How to avoid the snack cupboard

Healthy eating during self-isolation

Over the coming weeks, staying healthy and making sure we keep active is more important than ever. As work and other pastimes temporarily take a back seat for many of us, we may find we have more time and head space to think about improving our own health and well-being.

Some people will thrive in the current situation, having no issue spending time at home alone or with family. Many others find this difficult, succumbing to boredom, frustration and feeling upset about the disruption to their regular routines. Feelings like this have the potential to derail your efforts to eat healthily, so we’re here to offer some tips to keep you on track during these strange times!

Here’s three common struggles you might be experiencing at the moment and three solutions to help you not only cope, but take this opportunity to make changes for the better.

1. Feeling worried and anxious

We are all living with uncertainty right now, which has the potential to lead to stress and anxiety. One of the ways many people cope with these feelings is to turn to something familiar and comfortable….this is often foods we enjoy and make us feel better in the moment. Few people grab a lettuce when they are feeling anxious, we all know it’s more likely to be chocolate biscuits or a few glasses of wine or beer!

2. Boredom and feeling lonely

Once the novelty of sitting around the house all day wears off, boredom and restlessness may start to creep in. With more free time on our hands it is easy to start filling the day with cooking, baking and frequent trips to the snack cupboard, as we constantly search for external stimulation. This is totally natural, but can start to become a problem for your waistline…

3. Our kitchens are brimming with food!

Since we’re advised to keep shopping trips to an absolute minimum, lots of us have been stocking up on essentials to keep us going. This means that our cupboards are overflowing with tasty food, which we intend to last a long time. In reality, it’s very difficult to ration food when it’s so accessible and just knowing it’s there can cause trouble. Each time you open the cupboard, all sorts of temptations await! The crisps you bought to eat over the course of two weeks can easily be devoured over two nights binge watching Netflix!


1. “Notice – Pause – Check in”

NOTICE – Simply being aware of a habit and having a strategy ready can sometimes be enough to keep you out of the snack cupboard. In practice, this means that you should make a conscious effort to be aware of how many times you are snacking around your main meals.

PAUSE – If you find yourself picking up a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar, once you notice, try to pause and think about what you’re doing. Often a five second pause can be enough time to snap you out of autopilot and help you make a more informed decision.

CHECK IN – Once you have paused to think, take a few moments to ask yourself if you are actually hungry? When did you last eat? Could you in fact be thirsty? Are you just bored…?

Top TIP- sometimes you will find yourself staring into the fridge because you are genuinely hungry, there is nothing wrong with that! However, always ask yourself “is there a healthier, more fulfilling option that I can choose?”

2. Stick to a meal plan

Avoiding snacking altogether simply isn’t feasible and is likely to result in you overeating at the point you finally cave and let yourself have a treat. However, a great way to minimise the impact of snacking on your diet is to plan your meals, including snacks, and prepare food in advance. Take some time to write down a list of healthy meals for the week, along with nutritious snacks you can have in between. It’s fine to allow yourself a treat, the key is to maintain moderation. Planning your meals in this way can give you something to look forward to.

3. Find alternative methods of self-care

There are many different ways that you can find comfort and relieve boredom which don’t involve a family pack of Doritos. This is a unique opportunity for you to spend time working on self development, rediscover a forgotten hobby, and set up positive new strategies which you can continue into the future. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:

  • Listen to your favourite music. Enjoy listening to an album, start to finish, no interruptions!
  • Write a journal or diary
  • Call or Facetime a friend you’ve not spoken to for a while
  • Meditate – see our previous blog for tips for beginners
  • Take time to stretch and work on flexibility
  • Experiment with healthy new recipes
  • Learn something – research a topic of interest
  • Have a warm bath or walk in the fresh air
  • Have a go at one of our JD GYMS HOME workouts