If you’ve been indulging in comfort food more than usual lately, you’re not alone. Trying times call for pasta, cookies and more homemade Chex Mix than you can shake a pretzel stick at. Here’s the thing: All lockdowns must end. When you’re ready to start taking those pandemic pounds off, here are three tips to kick-start the process:
1. Get Moving
Living in a rural or suburban area can make getting outside to stretch your legs and soak up some Vitamin D relatively easy. Strive for 30 minutes of activity each day, even if it’s simply getting down on your hands and knees and yanking some weeds.
If, however, you’re confined to an apartment or other living situation that doesn’t include a spacious backyard or secluded street, you’ll need to get slightly more creative. For example, if you’re missing the gym, you might try a customizable exercise app such as Daily Workouts or Sworkit.
You can also look to YouTube for fitness options. Predictably, the video hub hosts channels dedicated to virtually any kind of movement you may want to start incorporating into your quarantine routine, from weightlifting to yoga and everything in between. For example, Yoga with Adriene, a popular channel with over 4 million subscribers, offers a seemingly endless variety of programs for people of all fitness and mobility levels.
Now might also be the time to dust off those old dance DVDs in your closet or borrow some fitness discs from your local library. If your branch isn’t open or offering curbside pickup of materials, it may have partnered with digital partners such as Hoopla to offer streaming dance videos and other home fitness titles.
2. Start a Weight Loss Program
The quickest way to lose weight is to pair exercise with a healthy diet. One of the best methods for sticking to that healthy diet is tracking what you eat.
Fortunately, the advent of personal computers and mobile devices has made this process far less time-consuming. Online programs such as WW (formerly Weight Watchers), Noom, Lose It!, and
MyFitnessPal all make calorie counting simple. Many weight loss programs also offer individual coaching and small group support to keep you on track on those days when binge-watching “Parks and Rec” with a bag of chips sounds far more appealing than aerobics and carrot sticks.
It’s worth noting that most of these programs offer a free trial period so you can see if it’s a good fit before you commit. Some are entirely free as well.
3. Keep a Gratitude Journal
Mindfulness matters when it comes to weight loss. Even if you’re not writing about food, adopting a mindset that’s firmly rooted in the present and focused on all that you have to be thankful for in these trying times can help you lose weight.
How? By lowering your stress.
According to WebMD, when you’re stressed, you’re more likely to skip that healthy breakfast or reach for that peach pie in the fridge. What’s more, your cortisol levels can skyrocket when you’re tense. This can turn your late-night sundae party into a full-time habit, as well as send your insulin levels through the roof.
When that happens, your blood sugar plummets. The result? Even more sugar cravings. Starting or ending each day by focusing on the good in your life can keep your stress in check and boost your odds of successful weight loss.
You’re living through a unique time in history — not a fun one, of course, but a remarkable one — and you’re certainly not the only person who let healthy, mindful eating take a backseat to just making it to tomorrow in once piece. Now that you’re ready to come out of quarantine healthy, fit and fresh, make the choice to embrace an active, mindful lockdown routine and watch the unwanted weight disappear.