Great Britain

From booze to boredom snacking, get back on track and give up your lockdown vices after 73 long days

FEELING more than a tad unhealthy after lolling around in lockdown, bingeing on Netflix and boozing a tad too much?

Then follow our simple solutions to get you back on track in no time.

Yesterday we revealed almost half of us are boozing earlier in the day than in February, with 55 per cent also upping the number of days they drink.

And another 34 per cent said they were in poorer physical health since isolation began.

As we hit Day 73 of lockdown, walks in the park have become calorie-packed picnics. And as for fitness guru Joe Wicks and his workouts . . . Joe who?

With bad lockdown habits setting in, if we don’t act soon, we could find it harder to break out of them long-term.

Here are our easy-to-follow tips to help banish those unlocky vices.

Cut the alcohol

OFF-LICENCE alcohol sales have soared by nearly a THIRD since lockdown hit.

And when we have a fridge full of wine, beer and spirits a ten-second walk from the sofa, it’s all too easy to make boozing a regular habit.

No one is suggesting we give it up in lockdown, but make it a treat. Look up local pubs that are serving takeaway pints and make a weekend date to walk there with your partner/family/friends.

Not only will it get you active, it will feel more of a treat to sup a draught pint in the park.

Plus it’s more expensive and the queue will put you off having more than one or two. Lots of us are raising a glass or two while having virtual meet-ups with friends on Zoom.

This is fine in moderation but if it’s every other day, your alcohol intake soon spirals.

Suggest alternative ways of socialising online, maybe doing a virtual escape room or quizzes with your pals.

Often it’s boredom or habit that makes us reach for booze, so try out some alcohol-free cocktails.

Look up mocktail recipes online and make yourself a delicious mock-quarantini instead.

From a virgin mojito to a ginger fizz, you will soon forget there’s no alcohol involved.

Stop boredom snacking

SNACKING is on the up and it is largely a result of boredom rather than hunger.

Instead of opening the kitchen cupboards when you are having a dull day, make sure you have other things to occupy you.

Write a list of them on a Post-it note and stick it on the biscuit tin/fridge/cupboard door.

It could be anything from “call Mum” to “start a new puzzle” or “paint your nails”.

It’s a good idea, also, to plan ahead when it comes to meals.

Lockdown means we are making less frequent trips to the shops and if we have nothing planned, when hunger strikes, what the belly wants can overrule what our head says we should have.

Plan your weekday meals so you have the ingredients in and know what you are making, rather than being tempted by takeaways or ready meals.

Quarantine has thrown meal times into disarray.

Bring back structure to your day with set meal times and make sure you stick within ten minutes of them.

If you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner at the same times you are less likely to allow yourself to get extremely hungry, which is when we then overeat.

Regular sources of food can also keep your mind happy.

Time to get fit

IT is not easy to stay motivated to move – but if you have an incentive it helps.

Lots of shops are opening this month so look up which are near you and get set for a bit of window shopping.

Plan a walking route there instead of driving, too. You will soon up that step count.

Likewise, if your kids are back at school, walk with them there and back.

And ditch sitting at a desk in the corner of the spare room for that work meeting or catch-up with friends – instead, take it outside.

When you fancy an hour-long natter with a mate, plug in some headphones and do it while walking in your local park. Have a long work call? Do the same again.

You will be amazed how many steps add up and how many calories you burn while walking as you talk.

If you need motivation to exercise, get your friends involved. It is easy to talk yourself out of exercise but harder to tell someone else you failed to do it.

Suggest logging on to the same free live workout together. Or set each other challenges such as skipping non-stop for five minutes – and swap videos of you nailing the task.

Adding this accountability will help you move more.

Lose the square eyes

IT is tempting to choose activities that involve sitting down, from watching TV and reading a book to doing a puzzle.

Try more active pursuits that keep the mind and body active.

Choose a room and see what you can do to improve it, whether it’s rearranging it completely or properly sorting through a wardrobe or cupboard from top to bottom.

Not only will it keep you active, you’ll get a real sense of achievement after.

It is more tempting than ever to binge watch a new Netflix series in lockdown.

But just like with an entire chocolate cake, it is better to spread out the consumption than have it all at once.

Set rules in the house for only one episode of anything to be viewed a day.

It will stop you sitting for hours and will keep the brain active between watching.

A new lockdown routine means many of us are staying up later and getting less sleep due to bad diets and lack of exercise.

This just makes us lazier during the day.

Try to go to bed early enough to get nine hours of sleep.

To help you nod off, ditch technology before bed, have a sleep-inducing bath and try not to eat too much sugar in the evening.

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