In these days of the pandemic, resulting due to the outbreak of COVID-19, most of us have several areas of concern, as we need to stay at home to curb the spread of the infection. It is advisable to step out of the home only for important or essential work, and so most of the time we end up spending at home. Lockdown and quarantined phases are challenges that confine us to home in this pandemic. And, one of the concerns, while staying at home, is managing our weight as we do minimal physical activity and devour a variety of foods around, thereby resulting in weight gain. And, none of us wants to put on an excess of weight. Staying at home the whole time can lead to binge-eating disorder (BED). People with BED may eat plenty of food in a short time, even if they don’t get hungry. Emotional stress or distress often plays a role and may trigger a binge eating period. Remember, being overweight increases your risk of health conditions, such as heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetics, and certain types of cancer. So, you need to keep your weight in check while being at home all the time. Scroll down to find helpful tips to manage your weight without any hassles.
7 Helpful Tips to Manage Weight While At Home
Here are some helpful tips to keep your weight in check while staying at home during this pandemic.
1.Drink Lots of Fluids: Your body sometimes intermingles signals of hunger and thirst. Drinking plenty of water will prevent you from snacking, which is unhealthy. Adequate intake of water is overall good for your digestion and keeping your kidneys and skin healthy. It also boosts your metabolism and helps your body stop retaining water, which can, in turn, help in losing that extra weight. Another alternative that you can also try is sipping on herbal tea and infused water if the plain water bores you.
2.Fix Your Mealtimes: Planning and preparing all the meals for the whole day (including snacks) will prevent unhealthy eating. You may only choose to eat healthy foods, but, when hunger strikes like a hurricane, you may reach out and eat more than you ought to have. So, it’s wise to have healthy meals ready in moderate amounts. While being at home all the time, it’s easy to miss your regular meal times, and hence it’s better to stick with your old routine and develop the habit to eat your meals at the correct interval. The best time for lunch is between 12:30 PM – 1:00 PM and for dinner is between 6:30 PM – 7:00 PM which helps in weight loss.
3.Eat Slowly: Since we have more time in hand while being at home when quarantined or during the lockdown, so no more scope for the rushed morning breakfast or quick office breaks. And, you may eat your food peacefully taking your own sweet time. The best way is to eat our food is slowly by chewing it properly and in the process end up eating less food. Also, chewing food helps in reducing calorie intake and, eventually, leads to weight loss over time.
4.Eat Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables: You should develop a healthy habit of eating at least 2-3 fruits a day. Having seasonal fruits benefits your body with a healthy range of antioxidants. Since fruits and vegetables are low in calories and fats and have high fiber, their intake further helps to reduce weight. So, wherever possible, ensure that you are getting plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet.
5.Maintain Sleep Time: Since you do not have to wake up early for work, you may stay up late when at home in these times of pandemic. However, it’s advisable to maintain a routine for stabilizing your inbuilt body clock (the circadian rhythm) and having a quality sleep. Hence, it is recommended to follow the routine approach that you followed normally to go to bed and setting up your alarm clock. Note, as per the study, if you sleep less then it can lead to weight loss more on muscle than from fat. Also, it can lead to an increase in your appetite, and, most importantly, it can decrease your resting metabolism. Oversleeping during lockdown could be another practice that should be avoided to maintain weight. Oversleeping impacts how fats are stored in the body. Hence, you should strike a balance in avoiding sleep too little or way too much to maintain weight.
6.Manage Your Stress: Stress is a common cause of poor sleep, and even the most positive of us can suffer from anxiety during this uncertain time. While those who are already suffering from mental health conditions may tip even further. The feeling of being cooped up is also stressful, so use it to soak up some vitamin D if you have a garden or balcony. When in stress, you may eat to fulfill your emotional needs and are more likely to eat high-calorie foods even though not hungry. It’s hard when you can’t meet your usual support network, but technology is at your rescue. So, dedicate some time to video conferencing and talk to those you’re comfortable to talk to, be it your friends or family. Another helpful tip is to restrict your media and social media coverage and only obtain info from credible sources. Also, the best is to engage yourself with activities that you like, and that includes cooking, painting, playing games online, reading, or watching movies.
7.Do Exercise Regularly: When at home, during the lockdown, or while quarantined, many fitness clubs, such as Gyms and Yoga classes, are closed. Even sports academies, such as karate classes or swimming pools, are closed and we cannot play outside these days. Hence, we have minimum physical activity. But, even while at home, you can perform exercises and stay fit. Hence, it is recommended is to do some physical exercise at home. It could be deep breathing exercises, yoga, cardio, or playing with your sons or pets that keep you active. This helps in increasing metabolism and also builds your immunity.
Now that you know these effective tips to keep your weight in check, make sure that you follow them while staying at home all the time during this pandemic. Stay at home, and stay safe and healthy.
-Written by Dr. Priyadadrsini Puhan, Associate doctor to Dr. Rajesh Shah