25 Aug What Does The Pandemic Mean For Your Summer Body? How to Shed the Extra Weight Brought on By Quarantine
At the height of the global lockdown in 2020, many people were furloughed, laid off, or quarantined in their homes. As a result, many people took to binge-watching TV, sitting down a lot, and did little to no physical exercise.
Naturally, this lack of physical activity plus considerable food consumption led to major weight gain and something known as the Quarantine 15. Some studies show that the average person gained almost 2 pounds every 30 days during the lockdown. This means that some people probably gained 20lbs in 12 months.
If you did gain significant weight, remember that short of drinking your meals, there was little or nothing you could have done to prevent it. At the time, stress-eating and indulging in comfort foods was rampant because of all the bad news that people had to deal with.
It was a coping mechanism of sorts. However, now that most lockdown restrictions have been lifted, it’s time to eliminate all that excess weight. This is so you don’t contribute to the other epidemic currently plaguing America — obesity. In this post, we’ll show you how to lose that weight and get back in tip-top shape.
Start Eating Healthier
During the pandemic, store shelves were emptied of flour. That’s because many people were using up flour baking, frying, and cooking. Unfortunately, baked goods often contain empty calories. And even if they taste great, they’re not necessarily a healthy option.
The same applies to junk foods, sugary drinks, and other processed foods. So to begin your weight loss journey, you need to start eating healthy foods with high fiber content. For example, foods like vegetables, fruits, animal and plant protein, and high fiber carbohydrates like oats are all good choices.
Cut back on your sugary drinks and drink water instead. Remember that weight gain or loss is an input-output issue. If you take in less food than your body needs, your body will demand the deficit from your fat reserves, leading to weight loss.
The average male adult requires about 2,000 – 2500 calories a day, while the women require 1,600-2,200 calories per day. So if you can track your calories and reduce them, you will lose weight.
To show you how important this is, if you did nothing else except eat 500 calories less than the recommended daily intake, you’d lose 1lbs per week or 4lbs per month. Do this for six months, and you’ll lose 24lbs. Keep it up for a year and you’ll be down 48lbs.
Workout for 20-30 Minutes a Day
Exercise is crucial to fat burning and keeping the weight off. Cardiologists often recommend 20-30 minutes a day –or at least 150 minutes per week– of moderate to high-intensity exercise routines to keep your heart healthy.
But the extra benefits include sustained weight loss, a fit body, and trim shape. If you want to be in the best shape of your life, just work out for 20-30 minutes a day. Do compound exercises that recruit all muscles groups in the body. Do some running, swimming, or walking when you can — this is great for improving your heart health.
But also, try to start lifting weights. If weights feel like a lot, start with regular bodyweight exercises like pushups, dips, pull-ups, squats, and burpees. Then, grow from there.
Get More Sleep
Sleep deprivation is pretty dangerous. Not only does it impair your cognitive functions, but it also leads to increased cortisol levels –cortisol is the stress hormone.
If these levels are sustained, the body starts assuming that there’s danger and stores away more fat. Worse, it triggers episodes of junk food cravings. This is why you need to get 7-9 hours of sleep per day. It doesn’t have to be in one go. You can split it by taking an afternoon nap.
Adequate sleep rests the body, improves your mental acuity, helps the body break down fat, improves your mood, regulates your hormones, and strengthens your willpower — it’s easier to say no to junk foods when you’re well-rested.
Adopt New Food Habits
Eat less food, drink more water, control your meal portions, and chew your food properly. These seem like regular platitudes, but they work. For example, studies have shown that when people chew their food for longer, they generally eat less food.
Better still, start keeping a food journal. This habit forces you to take notice of the foods you put in your mouth every day. This way, you can effectively cut out the bad and unhealthy food, eat better food, and watch your meal sizes.