Whether we like it or not, most of us are stuck at home for now. This means that we’re getting less exercise, snacking a lot more, and stressing ourselves out. Under these circumstances, weight gain may seem inevitable and weight control almost impossible. But, here’s a reminder. Life hasn’t come to an end, it’s only on pause, and you still want to be beach ready when this is all over. So, instead of wallowing in self-pity or despair, seize this downtime as an opportunity to refocus and put yourself first. Staying focused on weight control or weight management is far from impossible and here are 7 simple weight control tips to help you get started.
Simple Tips for Weight Control During the Lockdown
Staying focused on weight control or weight management may seem almost impossible right now, but it’s not. Here are 7 simple tips for weight control during the lockdown.
1. Meal Prep Matters
Without your regular commute to work and the need to juggle an insane workload, the need for meal planning can seem redundant. In truth, meal planning is even more important during the lockdown. A study published in The International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity shows that meal prep can significantly improve diet quality, food variety, balanced nutrition, and weight control. Meal prep allows you to gain greater control over your diet, in terms of both nutrition and portion control. After all, it’s easier to stay the course when you have your food portioned out and ready in advance.
2. Order Healthy Takeout
Most of us have switched, almost entirely, to cooking meals at home. Aside from the fact that it’s a healthy choice, it’s also one that we’ve been forced into as most local restaurants have been shut. That said, many restaurants still offer takeaway and home delivery services. Ordering takeout is perhaps the best way to break the monotony of eating your own home prepped meals and to support local restaurants during the lockdown. Just make sure that you’re mindful about your food choices, opting for green salads and grilled meats instead of deep fried foods, burgers, and pizzas. Be sure to also watch how much you eat, as restaurants tend to serve oversized meals that are actually meant for 2 people.
3. Avoid Emotional Eating
With the uncertainty around us and the loneliness of social distancing, many of us are struggling to cope with comfort food. While snacking can be a great way to avoid overeating and to maintain healthy body weight, stress eating or emotional eating can be extremely unhealthy. Indulging in unhealthy junk foods frequently will inevitably lead to weight gain and a whole lot of health risks. At the same time, it won’t do you much good in terms of boosting your mood as the mood boost is only temporary, but you’re then left with guilt and even stronger food cravings.
4. Fill Up With Fiber, Complex Carbs, and Proteins
If you’re trying to keep a check on body weight, sugar and simple carbs are the worst things to put in your body. Foods that are high in sugar and simple carbs will cause a spike in blood glucose levels. Not only does this increase fat storage, but it also increases the frequency and severity of food cravings. This means cutting back on most ultra-processed foods, especially cookies, donuts, and other desserts. Complex carbs from fresh fruits and veggies are healthier choices and will also increase your fiber intake, keeping you satiated for longer. Healthy proteins from lean meats like chicken, turkey, and fish or eggs will also help to reduce food cravings and the risk of overeating.
5. Try Mindful Eating
You’ve probably heard of mindfulness meditation, which is a meditative practice that helps cope with stress, anxiety, and depression. While mindfulness will obviously help cope with lockdown stress, it can also be applied to eating. Mindful eating is the practice of eating in a more focused manner, paying greater attention to your body and to your food. It trains you to become more attuned to your body, helping distinguish between hunger and cravings, creates an appreciation for healthy food, and lowers the risk of overeating or making poor food choices.
6. Keep Moving
There’s no denying the fact that it’s harder to workout and stay motivated when every neighborhood gym is shut. They will be back eventually, but in the meantime you can work up a sweat at a home. You can use online workout videos and tutorials to find routines that are perfectly suited for you. Most of these home workout programs don’t require gym equipment or props, but they can be pretty intensive. In fact, many Instagrammers and other social media users have embraced lockdown fitness challenges to get in shape during the shutdown.
7. Don’t Skimp on Sleep
Sleep may seem like the least important thing when you’re focused on controlling your weight, but you couldn’t be more wrong. Sleep has a direct impact on the levels of hormones that regulate hunger, with studies showing that sleep deprivation or poor sleep quality can increase food cravings and the likelihood of weight gain. Aside from weight gain, the lockdown would be a good time to catch up on sleep because of its impact on immunity, which is perhaps your best defense against coronavirus infection.