5 Easy Weight Loss Tips to Follow during Self-Isolation
Self-isolation is the only vaccine we can practice right now.
If you, or anyone in your household has or has had symptoms, self-isolation allows you to protect the rest of the population.
If you don’t have symptoms, that doesn’t mean you are not a carrier so, by staying at home, you too are protecting your loved ones and all the people who have to keep on working to care for our health and guarantee our services and food supply chain.
There is stress provoked by the constant news, but we must stay informed. Being housebound, whether in solitude or with your family, is stressful, leads to anxiety, and even depression for highly sensitive people that don’t have a support network.
The current situation is not a freely chosen holiday, but an imposed necessity that is having an impact in our financial, physical and emotional wellbeing.
You’d usually spend many hours of your day interacting with people, either colleagues, clients, friends or family, at work, in the gym or in the kids’ playground - now you find yourself housebound, with endless hours at hand, and boredom sets it.
Once you’ve had a few days to enjoy a well-deserved rest, Netflix your movie or boxset binge and check in with all social media, what’s next? Aiming for the fridge!
As the days pass, you are losing the grip on all things healthy.
If you used to go to the gym or a Zumba class, now you can follow exercise or dance routines online, but it’s not the same. It’s that social connection of being in a group that kept you motivated.
You are staying up late at night and feeling peckish and snacking. Netflixing and social media scrolling is now accompanied by bingeing, even binge eating on things you wouldn’t normally eat.
Your meal times are all over the place as is your meal planning, more so if your usual shopping items have disappeared from the supermarket shelves.
Your whole lifestyle has changed. Your day and your week have lost the structure and routine you were so used to. You are stressed and uncertain about the future. A sedentary lifestyle, stress and boredom cause you to overeat.
Overeating becomes a solution because it’s calming and, temporarily, it solves boredom.
Are you an emotional eater? To find out,
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But that’s precisely the thing. Overeating and bingeing is only a temporary calming solution to a stressful situation that may last longer than we all hope for. And, from temporary overeating, you may risk going into ‘terminal’ overeating. Just like dieters fall of the wagon and back into their old eating habits.
So how can you help yourself stay on track instead of piling up the pounds?
5 Easy Weight Loss Tips
to avoid overeating
during Covid-19 self isolation.
1.- Stay hydrated
Your body is less active and therefore doesn’t require more food. Before reaching out for food, drink a couple of glasses of water and wait 30 min. The hunger signals will go away if you are not really hungry.
2.- Create a meal plan
Structure your meals to compensate for the lack of physical activity and to fit in with your increased downtime if you are sleeping longer hours.
So instead of the usual 3 meals a day, have 2 or make them smaller.
If you find yourself snacking constantly, then turn the 3 meals into 5 smaller meals spread throughout your day.
This will reduce the desire for snacking.
3.- Eat healthy to live healthy
Sticking to healthy meals will keep your body nourished with the nutrients it needs and boost your immune system to fight off illness. Junk food and sugar will only suppress your immune system at a time when you need it to be at its prime.
No one can guarantee immunity, but having your immune system at optimal levels can help you to recover faster from illness and put you at less risk for all types of health issues.
Focus more on plant based diets. Whole grains, lentils, beans, fruits and vegetables. These give you the essential phytonutrients and antioxidants to boost your immunity and prevent infections. Make ½ of your plate vegetables and eat them first to fill you up - you will have less room to fill up on junk.
Leave junk food on the supermarket shelves. When snacks are nearby, they are bound to be consumed, so leave them in the shops. Out of sight, out of mind.
Avoid eating until you are 100 percent full, stop at 80% like the Japanese do.
And, of course, keep away from alcohol! Especially if you want to lose weight.
4.- Get active
If you used to exercise regularly at the gym or out in the open, keep it up at home with exercise videos.
You can use milk or water bottles for weights. Or dance along to Zumba or Salsacise videos. Even yoga for beginners will keep your body moving every day.
And if you have kids, do it together!
Loads of indoor fitness and exercise videos have been uploaded to YouTube recently to keep you motivated.
Keeping your body active enhances your mood and mental estate, releasing stress that can otherwise get bottled up and lead to unnecessary arguments with the other members of the family you are now locked in with 24-7.
5.- Use your hands
There are many other ways you can use your hands rather than just to put food in your mouth.
You can do crafts, get mandala colouring books, start a vision board… Ever wanted to knit or crochet or cross-stitch, now you have all the time in the world to learn. Ever wanted to learn oil painting, watercolour or sketching, go for it! How about music, do you have a guitar that has been collecting dust waiting for the day you learn to play it? That day has arrived!
Maybe you want more intellectual engagement like reading those books that are sitting on the shelf or piling up in your kindle, or puzzles whether physical pieces or online Sudoku, or learning excel or graphic design software. Maybe you always dreamt of having your own vegetable garden or a balcony garden or a vertical garden. Well, then go and research on it because spring is the perfect time to get started!
What are all the things you have been putting off because you didn’t have the time to do them? Well, now you have the time. Doing what makes you happy increases your mood and motivation, releases endorphins and decreases stress.
During a pandemic it seems trivial to consider gaining or losing weight. This is not the time to be stressing about a few pounds, but it’s crucial to nurture your body with nourishing foods that boost your immune system.
Yes, stress makes people want to eat more, it isn’t your imagination. But there are also many people that actually stop eating when they are stressed and actually say that they couldn’t eat a bite even if their life depended on it.
If you are reading this article you are most likely to be in the same boat as me, the boat of stress overeaters. In fact, stress and boredom used to make me want to eat constantly. But I dealt with my emotional overeating and bingeing and I no longer crave unhealthy foods nor have that bottomless hunger.
If you want to eradicate the root cause of emotional eating,
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I am also going through stressful and uncertain times of self-isolation all by myself while still serving my clients online, thinking of my family in Spain, and patiently waiting for travel restrictions to be lifted so my partner can return home.
But I am also grateful that we all are safe and healthy staying in our own homes, in different countries, and we are actually video chatting more often than ever before.
Without resolving your emotional issues, you only have your willpower to keep you in line. So implement the tips above and stick by them. Bring structure back into your life. Set up specific times to sleep, exercise, eat, watch TV (news once a day), work online, engage in your hobby or take up a new one.
Food is not going to help you relax and give you comfort. Overeating and bingeing on junk food day in and day out for weeks or months, while being physically less active, will definitely result in a larger waist line when it’s all over.
But more importantly right now, it’s going to negatively affect your immune system.
You matter, your life matters and your body matters, now more than ever. Give yourself the best chance of staying healthy AND help others achieve the same.