With many of us sat less than a hop skip and jump away from our fridges over the past couple of months, it has certainly been a challenge to restrict our diets and stay below our calorie deficit.

With an abundance of cooking ideas, plenty of free time on our hands and abnormally over stacked shelves, many of us have a gained a few extra pounds, but is your relationship with food a love affair or a business decision?

For years, the media has blasted us with tumultuous diet fads and organic, gluten free and fat free options, levelling up too little more than binge eating and secret food stashes.

Being in an office or out on the road makes us less inclined to continuously eat and is more difficult to get hold of food at our every whim, however with the lockdown crisis, every part of our working day and social gatherings have been in the confines of our homes, allowing our mental state to feel free with food, having the permanent accessibility of anything that frequents our cupboards.

After training in fitness modelling at a young age I learnt about nutrition, food categories, daily intakes and weight management, which has completely changed my aspect of how I view food and how I have manged to continuously lose weight through lockdown, here’s how:

Curb Your Emotions

No two days are ever the same, we have a fluctuation of emotions for all sorts of daily occurrences, whether this be anger, stress, sleep deprivation, bereavement, excitement or happiness, in turn our body functionality transcend these emotions with either sadness or happiness – eating through reward or eating through guilt. Having an emotional attachment to food is the biggest weakness, it may fill a temporary void or substitute a moment of euphoria but it has no long-term fulfilment, by removing all emotional attachment to food, you will see it as an extension of your day fuelling your goals and achievements, instead of being led by it.

Shake Up Your Status Quo

Personally I have a terrible habit of eating the same foods, breakfast, lunch and dinner for weeks on end, perhaps it is laziness or comfort, but I usually stick to the foods I know suit my macros ( macronutrients - macros for short, are what makes up the calorie content of food ) However regularly changing up your food routine gets your body out of zombie mode and into supercharging, for instance trying a juice cleanse for 5 days or cutting out sugars and carbohydrates for a period of time, this wakes up your metabolism and increases blood flow to break down fat cells.

Appreciate Your Plate

The odd donut, Indian takeout and afternoon packet of crisps is something you may be accustom to, but these types of foods should be a prized rarity. Stocking up on natural foods that are made without additives, preservatives and sell by dates are crucial to living a healthier a fuller life, harmful chemicals and over processed food choices are leading our population down a road of life threatening diseases and terminal outcomes. Holding back on feeding your cravings and supplementing it with a nutritious option will give you a different outlook on food, make you respect your body’s actual needs and desires and also make you appreciate having a treat once in a while.

Portion Sizes

It may sound crass but I have a mantra my grandfather taught me to never finish everything on your plate, and still to this day I live by it. Piling high a mountain of food will ensure those love handles stay bulging over your jeans, it takes approximately 20 minutes for your body to realise it is full, so eating smaller pieces, and savouring each bite will keep excessive eating at bay. I haven’t always lived by eating in food categories as I am vegan so many of the categories are not in my diet, such as meat, milk and cheeses, however eating proportionally to your body type regardless of how many food groups you are including in your diet is the only way to stay in a calorie maintenance and below deficit.

Fuel For Life

The answer to any dieting query is always water, there is a rare few people that actually consume what is needed every day to stay healthy and hydrated. A lot of the time our bodies need water to help digest, sweat and assist in brain function, so the hunger we feel and noise in our stomachs is a desire for water not food. 60% of our bodies are already made up water, so consumption recommendations are 2-3 litres per day at minimum.

Whether eating through sheer boredom, emotional unrest or hormonal imbalance, food is a staple of our life not a dictator, working on your relationship with food, understanding your body’s desires and eating a balanced diet when your body is indicating it, is key to sustaining a healthy weight. When it comes to losing weight just cut down your intake further and change up your choices as regularly as possible, and steer clear of anything that isn’t naturally grown.