The best ways to maintain your diet during the coronavirus pandemic

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- In an effort to combat the 'quarantine 15,' a registered dietician says the most important thing, right now, is to be kind to yourself.

"It is kind of a new and unique time for all of us that we're just trying to navigate," Lindsey Harrigan, a registered dietitian. "So one: I would say is be gentle and kind with yourself. And start to develop some routine; we are creatures of habit and we thrive on routine."

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Harrigan said it's important to try and find a new normal by setting up meal and snack times and consistently fueling throughout the day, aiming for every 3 to 5 hours.

"Making sure if you're now working from home, which is new for you, set up your office away from the kitchen," she said. "Really try to remove yourself from that temptation a little bit."

Harrigan's next tip is to stay hydrated. Drinking around half of your body weight in ounces and trying to think about what healthy foods you can add to your diet versus what you need to take out.

"That is a very common theme that all or nothing approach to food," Harrigan said. "I would try to remind yourself that one less nutrient-dense meal isn't going to turn your health around. When you are having a snack or a meal, prepare it, put it on a plate, put it in a bowl and sit down and enjoy it. Try not to be doing other things."

Lindsey says it's important to try and find some control right now while also remembering that it is okay to sometimes go off track.

"This is an unfamiliar time for everyone," she said. "Sometimes food is comforting and that's okay that's part of normal intuitive eating is kind of giving your body what it needs being very gentle with yourself and kind."
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