Lockdown Eating Habits

Most of us maybe feeling increasingly stressed as we attempt to cope with living with the Covid-19 pandemic. Helping people through the pandemic isn’t just about helping them stay safe physically, it’s also about helping them maintain good mental and emotional health.

When stressful situations of this magnitude arise, people often experience substantial changes to their eating behaviours. Generally described as emotional or stress eating, we often start to eat (or not eat) in a conscious or unconscious effort to suppress, or soothe negative emotions.

There are many psychological and biological reasons that we eat when we feel stressed. Eating can serve as a welcome distraction from challenging life realities and a self-soothing coping mechanism during uncertain times.

We may crave food higher in fat and sugar when stressed, in part because our body requires more energy to function when stressed, and simple carbohydrates are the fastest way to get a quick hit.

Until we address the emotions driving our eating, our desire to eat will remain when we’re stressed, often leading to longer-term harm to our physical and emotional health. If you find yourself stress eating in response to the pandemic, here are tips to help you:

  • Take time each day to reflect on how you feel and whether how you feel is leading you to crave food in an undesirable way;
  • It is important we recognize our triggers for emotionally-based eating;
  • Make conscious choices about your eating, avoiding triggers when possible. Deliberately choose what you eat and when;
  • Get support while avoiding exposure to triggering material. Most of us are quite isolated from our typical routines, communities, and social networks right now, so staying in touch with friends and family is important.

This is going to be a hugely stressful phase of life for millions of people around the world, so practicing deliberate eating behaviours that promotes physical and emotional health is critical.


It is important we think about what it means to be home right now, the pandemic and how the pandemic is changing our eating habits and lifestyle.

Source: https://www.psychologytoday.com

11 Nov, 2020

4 thoughts on “Lockdown Eating Habits

  1. Now that you’ve mentioned it Ilana, my diet has changed. Numbing my pain with fast food and foolishly not caring about the consequences. Pandemics can be stressful.

    So thank you for this blog, it left a note inside my head to do better.

    1. Yes, I think hand on heart, we could probably all do better. You’re not the only one in lockdown feeling it. I also think a lot of what’s going on in the media is also the reason why we’re failing to get a grip on the food we eat.

      Unconsciously we carry stress, it’s not just a conscious in the moment thing. I think more needs to be done for governments to take control effectively, so we stop carrying stress.

      As you know, the more we stress the more we will eat unhealthy foods.

  2. Thank for you for the reminder. We all need to be more conscious about our diets. My diet too has changed since the pandemic.

    After a brief affair with vegetarianism, I have started eating fish again and I am more aware of the need to make vegetables the centre piece of any meal.

    I am not eating as much sugary foods as before which is great, but I also know that I need to crank up the exercises to offset my more sedentary lifestyle.

    1. I think you’re right, we do. I also think you raise a good point. I am sure more of us are finding our relationship with food has changed since the pandemic.

      As you say, although you’re not eating as much sugary food, which is good, you are more sedentary and that comes with being more confined to your home.

      As human beings we often have a love/hate relationship with food. When we’re struggling we eat more of the wrong foods, and we have a tendency to overeat. I also think we’re buying more food, therefore without the willpower it’ll be easy to pick up foods like crisps and biscuits.

      The politicians are creating more stress, because of their handling of Covid. It is stress that we’re having to deal with around the pandemic that is creating our ultimate relationship with food.

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