Health & Fitness

COVID-19 could exacerbate obesity – Tips to stay fit.

We experienced lockdown, in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it has had various negative impacts on us, such as economic downfall, educational gaps, broken social life and yes our physical health is also deteriorating timely.

Staying home all day, eating and laying on the couch watching Netflix will obviously lead us toward massive weight gain. In this hard time where we literally have NOTHING to do, no gym, no outing and, no school it is really hard to stay fit and maintain our physical health. 

The common reason for binge eating during the lockdown is boredom, boredom is one of the most common triggers for non-hunger eating. If you are finding yourself wandering aimlessly toward the kitchen, engage your mind with an alternative such as an online course, a hobby or a good book. Again, ask yourself ‘why am I feeling drawn to food?’ before you reach for it and if the answer is boredom, go for a walk or have a cup of tea as a break instead. And if you want to involve your love of food with breaking your boredom, why not take up healthy cooking? 

Other factors could be unusual routine, irregular sleeping pattern and stress. Stress is also a common trigger for non-hunger eating, it can lead to elevated levels of cortisol which promote fat storage around the middle. If you are feeling stressed or anxious there are several techniques you can adopt that don’t involve turning to food, which we are going to discuss below.

Also, as you may no longer need to worry about temptations on restaurant dessert menus, not having regular contact with friends and family can lead to loneliness which in turn can trigger comfort eating. How about bringing the social element back into your life by organising a Zoom brunch and virtual party with your friends? Work on upping your social interaction by making a point to call one friend each day. 

Tips to get in shape and avoid obesity:

Make an exercise plan:

The first thing that you need to do is simply look at what has been your reason for weight gain through lockdown. If your reason has been the lack of movement, then you first need to bring that into perspective and make a workout schedule according to your capacity. If you don’t like following the proper exercise or a plan, you can go for a walk, it is very effective for weight loss. Or you can simply turn on your favourite music and dance freely, move your body or do jumping do that you burn calories with fun. When you follow such things for weight loss you don’t get frustrated or tired.

Calm your mind:

For stress management you need to calm down and improve your resilience. You need to support yourself through the tough times ahead. I know people who say that they cannot meditate. If you think the same, try some simple breathing exercises instead. Even just listening to music you love, and unwinding can help you destress yourself.

An option for breathing exercise is deep breathing.

 

  • Get comfortable. You can lie on your back in bed or on the floor with a pillow under your head and knees. Or you can sit in a chair with your shoulders, head, and neck supported against the back of the chair.
  • Breathe in through your nose. Let your belly fill with air.
  • Breathe out through your nose.
  • Place one hand on your belly. Place the other hand on your chest.
  • As you breathe in, feel your belly rise. As you breathe out, feel your belly lower. The hand on your belly should move more than the one that’s on your chest.
  • Take three more full, deep breaths. Breathe fully into your belly as it rises and falls with your breath.

 

Keep a check on your meal:

Start looking at what food caused you to gain that extra weight. Now the stores are open so you can buy the right kind of groceries. If your reason for weight gain was due to overeating, especially sweets, and fried foods, look at the present moment as a time to start cleaning up. It’s a new phase and it’s in your hands.

Make a meal plan according to the stuff that suits your body and go with it, cut off all the sugar containing food, fried food, junk food and add healthy food in your meals.

Try no-sugar diet and portion control to shed all those extra pounds before the lockdown ends. So your friends would envy you once you hit back to school with the amazing transformation.

No-sugar diet:

The “no-sugar diet” is a popular search term on the Internet. But it’s not just a plan, it’s a lifestyle. Which is also called a sugar-free diet, this way of eating seeks to remove sources of added sugar from your daily food intake. In other words, out with foods like candy and soda. Some people may also choose to limit or remove sources of natural sugar as well, such as fruits and certain vegetables. This means that no-sugar diets often have a lot in common with a ketogenic diet, which we’ve been a fan of for a while in the past.

Start your plan by decreasing or eliminating your consumption of the foods in the first category, and work your way down slowly as your sweet tooth lessens. Eliminating sugary foods doesn’t have to mean cutting out all snacks and desserts. You can swap foods from the lower levels of the spectrum for the ones on the higher rungs to avoid hunger and ease temptation. For example, start substituting strawberries for candies. If you usually eat cheeseburgers and drink soda at lunch, try switching to burgers in whole-grain buns or lettuce wraps and sip on sparkling water.

Below is a short list of no- to low-sugar options.

 

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Fish
  • Unrefined oils (avocado, coconut , olive, etc.)
  • Butter
  • Ghee
  • Cheese
  • Avocado
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Noodles
  • Mushrooms
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Radish
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Bell pepper
  • Cucumber
  • Asparagus
  • Tomato
  • Mustard
  • Salsa
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Watermelon
  • Lemons/limes
  • Whole milk
  • Berries

Remember that sugar/carbs are a big energy source for the body, so, unless you’re ready to commit to a very low-carb or keto diet, you shouldn’t aim to stop eating carbs entirely.

  • Portion control diet:

Contrary to what you might think, portion control does not require taking drastic measures. Memorizing a complete inventory of food serving sizes or carrying measuring cups with you to meals just isn’t necessary. You can use your plate to keep portion guide;

  • Vegetables or salad:

 Half a plate

  • High-quality protein: 

Quarter of a plate — this includes meat, chickes, fish, eggs, dairy, beans and pulses

  • Complex carbs:

Quarter of a plate — such as whole grains and vegetables

  • High-fat foods: 

Half a tablespoon (7 grams) — including cheese, oils and butter

Drinking a glass of water up to 30 minutes before a meal will naturally aid portion control. Filling up on water will make you feel less hungry. Being well hydrated also helps you distinguish between hunger and thirst.

About the author

sana

sana

Khurram Jamil - Digital Marketer By Profession & Blogger By Passion. Food Lover By Choice

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment