LOCKDOWN laziness wrecked my diet and dulled any desire to get out and exercise.
Working from home, I’ve been snacking on junk food as it’s easier to prepare than healthier alternatives — and this left me feeling a bit rubbish, so I decided to switch it up for a week.
Here, I examine the difference in both my wallet and overall well-being, by swapping greasy takeaways for a more stripped back “healthy” diet.
Looking back, I definitely went a bit far on cutting out meat during my healthy eating week.
And it’s not necessarily a good thing, as our nutritionist has advised me.
Like many others when the Covid-19 pandemic struck, my diet suffered as we were all confined to our homes for days and even weeks on end.
Eight months in, I don’t really have the same excuses that I did back in March.
Being strict with my diet was tough, especially after several months of eating and gorging on whatever I fancied.
But the healthy eating week really opened my eyes to how bad my diet had actually become.
HEALHY EATING WEEK
Quorn sausages for breakfast, lunch of fruit salad and then Quorn fillets, broccoli and carrots for dinner. To drink, I had my coffee without sugar, and also water.
Porridge for breakfast, followed by a fruit salad for lunch and for dinner I had chicken and pasta, while sticking to the sugar-free coffee and water.
Breakfast of gluten-free toast and lunch of fruit salad. Plant burger for dinner, washed down with water and coffee.
Another breakfast of Quorn sausages, followed by a fruit salad for lunch and some Quorn Bites and pasta for dinner. To drink, I had a smoothie, water and coffee.
Breakfast of gluten-free toast, followed by low-fat ice cream for lunch and dinner was the plant burger again. Drinks of a smoothie, water and coffee.
Brekkie of porridge, followed by a fruit salad lunch, then a dinner of Quorn Bites and pasta. To drink, I tried some Guinness 0.0, a smoothie, water and coffee.
Quorn Sausages replaced the fry-up and it was back to the low-fat ice cream for lunch. Dinner of Quorn Fillets and pasta, all washed down with water and coffee.
I completely cut out chocolate and ate a lot more fruit and veg. I snacked on the low-fat ice-cream and a mixture of grapes and berries.
Switching to a more fruit and veg based diet definitely gave me a boost and I felt like my sleep improved drastically. I also noticed I didn’t have a lull in energy around lunchtime like I did when I consumed junk food — my energy was spread out more evenly throughout the day.
I also actually wanted to exercise and didn’t feel completely burned out at the end of each day. It wasn’t all positive though, I wasn’t a fan of the meat-free options — they weren’t bad, I just wasn’t used to them.
FINDING A BALANCE
They didn’t taste as bad as I thought they would, but I wouldn’t be rushing out to eat them again.
I will however try and incorporate some meat-free days into my diet while also limiting my junk-food consumption.
I will cut back on how much chocolate I eat and will definitely eat more fruit and veg.
Overall, I spent slightly more money eating junk food, but I got way more food in the process.
JUNK FOOD WEEK
Breakfast fry-up of bacon, sausages, white pudding and toast followed by lunch of chicken fillet roll from Spar and a Goodfellas pizza for dinner. Washed down throughout the day with three cups of coffee, two glasses of Coke and apple juice.
Bacon sandwich for brekkie followed by a pack of King crisps with a chocolate bar for lunch. A 4-in-1 from the local Chinese takeaway for dinner. Drank two coffees, a glass of Coke and orange juice.
Another fry of bacon, sausages, white pudding and toast followed by two grilled chicken wraps for lunch and steak and chips for dinner. Washed down with water, tea, coffee and a can of Club Orange.
Two slices of toast for breakfast and then a ham sandwich for lunch and a pack of King crisps. Dinner was a chicken legend meal from McDonalds and I drank coffee, two small bottles of Coke and apple juice.
A solitary doughnut to kick off the day, followed by a chicken fillet roll and then burger and chips for dinner. I drank a glass of Coke, can of Fanta, and coffee.
Two slices of toast, followed by a ham sandwich, then home-made curry for dinner all washed down with cans of Orchard Thieves, two glasses of Coke and coffee.
A fry-up for breakfast, so lunch was just a chocolate bar. Burger and chips for dinner, with a glass of Coke, cup of tea, and apple juice throughout the day.
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I found both sides of the spectrum were too extreme — eating junk food all day every day made me feel sluggish, but consuming veggie options had me craving meat.
The key is to strike a good balance between the two.
And sure what’s the harm in having a treat every now and again?