Life during lockdown was very difficult on many Americans. Mental and physical health was tough to maintain, and unfortunately resulted in several cases of the infamous weight gain dubbed the “quarantine 15.” Now that vaccines are being administered and life is beginning to go back to normal, how can one shed those unwanted extra pounds?
What Causes Weight Gain?
Many factors played a role in weight gains throughout the past year, due in large part to the coronavirus pandemic. The outbreak caused mass lockdowns and quarantines throughout the world. First off, stress plays a huge role in weight gain. Lack of physical activity was one side effect of the lockdowns, as was an uptick in alcohol consumption. With an excess of alcohol likely came overeating in many cases. People will frequently “stress eat”, and there was no more of a stressful time than last spring.
Financial problems have been frequently linked to weight gains. During quarantine, many Americans were either laid off, fired or furloughed, causing large financial issues. Financial problems go hand in hand with anxiety, which is another cause of weight gain. People with anxiety, depression and stress can tend to overeat. With the mental weight, many individuals will find it hard to motivate themselves for any sort of physical exercise.
How To Lose Weight During Covid
Here are a few tips to help you shed some pounds even during the ongoing pandemic:
- Exercise more
- Change your routine
- Hire a personal trainer
- Eat smaller meals
- Leave the scale behind
- Sacrifice one guilty pleasure
- Try out a new diet
Physical exercise is very possible within the comfort of your own home. Performing yoga or working with weights are great ways to get more exercise in your daily routine. Simply walking in and around the house can work as well. Try going up and down the stairs for a more challenging workout. Try online workouts for more variety. There are plenty of online workouts available, and generally most will be free of charge. Find apps to use so you can track your progress. Workout apps have been proven to help individuals who fear they do not have the time each day to devote to exercise.
Change Your Routine
Changing your routine or shaking things up can refer to almost everything in your daily life, from exercise to overall attitude. 2020 was rough, and chances are you would like to shake up your routine anyway. Make some healthy switches for your mind, body and soul in 2021. Starting a new routine can liven up your day and help to form muscle memory at the same time. Perhaps beginning the day with a jog or even some weight training can do wonders for your physical and mental state.
Hire A Personal Trainer
How do you go about putting together the right workout/exercise plan for yourself? Many find this to be a very difficult challenge, and one that may require a second set of (highly-trained) eyes. Maybe it’s time to give a personal trainer a chance to help you achieve your goals. Even one workout with a personal trainer can help you tweak your eating and exercise routines. Most gyms will offer one-on-one sessions or even group sessions with a personal trainer. If you’re looking for nutrition counseling, weight loss techniques or athlete training, a personal trainer is right for you!
Eat Smaller Meals
Yes, we all love the bigger meals, either at lunch time or in the evening. But, as we all know there is a better way to consume your meals and snacks. Eating smaller meals every 2-3 hours during the day is a much healthier alternative to larger consumptions. Frequent meals will give your body the nutrients it needs to operate at the top level. This will also keep your metabolism moving for efficient fat burning. Eight smaller meals is generally the recommended amount you should consume, according to health experts.
Leave The Scale Behind
Don’t just leave your old routine behind, consider taking a break from weighing yourself for a little while, as well. Focusing on every digit on the scale can be torturous for the mind. It can also be inaccurate due to factors like the amount of water in your body. Muscle truly does weigh more than fat, so your weight can certainly be misleading when you’ve started weight training, etc. Instead of tracking your progress by the scale, do it by feel. Do your pants and shirts feel a bit more loose? Are your workouts or jogs getting easier each day? This is a much better way to track your progress in the new year.
Sacrifice One Guilty Pleasure
Sometimes New Year’s resolutions are all about small sacrifices. Consider giving up one indulgence this coming January. Whether it’s a glass of wine, beer, soda or even chocolate, a small sacrifice of any sort can make a big difference in your overall health. Switching out guilty pleasures every month can be an effective strategy. Give up wine in January, then switch to no chocolate in February. Maintaining self-control is crucial for a happier, healthier life.
Try Out A New Diet
Here are three diet plans that are ideal for weight loss during and after quarantine:
Weight Watchers (WW)
Less than two years ago, Weight Watchers officially changed its name to WW in a re-branding effort. The plan’s goal remains the same, though: making long-lasting changes to one’s diet. By implementing a points budget, weight watchers works by providing customers with several small meals throughout the day. Vegetables count as zero points, so go ahead and load up on greens with this nutrition plan! Participants should notice weight loss within the first few weeks if this strict plan is followed to a tee.
No, this isn’t some sort of Kardashian-influenced diet, it’s a well-proven plan that promotes weight loss. The Dash Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) is designed to help people battling high blood pressure. This means the majority of foods in this plan contain low sodium. Dietitians are high on this plan since many Americans exceed recommended intake of sodium on a daily basis. Sticking with this plan could result in lowering blood pressure and body fat, as well.
Many have referred to Keto as the new Atkins diet. It is very likely that Atkins’ plan laid the groundwork for one of today’s biggest diet fads. The first similarity is the emphasis on lowering carb consumption. After that, a good amount of daily protein and fat are used to send the body into a state of ketosis. Ketosis results in the body now using stored fat for energy. The Keto diet is incredibly effective for weight loss, but that doesn’t mean the process will be easy. This plan requires participants to stick to the strict diet with zero cheat days. Dietitians do suggest that people with type 1 diabetes or other metabolic disorders should avoid this plan.
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