Pandemic-prompted stay-at-home orders and closures have left South Africans isolated and ravenous. If you’ve packed on extra pounds since the start of the nationwide lockdown, you’re most definitely not alone.
Since March 2020, we’ve had to change the way we live. This has caused a growing issue among many people. Here’re are the three main problems:
- Comfort eating as a known psychologically verified response to stress
- Less activity due to gyms closing and routines being disrupted
- Increased binge-watching of Netflix, Showmax and other internet entertainment service – because we’ve been bored!
Pandemic weight is a real and painful issue, especially for those who struggle with their weight and body image. But, it’s important to realise that it’s nothing to be ashamed of. We’ve all endured a really rough year and many people have undergone stress beyond normal measure.
Now, it’s extremely important to be patient with yourself. Because you don’t gain weight overnight, you won’t lose it overnight either.
Now that life is slowly but surely returning to normal, it’s time to focus on getting your body back to normal. Read our simple tips on how to lose the weight you put on during lockdown.
8 Pandemic weight loss tips
1. Change the way you shop: The best way to prevent impulse buying is to create a shopping list. Stock up on inexpensive stables, such as whole grains, canned foods and frozen vegetables.
2. Make home-cooked meals: Yes, we all missed takeouts. But this does not mean that you should stop cooking! Takeouts come with three main problems:
- Portion control
You can avoid all three of the above problems by cooking at home. Use healthy ingredients and don’t cook too much food. Check out low-calorie recipes here.
3. Replace soft drinks: Cutting out one soft drink, such as Coca-Cola or Fanta, a day cuts about 150 calories. Replace soft drinks with water or unsweetened tea.
4. Keep unhealthy food out of sight: This way, you won’t be tempted to grab a snack whenever you’re bored.
5. Stop drinking fruit juice: Swap it out for real fruit. Real fruit contains fewer calories and more fibre, which makes you feel fuller for longer.
6. Step outside the house: You don’t need to start training for a marathon or do a HIIT workout every day. Research suggests that even 20 minutes in nature reduces cortisol, which can help you control eating habits.
7. Adjust your work setup: Many people are still working remotely. If you’re one of those people, make sure you work as far away from the kitchen as possible. And, have set lunch breaks so that you don’t snack all day.
8. Get more sleep: Sleep is vital for your body to function properly. Without enough sleep, you may rely on more food for energy and be tempted to skip exercise and order takeouts for dinner.