By now, you must have realized that you’re not burning enough calories as you used to before the lockdown. There’s also doing a lot of mindless eating due to boredom and also because we’ve piled up a lot of packed/processed food. These habits may gradually lead to unintentional weight gain.
So, how does one avoid gaining weight while being stuck at home during a lockdown? The answer is simple. Making conscious efforts to maintain a routine that includes regular physical activity, and developing a healthy eating habit.
Here are a few tips to help you avoid gaining weight while staying at home:
Pre-plan your requirements
Purchasing food items in a panic situation always leads to negative consequences such as ignorance in checking food labels and purchasing canned, processed or sometimes even expired food items. It is important to consider your needs, assess what you already have at home, and plan your shopping in advance.
Eat balanced meals
Your meals should be a balance of proteins, healthy fats and carbohydrates. It is important that you eat at least one fruit or vegetable a day. Eating plenty of freshly cooked meals and avoiding processed snacks like chips, cookies, crackers, bakeries, etc can go a long way in balancing your diet. Pay attention to your appetite and avoid overeating.
Control portion size
Increased portion size always contributes to overeating and unwanted weight gain. Some small changes can help to reduce overall food intake, such as the size of utensils like plates, spoons, glasses can unconsciously influence the portion size. Start all meals with a glass of water which in turn will reduce your food intake.
Limit sugar consumption
High consumption of sugar can curb the immune system. If you have a sweet tooth, go for fresh fruits, nuts, dry fruits, or dark chocolate. Limit the amount of sugar in food preparations. You can also substitute it with honey or jaggery. Avoid aerated drinks, juices and deep-fried desserts. Before buying any processed or canned items always check the sugar content in the label.
Take it easy on the salt
Salt is the primary source of sodium and its increased consumption is associated with obesity, hypertension, heart diseases, and kidney diseases. Keep in mind that the sodium content in packaged items, bakery and processed food are in high quantities. Therefore, always check labels before buying and try to limit the consumption of such food items.
Consume enough fibre
Fibre contributes to a healthy digestive system and gives a feeling of fullness which in turn prevents overeating. To ensure an adequate fibre intake include foods like vegetables, fruits, pulses and whole grains in your meals. Avoid refined flour products like noodles, white pasta, white bread etc.
Don’t forget healthy fats
Dietary fats are essential for your body as they provide energy, support cell growth, improve brain function and most importantly to give long term satiety as it takes longer to digest. Include food items rich in healthy fats such as avocado, cheese, butter, desi ghee, whole eggs, fatty fish, whole nuts, dry fruits, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil etc.
Good hydration is very important for your overall health. If you want to make water flavourful, go for fresh coconut water, buttermilk, lemon water, homemade vegetable soups and juices. This will not only keep you hydrated but will also provide an electrolyte balance to the body. Skip aerated beverages and packed juices.
Avoid late-night eating
Stress-eating during these times is evident. This can result in unhealthy and untimely eating. Try to relieve your stress by doing activities that can calm your mind. Following a hobby, yoga, meditation, breathing, exercise, walking, or listening to music can keep you sane during these trying times. If you feel that stress is taking a toll on your mental health, then it is advisable to consult a therapist online.
While you may no longer have access to the local gym or parks, there are many easy ways you can stay active without stepping out. Doing household chores, walking while talking on the phone, and moving around the house can help burn calories. You can also workout at home by following fitness channels on Youtube or joining an online fitness platform.
You may no longer be going to the office or dropping kids off at school, but it is still important to maintain a routine. Create a schedule for the entire day that includes a designated time for meals, sleep, exercise, work and doing household chores. A routine will prevent you from gaining weight, keep you active, instil good habits and help your mental health stay at the top of the game.
It is important that during these tough times that you remain calm, practise healthy habits and maintain good personal hygiene. If you have any diet-related queries or mental health issues or any health-related doubts, reach out to our experts on our online platform.
You can also take the free COVID-19 self-assessment to know your risk of contracting coronavirus infection. In case you’re experiencing symptoms like sore throat, cough, fever, or breathing difficulty, get your symptoms assessed by top doctors on your phone on the MFine app.