Here’s a big challenge – how to avoid weight gain during quarantine.
As we’re all spending more time than usual at home, it can be a really tough adjustment both mentally and physically. Our routines are entirely thrown off, our socialization is down, and so is our activity level. If you’ve noticed the scale increasing over these past few months, you’re not alone when it comes to weight gain during quarantine.
We’ve all heard about the “freshman 15”, but did you know that we now have a new term called the “quarantine 15”? Whether you’ve gained 15 pounds or not, it might be time to start making some healthier choices.
Most people are quick to blame their lack of exercise now that they are spending more time at home. While this absolutely plays a role in weight gain, I believe that our changing eating habits are the bigger culprit.
Let’s face it…it’s much harder to make healthy food choices when our routines are off. And if you’ve been working from home these last few months, then your routine has completely flipped upside down. It’s a lot easier to make healthier choices when we are packing food to take into the office with us. And once the food is packed, we are much more likely to eat it. So now that we’re home more, it’s harder to stay away from the processed junk, hence the quarantine 15.
Instead of throwing your diet out the window and eating everything in sight, here are 3 tips for healthier eating at home:
Plan out your meals
Planning out your meals is important for everybody, whether you’re working full time in the office, working from home, or even retired. When we can plan ahead with healthy intentions, we are much more likely to be successful in the moment.
I recommend grabbing a calendar and writing out your meals for the entire week, or at least the weekdays. This includes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Once you have your plan set, make sure you go grocery shopping and have all of the ingredients that you need on hand.
Make healthy snacks easily accessible
The reason it’s so easy to give in to chips, pretzels and cookies is because they’re easily accessible. There’s no prep work needed. If you have the choice of grabbing a bag of chips or washing and chopping carrots to eat with hummus, chances are you will pick the chips.
So how do we combat this and avoid dreaded weight gain? Make healthy snacks just as accessible as pre-packaged foods. This means washing and chopping your veggies ahead of time, or pre-portioning out some peanuts or nut butter. You can either prep your snacks at the beginning of the week, the night before, or the morning of. Simply choose a time where you won’t be rushed.
Stick to an eating schedule
This one is really important. If you went from a busy, full-time job in the office to a slow, remote job at home it can be easy to throw off your eating schedule.
Start out by eating breakfast every morning. I find that a lot of people are skipping breakfast and just waiting until lunch. But by then you’re starving and more likely to just grab an unhealthy option.
Spreading out your calories throughout the day will not only help you avoid overeating later in the day, but it also helps keep your blood sugar stable and can increase energy levels and focus.
Implementing these 3 tips into your life can really help to not only avoid weight gain, but it can help you feel better both mentally and physically. And who couldn’t use a little bit of that these days?
~ Submitted by Morgan Fink, Wellness Coach, Personal Trainer and Fitness Instructor, Cornerstone Doylestown
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