The change of routines that usually accompanies the summer season is synonymous, in many cases, with a certain relaxation in dietary habits. Given that many people continue to work from home at a time when uncertainty continues to be part of our daily life, the risk of eating impulsively and disorderly between hours increases: in many cases, not so much because there is a physiological need , but to calm emotions such as sadness, boredom, anger, anger or anxiety.
In this sense, a recent study carried out by the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU) 1 It showed that staying at home longer was the main cause that had led 37% of Spaniards to eat more than usual. Behind this fact is the fact of continually having food at your fingertips coupled with poor management of anxiety, uncertainty or boredom. This is known as ’emotional hunger’: a sensation that leads to eating impulsively, frequently calorie foods and of little nutritional value to try to calm an emotional conflict.
Precisely, the risk of eating impulsively due to certain emotions is closely linked to the rise of teleworking, and is aggravated when there is sedentary behavior, as indicated by the Spanish Society of Endocrinology and Nutrition (SEEN) 2.
Aiming to help improve our dietary habits this summer, the health insurer Cigna offers the following tips:
• Take care of the environment while teleworking. If you want to respect meal times, it is very important to avoid eating in the space set aside for work. This will make it easier to establish breaks in the workday coinciding with the hours to have a healthy snack and do it where appropriate, either at the dining room table or in the kitchen.
• Menu planning. The best way to avoid falling into inadequate dietary habits is to establish a weekly plan with the daily menu and your schedule, including lunch and snacks in the list. In general, it is recommended to eat five times a day, with three main meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) and two snacks between each one. Having a well-planned menu will avoid feeling hunger peaks between meals.
• Cook in advance. If it takes a long time to eat to prepare a recipe, it’s easy for the variety on the menu to suffer. Therefore, it is advisable to prepare dishes in advance to eat at the scheduled time, calmly, and enjoying a healthy variety.
• During the purchase: betting on healthy food, trying to go to the supermarket without hunger and setting a budget. One of the main tricks to avoid bad eating habits is to buy healthily.
• Change activity if hunger arises. Get up from the chair and move, perform stretches, practice some relaxation exercises … The goal is to distract the mind and occupy time with other activities.
• Find healthy alternatives or satiating foods. If you really feel the need to eat some food, there are many healthy and delicious alternatives to choose from: fresh fruit, raw or roasted nuts without salt, plain yogurt, pickles and pickles, fresh cheese, vegetable sticks (carrots, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, etc.) or small sandwiches of wholemeal bread with avocado, hummus, turkey … Likewise, you can choose satiating foods that prevent you from eating more than you should between meals. This is the case of apples, bananas, dairy products without sugar or foods high in fiber.