Hey Angels and Alphas,
With every country around the globe during their best to “flatten the curve” of the pandemic, many of us are laying back and taking time off the gym in response to these “shelter at home” suggestions.
And while losing weight is still completely doable, perhaps for the time being the best option that we have is to focus our efforts on maintaining our current weight.
Why? Because it’s completely normal to be feeling stressed and anxious in the face of so many life and career uncertainties. You might be tempted to shelter at home with whatever junk food you can get your hands on or order takeaway every day until the pandemic is over.
But what’s best, most healthy, and most productive for you is that you combat the inactiveness and stress-eating so you can maintain your weight and actually make some progress. You can come out of this better and stronger than you were before, all you need is the right plan.
That’s why today, I’m here to talk about the 7 best tips you can follow to prevent weight gain while being sheltered at home and actually make progress toward your goal even though you probably won’t be seeing a gym in the next few weeks.
Let’s get right into it.
1. Set your daily calorie goal
Just because there’s a worldwide pandemic, this shouldn’t mean that we should throw all our planners out the window. And whether you’re focused on losing weight or just maintaining it, you have to keep tracking your body’s energy expenditure, i.e. measuring the calories you put in your body.
There are thousands of apps and solutions out there for you to choose from, but the old-school way of writing everything down will never go out of practice. Logging every day
will help you check in with yourself, stay on track, and make sure you’re not overeating (or undereating) so you can lose weight consistently.
2. Take a careful look at your shopping list
When we’re sheltered at home, we have to make every trip to the store count. Especially if you’re trying to eat on a budget, now is the perfect time to take a step back and become more intentional with what you buy. It’s a great time to start reducing processed foods and stocking up on healthy options – fresh and frozen fruits and veggies, beans, rice, whole foods, etc.
Not only will this contribute to eating healthier foods on every meal, but it will also reduce the sweet and tempting snacks that are stopping you from maintaining your weight.
3. Set a meal/ snack schedule
It’s no secret to anyone – following a consistent schedule of healthy foods is literally the perfect way to diet. Over time, it helps you maintain your weight, spot your cravings and stop them in their tracks, have more energy throughout the day, and perform better in the gym. What more could you ask for?
Plus, when you have a schedule, you’re way more likely to make smart, healthy choices and habits every day. This consistency adds up in the long-term and helps you achieve your goal way faster than people who *don’t* incorporate a schedule.
All you really need here are a calendar, notebook, or app, which you can use to write down your schedule of meal and snack times for the day. Don’t forget to create reminders and use them as a cue for when you should be logging your meals and intake.
4. Establish an empowering morning/ evening routine
Building up on our last point, we have to say that deviating from any type of routine or schedule can be detrimental to your efforts. And right now, in a situation where your mood can easily be ruined by what you hear on the Internet, it’s even more important to develop routines that keep you sane and productive throughout the day.
Not to mention, trying to re-establish your routines later might be just as stressful as deviating from them.
That’s why you should give your day a frame. A wake-up routine and a pre-bed routine. This will give you the needed structure you need in your day and bring back the balance that feels pretty much gone during these times of uncertainty. This will also contribute to getting better sleep, which in turn keeps your metabolism strong (and you healthy.)
Creating these routines shouldn’t be hard. The key is in racking up small wins as soon as you start the day – don’t hit the snooze? Win number one. Drink half a liter of water? Win number two. Meditate for ten minutes? Win number three. Once you start building up these small wins, your day will be positive and energized and you’ll have an easier time de-stressing and staying productive
5. Meal prep your snacks
During these stressful times, it’s so easy for us to fall into impulsive eating and stock up on high-calorie snacks. But if we know this is happening, we can stop it in its tracks, and that will go a long way toward helping us maintain healthy weight during quarantine.
What you should do is prepare a bunch of low-calorie, nutrient-dense, delicious snacks that you can opt for any time. Pro tip: keep your snacks somewhere out of reach, so by the time you reach them, you’ll have time to check in with yourself and see if you’re really hungry or if you’re just impulsively reaching out for something sweet because you’re stressed.
6. Find new ways to deal with stress
Stress is detrimental to weight loss and weight maintenance. These two things just don’t mix. Stress skyrockets our cortisol levels, which in turn leads to more cravings for comfort food. That’s why we should always be looking for new ways to de-stress and relax ourselves, especially in times like these.
Lucky for us, finding new ways to relax is actually… relaxing! Try putting on your favorite songs, trying a guided meditation, reading a book, calling a friend or family member, taking a walk outside (at a proper distance), listening to a podcast, trying on new essential oils… the possibilities are endless, and they’re so, so needed!
7. Make a commitment to staying active!
One of the best ways to reduce stress and lose weight at the same time – get moving! At least once a day. Not only do our bodies desire movement and release feel-good endorphins when we do it, but it’s also a great way to burn some of the extra calories you might be getting from snacks.
And gyms being closed doesn’t mean we can’t move anymore. Take walks, do a jog every morning, or put on a YouTube video or app to add some variety to your home workouts. Believe me, there are plenty of ways to stay in phenomenal shape through exercise even if you’re just sitting at home and you have little-to-no equipment. Take that chance and walk out of this quarantine a better, stronger, and healthier you!