Food for thought:

Eating well to stay healthy

Healthy Living > Physical health > Eating well to stay healthy

Blog Article | By Simplyhealth & HeadUp 29 April 2020

You can find tips on self-isolation and staying well pretty much everywhere at the moment. But you need to find advice that works for you and is actually achievable. Enter, HeadUp


Our friends at HeadUp, the maker of the HeadUp Labs app for helping to improve health, have shared tips on how eating fresh food can help you in lockdown. Tips to help you reduce stress, avoid weight gain, and stay as happy as possible.

Is stress affecting what you eat? 


Your body's stress response deals really well with immediate threats. Angry dog running at you with teeth bared? Bam! Your body releases a boost of adrenaline that says, run!


But, it can break down a little when faced with prolonged threats, like the coronavirus.


When we've been on-edge for days on end, stress hormones, like cortisol, remain elevated in our body. Research from Harvard Medical School suggests this can result in an increased appetite for foods high in sugar, fat, and salt – in other words, comfort food! These foods only make us feel good while we're eating them, plus, they make it much harder to keep that BMI in the healthy range!


This link between stress and eating suggests that to maintain our weight, we need to learn to manage our emotions. The more you reflect on your feelings, the more you'll learn about how they affect other areas of your health – and what you can do about it.


Tip: make sure you have a supply of healthy snacks in the house and fewer sugary, fatty, salty snacks.


It's not just eating that's affected as well. Are you struggling to sleep because of stress? Discover how to sleep better.

Avoid the gain, aim to maintain! 


Losing weight can be a hard slog at the best of times – throw a global pandemic into the mix, and you've got a real doozy on your hands! Yep, social distancing and lockdown laws mean there's a lot less moving and a lot more eating going on right now – in other words, it's prime time for piling on the pounds. 


If you're trying to lose weight, here's a suggestion: shift your short-term goal to a more achievable target; like preventing weight gain, rather than aiming to lose. While it's good to be challenged, research tells us that if it's too challenging, you're more likely to throw in the towel.  




  • Cook your meals. You're likely to consume fewer calories and move more while zipping around the kitchen. You could even video call a friend and socialise while you're at it. 
  • Get dressed. Pyjamas and tracksuits may be comfy, but their loose fit can give the illusion that all is well! Wear your jeans instead - they don't lie.
  • Be mindful of why you snack. Are you eating out of boredom? Can you do something else instead? Grazing isn't amazing. 

Don't go bananas – eat them!  


Right now, COVID-19 has most of us stocking up on grocery items with a long shelf-life – and we get it – but don't forget to keep buying and eating your fresh produce too.


Research tells us that fuelling up on fruit and veg can strengthen your immune system - and it's also likely to improve your mood. 


Statistics from HeadUp Labs found that those who snack on fruit every day are 12% more likely to experience good moods than those who don't! 


Can't find it fresh? Look for frozen! Because they hit the freezer soon after being picked, frozen fruit and veg are often just as nutritious as fresh! 


You're probably spending more time indoors as well, right? If so, this could be the ideal time to get in touch with your inner Jamie Oliver. Ignoring the end-product pictures of course, not sure we've ever managed to replicate that perfect outcome.


Want to start growing your own fresh produce at home? Find tips in our Grow your own veg guide

Eat fresh, stay healthy


We want you to stay healthy and avoid coronavirus. Making sure you wash your hands often with soap, whether you're handling food or have just been shopping, can help you maintain hygiene and stop the spread. The sooner we can help reduce cases of the virus, the sooner we can all enjoy a little more freedom again. Keep following NHS advice to stay well.

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About HeadUp


HeadUp is a leading science and technology company. The HeadUp app helps users analyse, manage and improve their overall health and lifestyle. Users sync their device to the app and see their personal health dashboard come to life. The app paints a clear picture of their health, identifies areas that need more love and helps them make the changes they need to live a happier, healthier life.

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