There’s no doubt that lockdown has changed our way of life probably forever. Most of our time is spent indoors. No more social gatherings and less public outings. Even though the lockdown restrictions are easing throughout the world, there is still some hesitation about leaving the safety of our homes. From avoiding crowded places to ordering essentials at home, we are now adjusting to the post-COVID-19 world.
But amid all these lifestyle changes one important aspect took a major setback- physical activity.
Most of the outside world interactions start from home to office and then back to the indoor spaces. It has taken away those parts of our life that add physical activity to our routine. The lack of which has now caused many people to gain weight. In fact, lockdown weight is no longer a joking matter for the world.
But, you can take some steps to keep a check on the increasing pounds.
Letting go of your routine
Most of the weight gain issues have arisen due to the abandonment of routine. Before the lockdown, everyone had to follow the alarm clock, get ready for office or school and get things done on time. Routine was set in place. But since the lockdown, every day became a weekend. The sleeping schedule was all over the place and so were the eating habits. Work from home no longer needed waking up early to get ready, prepare lunch and drive to the office. Extra hours of sleep was a bliss. And the scenario still prevails for those who are still indoors. In such a case, why would anyone not gain weight?
So if you are still working from home or are indoors for safety, do not give up on a routine. Wake up, eat and sleep at your usual time. Take some time out for exercise and take a walk outside once a while (only with a mask). Following a routine will keep your body in sync and not make you a couch potato who blames lockdown for weight gain.
Too much Netflix and chill
Lockdown gave people time to live up to their longest yearning of Netflix and chill. But the lockdown became a months-long process and so did the streaming habit. While most were able to manage a balance between binge-watching and physical activity, not all were able to leave the screens. And that’s how the extra pounds accumulated. Having nothing to do besides staring at the TV or mobile screens promotes inactivity. It increases the overall sitting time and reduces the level of physical activity needed in a day.
Counter this by sticking to a routine. Do not spend the whole day sitting. Try activities that force you to move around. For example, dancing, cooking or even cycling. Now that the world is opening its streets for the people, wear a mask and go for a walk. Because you need at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity to maintain weight.
COVID-19 is definitely a stressful situation. The lockdown, social distancing, masks and rising numbers can create an overwhelming reality that isn’t easy to digest. In such a situation of stress and anxiety, most people resort to food. And sometimes, this stress eating gets out of hands. Considering that the lockdown isn’t fulfilling the minimum physical activity requirement, stress eating is only a way to store calories and weight gain.
If you belong to the group of stress eaters, take some steps now for the sake of your health. Get rid of temptations in your fridge and pantry. If you keep hidden stocks, clean them up. When you do feel the need to eat, go for water or fruit juice instead. Fluids trick your body into thinking it’s full. And water in itself is a stress buster. Replace your comfort food and snack for some healthy options like nuts and dried fruits. But remember to maintain a portion size for healthy snacks too.
You can also try distracting yourself during tempting times. Engage in physical activities and stay surrounded by people. It will help control stress and prevent overeating.
When under stress, many people find a friend in alcohol. That’s because alcohol can temporarily reduce the negative feelings, stress levels and uplift the mood. It’s the psychoactive nature of alcohol that can alter the mental state. That’s how you feel light and happy after a drink of whiskey or vodka.
There is no issue in drinking to relieve stress once a while. But when this becomes a habit, people become dependent on alcohol. With the situation at hand, it might even become an everyday scenario. This is not healthy for the body or the mind in any way or form. Plus let me remind you that it’s in every way a temporary solution. Your stress will not be eliminated after the effects of alcohol subside.
Alcohol dependence will cause cravings, lack of sleep and every other withdrawal symptom associated with intoxicating drugs. Move to other distractions instead. Productive activities, online games with friends or even exercise because alcohol is not the answer.
Spending the day snacking
‘What should I do today?’- the main question of every day in lockdown. Gardening, online games and video calls, the options are endless. But one thing that became quite popular was eating.
Knowingly or unknowingly, everyone engages in snacking more than normal. Either as a way to introduce the palate to a new flavor or to find a partner for the new collection of movies, over-snacking is a thing. Even in times when you are not hungry. We all are guilty of it. Avoid that and keep your body in shape.
Maintain a proper exercise routine, keep up with portion sizes, munch on healthy snacks and stay hydrated. It will help you ignore the temptation of overeating.
Not focusing on the mental state
You may know that a healthy body means a healthy mind. But, the statement is equally factual in the opposite way. A healthy mind leads to a healthy body. Weight loss involves a healthy state of both the body and mind. If your mental state is disrupted and you feel depressed or severe anxiety, your body will be in stress too. You won’t be able to eat or sleep properly and your body will suffer.
So pay attention to how you feel and make your mental health a priority. Do not isolate yourself from others. Stay connected with friends and family and share your feelings with them. Practice healthy eating habits and have a proper sleep cycle.
So if you are having trouble managing weight during the lockdown, see if you are making any of these mistakes and make changes to your lifestyle accordingly.