Stressed Out? Prevent COVID Weight Gain

By: Amanda A. Kostro Miller, RD, LDN

If you’re like many people, you tend to overeat or crave unhealthy foods during times of stress.

While weight management and healthy eating are always important, stress can make it harder for you to stick to your goals.

Since we’re all in the thick of COVID-19, we wanted to give you a list of dietary tips to prevent stress weight gain.

 

Dietary Coping Tips During Stress

Whether you’re eating too much or you’re choosing unhealthy foods, we’ve got great ideas for you!

 

Craving something fatty?

Try guacamole! Unsaturated fats from avocado are very healthy and will keep you satisfied for hours.

However, avocados do contain lots of calories, so make sure you portion control.

Make your own guacamole with these ingredients:

  • Avocado
  • Onion
  • Tomato
  • Jalapeno peppers (optional)

 

Craving salty and crunchy?

Make veggie chips at home! Store-bought veggie chips are usually loaded with sodium, oils, calories, and other additives.

Which veggies are best?

  • Zucchini
  • Tomato
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Sweet potatoes

Here’s how to make veggie chips at home:

  1. Slice the veggies up very thin, and put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
  2. Lightly season with olive oil and spices. Don’t put too much because they shrink in the oven, which can make the seasoning too strong!
  3. Bake! Different veggies need specific temperatures and bake times, but you want the veggies to be dry, crispy, and toasted.

 

Craving sweets?

To curb a sweet craving, go for something that is naturally sweet… fresh fruit! Berries, bananas, pears, and other fresh fruits can do the trick.

If you still want a little more sweetness, drizzle some honey or put a dollop of whipped cream on your fruit.

 

Munchies won’t go away?

Some days you eat and you’re still hungry… Bummer! For days like these, look for low calorie snacks that can fill up your stomach and keep you full for several hours.

Try plain popcorn for munchies management. It’s very low in calories (only 30 calories per 1 cup) and fills you up quickly.

 

Are you hungry (or actually thirsty)?

We often mistake hunger for thirst. Make sure you always have water on hand to sip on all day.

When you find yourself hungry before mealtime, drink a glass of water, wait 30 minutes and reassess if you’re still hungry. You may find that you feel good once you drink the water.

 

Does alcohol calm you down?

Alcohol can be a slippery slope, especially during times of stress. Not only does alcohol have lots of calories that can make you gain weight, but it also can increase depression and prevent good-quality sleep.

If you’ve increased your alcohol intake during quarantine, consider cutting back for weight loss, improved mood, more motivation, and better sleep.

 

Want More Stress Coping Tips?

Besides diet, you can also manage stress with physical activity and better sleep!

Learn how to improve these areas of your life by clicking the links below:

Lose Weight and Get Stronger

Sleep Better Now