How Do I Stay Motivated During Lockdown?
It’s hard at the best of times to keep on track with an exercise routine and healthy eating, right? Throw the current lockdown and pandemic woes into the mix and it can throw all your motivation straight down the gurgler.
But listen, we have some strategies to help you get back on the straight and narrow. Here’s how we stick to our healthy eating habits even when things go haywire:
1. Do the prep and be prepared.
This is literally our biggest tip. Stockpile some ready made meals and healthy snacks so you always have something to grab when you’re feeling peckish. Our favourites are:
- Carrot sticks with hummus dip,
- Mixed nuts with dark chocolate nibs or sultanas,
- Boiled eggs with cheese
- Tuna on rice cakes with avocado, sliced tomato, olive oil and fresh pepper
- Greek Yoghurt with frozen berries and a bit of granola
- And, Activate meals - of course ;)
2. Do your best to stick to a routine!
Even if you don't typically thrive on a strict schedule, having one in place does help in times of uncertainty and stress. Many Psychologists say so: “A lack of structure and routine can actually exacerbate feelings of distress and make you pay more attention to the source of your problems.” According to Rachel Goldman, Psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor at the NYU School of Medicine.
Not sure where to start? Here’s what you do: Make a list of the things that you normally do during the day, from the time you wake up, to meal & snack times, factor in your meal prep, work, exercise and chores. Once you have an idea of the basic tasks you need to get through, you can go back and add some rough time guidelines. DON’T FORGET to include things that you can look forward to, whether it’s watching Netflix, a hobby or calling your mate!
3. Speaking of routines, is there a way you can include your child/ren into your meal prep or cooking each week?
I know what you’re thinking; Noooo, it’s going to take twice the time if my kids are in the kitchen with me!! But, hey, is there really a rush? We are all (well, most of us) in lockdown after-all. Set some of the easier tasks aside for your child/children to do with you - It’ll give them an activity to do and means you can tick ‘meal prep’ off your to-do list while also being on mum-duty (or Dad-duty). Win-win. If your children are older, perhaps you can designate a cooking night for them each week? You can even let them pick the recipes.
And before I lose you here, you CAN pick a form of exercise to do that doesn’t feel completely joyless (is it just me that thinks this?!) I recently bought one of those vintage cruiser bikes off some chap on Facebook Marketplace. His hobby is buying old bikes to do up and re-sell. Mine is pink and black with a little straw basket on the front for when I ride down to our local corner shop for supplies (usually red wine and a few packets of Allens red frogs. LOL) Anyway, it’s just an idea. Maybe you’d prefer to run while listening to crime podcasts?? Or roller blade like a 90’s teen again? Or drag your twin toddlers around in a buggy/cart while they chatter excitedly and sightsee (also me).
A new study, published in the International Journal of Obesity on January 18, asked 2,680 college students, who weren't exercising regularly, to start doing aerobics workouts for 30 minutes three times a week, for 15 weeks. The researchers also asked the participants to track what they ate each meal, but did not ask them to change their diets. The participants did anyway: During the 15 weeks, the students generally ate more fruits, vegetables and low-fat foods, and less fried foods and soft drinks. Past studies have suggested that exercise might stimulate the production of appetite-regulating hormones. Of course, the reason might also be that people who exercise regularly don't want unhealthy food to hinder their ability to work out, or maybe they avoid eating unhealthy food because it'd make their workouts seem like a waste. There's also a phenomenon known as the transfer effect, which describes how the new skills or attitudes learned in one behavior can carry over to a second behavior.
Can you see why doing a little bit of exercise each week will help you stay on track with eating healthier?
5. Lastly, allow yourself to have naughty food from time-to-time too! Just keep it to a serving size & don’t gorge, okay??
We’re here for you!
Written by Rebecca Achelles for Activate Foods
If you have trouble preparing your own meals or find it difficult to maintain a healthy diet, our pre-prepared dishes may assist you in reaching your objectives. Our meals are nutritious and cost-effective, making them ideal for people on the go. If you live on the Central Coast, Newcastle or Sydney, we can deliver them straight to your door! You can view our full menu here.