The Covid-19 lockdown has completely changed the way people live overnight, and even if you had a healthy routine before, you may not be following it right now. However, being in lockdown doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll end up gaining weight. There are ways you can avoid piling on the pounds when stuck at home, so here are some easy tips to follow.
Know the difference between boredom and hunger
A big challenge during lockdown will be dealing with boredom. Whether you’re working from home or on a break from your job, it’s likely you’ll have a lot more hours to fill without social events, commuting and other things that fill the day. When you’re bored, it’s all too easy to reach for snacks, so you should try to learn the difference between boredom and genuine hunger. If you suspect your current craving for chips and candy bars is due to boredom, there are plenty of things you can do:
- Go for a walk or do some gentle exercise such as yoga. It’ll take your mind off snacks and improve your mood
- Read a book or watch a TV show to distract yourself
- Clean the house, garden or do something that makes it physically difficult to snack
- Drink some water – many hunger pangs are just thirst and will pass once you’re hydrated
Be careful what food you keep in the house
Another issue with lockdown is that people have been asked to limit how many times they leave the house, so if you’re someone who likes to grocery shop daily, you’ll need to adjust to shopping once a week or fortnight. Unfortunately, this can that when you wander around the grocery store, you end up filling your cart with lots of candy bars and unhealthy snacks, which then sit in your pantry, tempting you. Instead of buying junk, look for healthy snacks you can keep in your pantry, as they won’t go out of date, and if you desperately need a snack, there’s one you can have.
Some healthy snacks you might want to try include:
- Low-fat popcorn
- Dried fruit
- Healthy crackers
- Fruit leather
- Healthy snack bars
These are excellent alternatives to chips and candy bars and are much more filling than the high calorie alternatives.
Follow a diet plan
If you’ve been wanting to overhaul your diet for a while, then lockdown may be a good chance to do so. It means you have time to focus on what you’re eating, and you don’t have the day to day stresses of life to throw you off track. Try a simple and affordable weight loss plan for an easy diet that’s flexible to suit different lifestyles and needs. It saves you the stress of needing to shop for food, removing the temptation to buy junk, because everything is planned out for you.
Whatever diet plan you decide to follow, it can help a lot if you draw up a meal plan. That way, you know exactly what you’re going to eat day by day. This means you can resist the temptation to eat junk, because you know you have a planned snack or meal coming right up. As a bonus, meal planning can save you money and leads to less food waste.
Drink plenty of water
Being properly hydrated is a good way to avoid eating too much, and if you aren’t getting the recommended 2-liters of water a day, this is a good time to get into that habit. It can also help you avoid headaches and mood swings and drinking water before a meal can stop you consuming as many calories. If you’re visiting the grocery store less, then this may be a good time to cut down on soda, juice and other liquid calories, replacing them with plain or filtered water.
Don’t reward yourself with food
Because lots of events are cancelled and people aren’t going out to socialize, one of the small pleasures left is takeout. Unfortunately, takeout is high in calories, salt and fat compared to home cooking, and replacing meals with this kind of food is likely to create bad eating habits once lockdown is over.
If you’ve worked hard on something and need a reward, or want a treat to perk yourself up, choose something that’s non-food related. From a scented candle to a face mask, there are lots of things you can enjoy that don’t involve excess calories.
Keep yourself busy
Keeping busy is another way to avoid weight gain. This can be difficult now, as many people aren’t going into work, so are worried about the future. It’s a good idea to take on some projects to fill your days, whether it’s DIY, doing something creative or just homeschooling the kids. This will ensure you aren’t just thinking about food all the time.
Activities that take both hands are the best to avoid boredom snacking. For example, sewing, making crafts, or knitting, as you can’t idly snack while you’re doing these things.
Make the most of outdoor exercise time
While you are still allowed outdoor exercise, you should make the most of it and get some fresh air, as well as helping to burn excess calories. Running is one of the best ways to burn calories, and it doesn’t take much to get started, just the right pair of shoes. However, a brisk walk or cycle can be just as good. Try to make the most of your time outside by taking in the scenery and enjoying the exercise, so you look forward to your daily routine.
Exercise at home too
If lockdown gets stricter, or you simply don’t get enough time to exercise outside, then there are exercises you can do at home that will get you moving, even if you live in a small space. YouTube is full of exercise videos, so you can try a different type of workout everyday if you wish. There are even options for complete beginners like walking and chair workouts that give you gentle exercise.
If you don’t like following a routine, then running on the spot, skipping with a rope or doing some yoga poses can be a good way to simply get yourself moving and cheer yourself up a little. There are even stories of people exercising by running up and down their balcony, so get creative during this difficult time.
Don’t be too hard on yourself
The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event, so a lot of people are finding it hard to deal with, and it’s no wonder people might find their weight fluctuates during this time. If you have gained a little weight, don’t worry, there are ways to lose it again and to keep yourself healthy. Simply resolve to focus more on your health and find a diet plan that works for you. Once you leave lockdown, there will no doubt be lots of events and fun gatherings to enjoy, so use those good thoughts to get yourself through hard times.
Being at home all the time doesn’t necessarily mean you will gain weight. Being around food all the time can certainly be tempting, and you’ll be moving less due to restrictions. However, there are ways you can avoid weight gain, or minimize the amount you put on. Focus on a healthy diet, overcoming your boredom and focusing on different things. You can then add some exercise into your daily routine, both inside and outside, so you burn off excess calories.