How to Build Healthy Eating Habits

The pandemic has been rough on us all — with our routines changing significantly, gyms closing, and quarantine affecting how we live our daily lives, it’s a no-brainer that fitness and health have taken a backseat during this chaotic time. Whether you’re spending your days working from home or staying at home to homeschool the kids, we understand how difficult it can be to establish some normalcy.

One of the biggest struggles individuals around the world have been facing is eliminating our bad habits and ensuring that we are staying as healthy as can be, during a time where health is so incredibly fragile. We’ve noticed that some members of our Old Bull family who spent months at home with little to no contact with the outside world really feel like they’ve lost worth of progress and are struggling to get back on track. If this sounds like you, don’t worry! Give yourself some grace, this year was tough…

We’ve got a few tips for you to get you out of your quarantine funk. We’ll be breaking down the best realistic ways to overcome unhealthy habits.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work
Have you ever heard the phrase “teamwork makes the dream work”? When it comes to your health, working together with like-minded friends/family is one of the greatest ways to reclaim your health. It can be extremely hard to make lifestyle changes when everyone around you has super unhealthy habits, that’s why we suggest spending time with people who have similar goals so that you have someone to rely on, someone to ask for advice, and an overall support system now that you’re embarking on the journey to better health.

Add “Chef” To Your Resume
This pandemic has changed everyone’s relationship with food, whether you realize it or not. Once our food shopping patterns started to change due to closures and stay-at-home orders, our eating habits changed as well. Allow us to be the first to promise you that eating healthier, even during a pandemic, is not impossible!

Now is the time to find your inner chef and try new recipes, expand your palate, and maybe even swear off food delivery for good. One of the best ways to reverse unhealthy eating habits is to simply make small lifestyle changes and before you know it, those small changes equal huge results. It’s okay to start small!

One habit you can start to slowly change is how often you order in. Eventually, when you’re cooking more meals on your own and relying less on food delivery, your relationship with food and your overall health will be in a totally different place.

When you make small, gradual changes as opposed to trying out an intense, restricting diet — you’ll not only be a lot happier in the long-run, but your results will also be much more sustainable.

Say Goodbye to Stress Eating
If you’re not pleased with the number on your scale right now and you’ve realized you’ve gained a few pounds since the pandemic began, odds are most of that was stress-induced. For many, eating has become a tool for stress management. You might feel like this is out of your control, but believe us, it’s not!

When you’re stuck at home and find yourself stress eating, one of the best ways to end this bad habit is to get in tune with your body and teach yourself how to eat intuitively. Snacking when we’re feeling stressed or bored is normal, however, you want to make sure you’re not over-indulging. Check-in on yourself occasionally to ensure that you’re not overeating.

Keep in mind that stress eating looks different for everyone. It doesn’t need to mean you’re stuffing your face with cake. In fact, many people have also taken up stress drinking during the pandemic and have chosen to unwind with alcohol, rather than food. This is all fine in moderation, but over-doing it is what can negatively affect your health – so work on being mindful of your eating patterns!

Stay Hydrated
You’re probably not drinking enough water… there we said it! Proper hydration can boost energy, attention, and mood. You might be so distracted with the kids, working from home, and coping with the stresses of the pandemic that you’re forgetting to drink enough water every day, so here’s a great way to guarantee you’ll never be dehydrated: set reminders!

There’s no shame in setting an alarm on your phone or writing a note on your to-do list. Hydration is important and although it shouldn’t be seen as an errand, sometimes you need to frame it that way so that you won’t forget to drink throughout the day and that’s perfectly fine!

Coffee and sugary drinks might be your go-to, but we’re all about ensuring you don’t dehydrate so let’s start by making small changes. Start by substituting one of your drinks per day with water. Eventually, your body won’t crave the sugary stuff and you’ll just be craving water. Try that method for a week and you’ll notice how you’ll feel less sluggish throughout the day now that you’ve upped your water intake.

The bottom line is, in a time where there are so many reasons to slip into unhealthy habits and gaining weight has almost become the norm, know that you don’t have to relinquish control over your health. Do your best to cook nourishing meals at home, enjoy small treats without going overboard, and stay in tune with your body by constantly acknowledging your craving throughout the day.

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