5 Things You Need To Know About Nutrition During Self-Isolation

Apr 10, 2020

Author:  Will Davis, MSc

Some people may be using this period of self-isolation as an opportunity to take control of things, including their training and nutrition, and actually lose some body fat.

Other people may have previously had control and are now worried that this drastic change to their daily routine will result in putting body fat on during this period of isolation.

Whilst others may simply want a bit of guidance about nutrition when stuck at home all day.

Whatever your situation, here’s 5 things you need to know about nutrition during self-isolation.

1. You will almost certainly require fewer calories

Due to being stuck inside all day and the governments restricting how much outdoor activity you can do, overall energy expenditure will be lower.

If energy expenditure is lower, then overall calorie intake should be lowered accordingly, preferably from carbohydrates and fat.

This is all the more reason to still try and keep as active as possible, even if it means doing laps of the garden and/or several trips up and down the stairs.

2. You'll need to handle boredom

One problem you may encounter from being stuck at home all day is that you find you have an increased appetite, which is a direct result of boredom.

A great way to handle this is to keep your mind distracted - a book, a puzzle, laps of the garden and/or several trips up and down the stairs can help redirect your focus and lower your appetite.

3. Keep protein intake UP

Logically, if your activity levels were less and you were doing less intense exercise, then you could expect to have a lower protein requirement.

However, whilst this is true, don’t forget the other benefit of protein - hunger control. The better control you have over hunger and appetite, the easier it will be to control overall calorie intake.

So don't neglect your protein intake.

(It will also help you preserve your muscle mass and metabolism during quarantine). Lean meat, fish, eggs, pulses, protein supplements and dairy* are all great sources. *Although dairy does have quite a high fat content, so be mindful of quantities.

4. Focus on 'nutrient dense' foods and minimise processed foods

Yes, this is what you should probably be doing anyway, but now it may be more important than ever. Firstly, highly nutritious food in the diet means better control of hunger/appetite.

Secondly, highly processed foods can impair the immune system. Not ideal at the moment.

5. Keep your exercise regime up

Here’s why:

  • High-intensity exercise increases levels of hormones that can blunt hunger
  • Exercise can help improve mood and mental well-being, something that is incredibly important at the moment
  • Exercise can strengthen the immune system, also very important
  • Some regular bodyweight exercise can go a very long way to preserving strength, muscle and metabolism - not things you want to plummet during self-isolation
  • It’s more fun that doing laps of the garden and/or several trips and down the stairs may be necessary.



Does self-isolation mean you have to be super strict and can’t enjoy some of your favourite foods and drinks?

Of course, not.

But it may do you a lot of good to make a big effort to eat more nutrient-rich foods that not only support your immune system, but help to keep your hunger and appetite under control so that you don’t undo all your hard work from training pre-lockdown.



Will Davis became BNBA Certified in November 2019 at Tribute Boxing, Melbourne, Australia.  He is a personal trainer and strength coach based in Sydney. 

His work involves helping his clients to restore their confidence -  by boosting their strength, and incinerating unwanted body fat. 

WIll also provides strength and conditioning coaching to many amateur and professional  boxers, helping them to be more explosive and resilient. 

Follow WIll on IG: @will_davis_training

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