It is natural to feel stressed, anxious, and to worry during a time of crisis. For the past thirteen months, we have been living in a worldwide pandemic with restrictions and stay-at-home orders resulting in feelings of isolation which has impacted our fitness and nutrition strategies. Last month, I blogged about Three Reasons Why You Want to Exercise and it was well-received. Following up to it, let’s explore my Three Tips to Lose Weight anytime, especially during a global pandemic.
Pandemic = Sedentary + Stress
As a general population in North America, we were living a sedentary lifestyle prior to March 2020. Today, with the restrictions, the device and sofa time can easily increase! Numerous studies have shown the benefits and positive outcomes of exercising regularly. Along with a decrease in exercise, our food habits have changed. From how we grocery shop to mealtimes, the pandemic restrictions have messed up our schedules, and what’s interesting, we may be eating to cope with the added stress the pandemic has caused. If you’re looking to lose those “covid 19 lbs”, here are my top three tips.
Tip One – Drink Up!
Drinking is especially important when it comes to weight loss and weight management. And I don’t mean adding an extra glass of wine or dessert coffees, like a 250 calorie Frappuccino from your local drive-thru. Although, I know how exciting it is during lockdown to go on a mini road trip to get groceries with specialty coffee on the way!
Hydrate with water, fruits, and vegetables to maintain an energized metabolism, a sharp memory, stable mood, and repair cell membranes. Fill up your water glass in the morning, at lunch, and mid-afternoon to avoid eating when you are thirsty. You may feel hungry, but I’ll bet you are actually thirsty! The Institutes of Medicine recommends this guideline for total fluid intake from all foods and beverages for men is about 13 cups (3 L) and for women, it’s about 9 cups (2 L).
Tip Two – Remember Mealtime?
Before the pandemic, we had schedules inside and outside of the house. Now, we’re in the home for most of the day. Mealtimes have blurred, plus we may be snacking more, due to the access, boredom, and potentially stress. As a result, we may have developed habits where we are not allowing our bodies to fast properly between eating. So, get back on track with mealtimes and avoid the continual snacking day and night.
Early in the pandemic, I wrote about Intermittent Fasting (IF) in July 2020. IF has become popular over the past few years due to its potential weight loss and health benefits. The 16:8 Method seems to be the trendy approach among healthy individuals. It is less complicated and disruptive to the traditional routine of breakfast, lunch, and supper but within an eight-hour window of eating, then you fast for 16 hours. General claims include improved sleep, digestion, mental clarity, and weight loss.
Tip Three – Develop Habits that Don’t involve Eating
With so much time spent at home during the pandemic, access to the kitchen has been an important factor for the opportunity to eat more and move less. I encourage you to develop healthy daily coping habits which don’t involve eating. Dedicate 30 minutes daily to reading for fun, meditation, or yoga and 30 minutes of daily fitness such as power walking. How about adding an extra 5 to 10 minutes to your daily fitness on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays? It has and continues to be a challenge adjusting to pandemic life, but let’s find healthy habits to distract us from mindless eating!
Eating well and staying active is more important than ever as we navigate the global pandemic and transition out over the next year. Stay hydrated, remember mealtimes, and develop fun, healthy habits that don’t involve eating.
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