26th March 2020

5 Ways to Avoid Unhealthy Snacking During Self-isolation

Currently, we are living in an unprecedented situation. More people are being homebound than ever before in order to protect and maintain the health of the nation during the COVID-19 outbreak. But, that also leaves us prone to bad habits.

Snacking, and bad snacking at that, will no doubt become rampant during this time. Meaning that your oral health and overall hygiene is likely to plummet in the weeks or months that this situation may go on for. That is why it is more important than ever to understand how best to avoid such detrimental snacking, even in these strange circumstances. To help, we have put together some of our best anti-snacking tips to get you through:

1 – Don’t Buy Them

The shops and supermarkets are a surreal sight at the moment. Shelves empty, stocks low and not a roll of toilet paper to be had. Which, unfortunately, makes it easier for us to pick up whatever does happen to be on the shelves. Healthy or not.

So, the issue is this: even in such strange circumstances, with choices becoming narrower and narrower, we must choose the healthier options available to us. This might be choosing oatcakes instead of chocolate biscuits. Bran flakes instead of the cheaper, more sugary, brand with a tiger proclaiming, “they’re grrrrreat!” These little choices will have a longstanding impact. Not only on your oral health, but your overall and mental health as well.

Remaining healthy is the priority for us all at the minute. So, make sure you make the right choices now. Even when you don’t feel like there’s much of a choice!

2 – Drink Water

Hunger is a strange thing. Often, the feeling you may have that you presume is hunger is actually thirst. As you won’t have a dry throat and be gasping for a drink every time, your body often has a more subtle way of informing you of thirst.

Next time you feel a slight pang of hunger and reach for a snack, stop. Have a glass of water instead. If you feel better, then more often than not you will be able to halt your craving in its tracks.

3 – Get Up, Get Out (Safely)

At the moment, you should be avoiding public spaces where you can’t keep 2 metres away from the next person . This helps to prevent the transmission of the virus. But, that doesn’t mean that you need to stop going out altogether, in fact we have been encouraged to take exercise once a day. The feeling of isolation, being cooped up and restlessness can make us snack more than we should.

This boredom can then lead us to snack unhealthily in order to have something to do. Instead, go on a walk. Your local nature areas are at this very minute calling you. A fresh, natural, escape for what is otherwise quite a claustrophobic situation. It can help to burn some calories, take your mind off of food, the current situation and any number of things that may be worrying you. Making it both a healthy choice for your body, oral hygiene and mind.

4 – Sleep More

Are you losing sleep over the current crisis? Most of us are, but it can actually be one of the things contributing to your need to snack. Lack of sleep means a lack of energy, which in turn makes your body seek energy in any way it can; primarily via snacking.

The simplest solution is to sleep more. Get the right amount of sleep for your body (which can be anywhere between 7-9 hours) and you will find yourself snacking less. It’s easier said than done in the current climate but more sleep can do wonders for your overall health. There are a number of hints and tips available on line for achieving a better night’s sleep. Right now, during this enforced time of self isolation is a perfect way to start to reinforce some new better sleep habits.

5 – Eat the Right Portions

If you’re snacking more and more, have you considered looking at your overall portion size during meals? For breakfast, lunch and dinner you may not be providing your body with big enough portions to actually function. If the meal is healthy, then a bigger portion is always preferable to constant snacking.

See Your Dentist and Hygienist

At some point in the near future, our life will return to normal and you may find that you did snack more than you should have during self-isolation. And we expect many people will be looking to check up on their oral health with a dentist and hygienist once the current self-isolation advice is lifted. Dental Solutions is currently closed due to COVID-19 restrictions, but we are available via phone or e mail in the first instance for advice and emergencies for our registered patients between 9-11 am Monday- Friday. Please call us on 01925 756565 or e mail us on [email protected].

If you are interested in becoming a new patient at our practice once we reopen, please fill in the practice contact form.

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