Does any of this sound familiar? Increased stress over safely getting groceries, poor sleep due to worries about getting sick, working from home while simultaneously learning how to teach your children, no access to local gyms because they are all closed, or lack of any schedule at all? These realities coupled with extra stress and boredom are creating the perfect storm for many to worry about quarantine-related weight gain. If any of this resonates with you, I am sharing seven tips to help.
1. Preplan your food at least 24 hours in advance-You can make sure you have healthy options to fuel your body in advance rather than having to scramble and come up with something on the spot. You may even want to preplan a week in advance if it allows you to make sure you are getting the right groceries and to limit over-consumption. If you are crunched for time, you may want to consider healthy meal delivery options or have quick and easy go to meals.
2. Eat regular structured meals, no snacks-It is helpful to set an eating structure that will help you minimize mindless eating through the day, which will ultimately raise insulin levels and make it easier to gain weight.
3. Cut out processed foods-When purchasing groceries, limit the heavily processed foods like cookies, crackers, and bread. These foods can make you feel better in the short run but will ultimately lead to craving more. Instead try to stock up on clean foods including vegetables and fruits, meats and vegetarian proteins, and healthy fats.
4. Keep a food journal-Keep a simple food journal noting what foods you are eating throughout the day. This will enable mindfulness and awareness.
5. Find time to move-With many gyms closed, you may try out a workout app, look for exercise-related YouTube videos, or go for a walk or bike ride.
6. Prioritize sleep-Make sure you are not short-changing your sleep. Poor sleep quality and insufficient duration can negatively impact your hunger hormones and can lead to weight gain.
7. Stay connected-While you may not be able to visit friends and family, try to reach out to them over FaceTime, Zoom or email.