@example.org Ph: 086-1720055
Facebook: The Nutri Coach @debbiedevanethe nutricoach Instagram: the_nutricoach
For more tips, meal ideas and recipes, download my free 21-day rescue plan on www.thenutricoach.ie.