By Sheila Johnson
If you put on a few pounds during the coronavirus lockdown,
you’re certainly not alone. With the shutdown of gyms, parks, and other
recreational centers, many people lost their source of daily exercise. The
resulting increase in sedentary behaviors, along with some stress snacking on
guilt-ridden treats, was bound to disrupt our overall wellness in one way or
another. Whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds or just reclaim your
daytime energy, check out the following tips to get your health back on track
after the lockdown!
Get Excited About
Following a strict
diet is frustrating, demotivating, and very often an ineffective way to
lose weight and keep it off for the long run. Instead of following the next big
diet trend, find some healthy recipes you really enjoy and get comfortable
cooking them yourself. Healthy meals can be surprisingly tasty! For example,
Foodies Today recommends
using items you already have in your pantry to throw together nutritious
meals like legume quesadillas, slow-cooker stews, and skillet rice. Stick to
versatile recipes, like these carrot, zucchini, and potato patties,
and you’ll never run out of exciting, healthy options.
Need some help getting started with clean eating? Use online
job boards like to find a freelance dietitian who can help you develop a healthy
eating plan that best fits your lifestyle. Some other freelance professionals
who can help you along your weight-loss journey include physical trainers and
weight loss coaches.
It’s easy to overeat when you’re distracted by your
smartphone or favorite TV show. One of the easiest ways to control your portions
is to turn off those distractions and be mindful of what and how you’re eating.
First off, Mindful.org recommends listening to your body’s hunger signals
instead of reaching for a snack when you feel bored, stressed, or frustrated.
When you’re eating, think about how the food tastes and how you feel during the
meal. Stop eating when you feel full and store your leftovers in the fridge for
later! There are plenty of great ways to refresh
your leftovers and make them into exciting new meals.
When you’re home all day, it’s too easy to reach for
unhealthy snacks that are high in sugar and bad fats. If you get hungry between
meals and you need a quick
snack to keep going, reach for something low-calorie and nutrient-dense
like veggie sticks or fresh fruit. While high in calories, nuts and seeds can
make great snacks — they’re full of healthy fats and can quickly satisfy your
cravings for something salty.
Find Exercises You
Just like eating healthy, exercising shouldn’t be an
activity you dread. The best exercise routine is one you can stick with — and
not because you feel guilty about skipping days, but because you actually
enjoy the kind of exercise you’re doing! Try running, cycling, hiking,
swimming, yoga, Pilates, Zumba, lifting weights, HIIT, and bodyweight training.
As lockdown restrictions lift, you may even want to try taking a few fitness
classes or joining a local sports team! Experiment with different forms of
physical activity until you find what’s right for you.
Drinking enough water isn’t just important during exercise,
but all the time! Research
shows that hydration is essential for weight loss. Increasing your water intake
can increase the number of calories you burn, reduce your appetite between
meals, and help you cut out unhealthy beverages like soda and fruit juice.
Instead of trying to drink a specific number of glasses per day, make it easy
to sip on water throughout your day. Purchasing a nice, big water bottle may
encourage you to drink more often since you’ll always have fresh water close at
While there’s nothing wrong with
gaining a little weight—especially during a stressful time like the current
coronavirus pandemic—those extra pounds may be hurting your overall health and
wellbeing. As you adjust back to your pre-quarantine routine, try out some new,
healthy habits! You’ll have all the energy and confidence you need to hit the
ground running after those long months in lockdown.