During lockdown, the pandemic turned many of our routines upside down. Gyms were closed. Plans canceled. Work settings and schools went remote. In retrospect, it’s easy to see how quarantine paved the way for inevitable lockdown weight gain across all ages and situations.
And if you’re affected, know that you’re certainly not alone. According to a recent study, the average American gained an average of two pounds per month due to the COVID-19shelter-in-place orders in 2020. Fortunately, with a few tips and lifestyle adjustments, losing the extra pounds is well within reach.
Get intentional about snacking
When the Coronavirus pandemic led to swift lockdowns across much of the country, a significant number of people suddenly found themselves working from home. Without a designated place to do so, countless dining tables and kitchen islands became makeshift desks. Unfortunately, their close proximity and easy access to the fridge or pantry made mindless snacking prevalent.
If you’re still working from home, you can avoid bouts of unintentional snacking by creating an office area in your space that’s conducive to productivity. You might also consider meal prepping healthy snacks, so that if the urge strikes, you’re more inclined to reach for a nutritious option and stop weight gain during the pandemic.
No gym? No problem.
Don’t stress if you don’t have access to a fitness center. There are still so many ways to get active without a gym. For example, try going for a peaceful morning walk before you start your day or commit to parking farther away from the grocery store. Even seemingly simple ways to get moving can help. After all, every step counts!
When the weather allows, going for a swim is another great, low-impact way to stay in shape. And if you’re struggling to stay motivated, try including a friend as an accountability partner to give your routine asocial element. These small changes add up to a healthy lifestyle that will improve your overall well-being.
Back to the routine
One of the culprits for experiencing weight gain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic is the loss of day-to-day structure. Without an established schedule, it can be tempting to fall into unhealthy habits including stress eating (or boredom eating), combined with a more sedentary lifestyle. By bringing back elements of your pre-pandemic routine, like waking up at the same time every day or setting up an exercise schedule, you can take steps toward that sense of normalcy.
If you want to lose weight that you’ve gained during the pandemic, there’s no need to crash diet or be overly restrictive. These gradual, but impactful, changes will put you back on track before you know it.
To help with your long-term weight loss, schedule a visit with your doctor, who can refer you to a nutritionist or dietician if necessary, while discussing your comprehensive health goals. With these supports and changes in place, you’ll be able to drop the extra weight in a sustainable way that seamlessly leads to a healthier lifestyle.
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