How has lockdown affected our lifestyles?
Research has shown that a change in daily routine can increase stress and anxiety and this may result in dysfunctional coping behaviour, leading to more comfort eating and emotional eating. It’s therefore unsurprising that our lifestyles have changed during the COVID-19 pandemic and especially during periods spent at home in lockdown.
A survey conducted by Ipsos MORI and King’s College London found that during the first national lockdown, 35% of people reported eating more food or more unhealthy food than they normally did. Close to 50% said that they put on weight during lockdown. The same percentage reported feeling more stressed or depressed than usual. Almost a third of people said they drank more alcohol.
Curbing lockdown eating
Whilst comfort food and alcohol may seem like a quick and easy fix for difficult emotions or boredom, they won’t actually solve the problem and may make the situation worse.
Madeleine Hawkes, weight management dietician at Nutrition Synergy, recommends taking some time to consider whether or why you’re actually hungry in order to eat more intuitively.
“Next time you find yourself heading to the fridge, ask yourself, ‘Am I truly hungry?’ If not, ask yourself, ‘What am I actually hungry for?'”