A crisis is labelled a ‘crisis’ for a reason. During this COVID-19 pandemic that has forced the government to impose a 21-day lockdown, how to exactly stay on track with your weight management goals may not be at the top of your priority list; and that is understandable.
But just because your gym is closed or you cannot have your regular protein shake in the morning doesn’t mean you can’t stay healthy and be on course to reach your weight loss goals. If anything, it is almost critical that you keep up with healthy habits and don’t let them out of sight. That way, you can come out of this lockdown a fitter individual, in body and mind.
Stated below are simple but effective ways you can keep those extra pounds away while you are socially distancing yourself and staying quarantined at home:
Just because you are staying locked up at home doesn’t mean you have to eat something every time you go near the kitchen. You must build a routine and maintain normalcy, and a big part of it is about planning your meals. It will keep you from late-night bingeing, considering you’d be eating at the right time and your body would be getting the nutrition it deserves.
During the lockdown, you will be working from home. In such a situation, it can be challenging to keep yourself nourished, considering you will have to attend to those living with you. Your objective should be to eat at regular intervals and only when you’re hungry.
It will help to eat at the same spot as well. Once you start eating anywhere in the house, you will tend to over-pick foods and binge. Make it a point to eat only in the designated dining area; that way, you can clean and close the kitchen until the next snack. A little scheduling here will go a long way.
There is no point in eating a half-baked meal that isn’t satiating. To avoid the hunger pangs from coming back right after you’ve eaten a full meal, make sure your plate is filled with the right ‘whole’ foods (items that are unrefined and unprocessed or processed only as necessary, at the time of consumption).
Make sure you include good proteins (eggs, chicken, lean meat, seafood, low-fat dairy products), healthy fats (nuts, seeds, olive oil, egg yolk) and fibre (fruits and vegetables, whole grains) in your diet. This way, you will feel satiated after a meal, and not reach out for foods that are high on unhealthy fats and low on the nutrient count.
Snacking is OK. You will always want to munch on something in between meals. The good part is that many healthy snack options will keep you from falling out of your weight loss regimen. Put the snacks in small containers instead of digging right into the packet; it will help to limit portions.
The idea is to be smart with your snack choices. Keep roasted makhana (lotus seeds), oat crackers, khakhras (whole wheat crisps) and other high-protein roasted mixture at home. Don’t munch mindlessly on snacks that are packed to the brim with trans fatty acids that cause a spike in your LDL (bad cholesterol) levels.
It can be tempting to curl up on the bed all day long and binge on your favourite movies. But it certainly isn’t a good idea. Multiple studies have linked prolonged sedentary habits with an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and other lifestyle disorders including heart diseases, obesity and stroke.
Now that you are quarantined at home, build an indoor cardiovascular workout session in your routine. Spot jogging, jumping jacks, and high knees fit the bill. Strength exercises (squats, push-ups and pull-ups) are a must as well. If you are not sure where to start, you have a range of health and exercise apps on the internet to guide you.
Remember, the idea is to keep moving and getting regular physical activity.
Remember that emotion-induced eating is common, particularly during a high-stress time that the world is going through right now. If you want to eat, ask yourself if you are really hungry or just stressed out. There are several ways to limit stress.
These include practising relaxation techniques, talking to a family member or friend, and getting adequate sleep. A 7-hour snooze time at night maintains your body’s circadian rhythm, thereby keeping a check on unnecessary stress.7