How to Take Back Your Health and Lose Those Pandemic Pounds
by Jennifer McGregor
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused such a great upheaval that, even now, as some restrictions are lifted and life slowly eases back into how it was, you may find that there are some things you really have to give attention to, in order for your life to get back its semblance of normalcy. For many, this includes losing weight.
The fact is, all those months of being in lockdown have left many people sedentary and unmotivated, resulting in the dreaded quarantine-15. While the prospect of going back into the world several pounds heavier may be enough motivation to work on losing them, an even more pressing concern is how weight gain can also make you susceptible to diseases, including COVID-19, which is still a major concern. But fear not because it’s never too late to take your health back and drop those isolation pounds. Here are the steps you need to take.
Get your diet sorted out.
First thing’s first—know that the best and most important thing you need to do in order to lose weight is to circle back to what got you into this situation in the first place, and that’s most likely your relationship with food. With the stress of the pandemic and the boredom of being stuck in lockdown, it’s all too easy to turn to food for comfort and develop unhealthy eating habits. Not only that, with the need to minimize your grocery jaunts, you may have found yourself stocking up on comfort food, as well as foods that are known to keep for a long time, but are not necessarily good for your health.
Now, as we slowly ease into normalcy, it’s definitely high time to take control of your eating habits once again—not only to lose weight, but also to get healthy. When you shift your thinking accordingly, you’ll be surprised to find that you can, in fact, put together nourishing meals using stuff you already have in your pantry and kitchen. Some easy yet healthy recipes to try as you ease into healthy eating are a vegetable-packed mac-n-cheese bowl, hearty soups and sandwiches, and even a wholesome skillet rice dish.
Get proper guidance.
No doubt, among the things that keep people from taking the steps needed to lose weight is a lack of knowledge and support, as well as not having the time for tasks like meal planning. With this in mind, it can be a really smart move to work with a health professional or two to help you get back on track. In the age of social distancing, therefore, it can be worth exploring online job boards for a freelance dietitian who can help develop healthy meal plans specifically for you.
And it doesn’t end there, as well. Thanks to technology, you can easily get professional guidance by working with nutritionists and fitness trainers or aquatic fitness professionals online, which can be invaluable in keeping you motivated and accountable throughout your weight loss journey.
Get off the couch.
And speaking of fitness, yes, you do need to start incorporating movement into your daily routine, if you want to lose weight the healthy way. Exercise increases the number of calories you burn, which is why it goes hand in hand with a healthy and balanced diet to speed up weight loss. Not only that, it also strengthens and tones your muscles, which can be great for your self-esteem.
The best part is, you don’t really need to get back to the gym just yet to get fit, especially with COVID-19 still at large. There’s no dearth of fitness instruction you can find for free from YouTube and other such resources, so you can already get off your couch and get started right at this moment—and save money as a bonus.
Suffice it to say, the quarantine-15 may not be the best thing to come out of quarantine with, but it’s nothing that can’t be reversed. As life slowly goes back to normal, it’s the perfect time for you to also take control of your body once again by changing your diet and routine, so make sure not to let this opportunity pass you by.
Jennifer McGregor is a pre-med student, who enjoys writing about health and medical topics and providing reliable health and medical resources. Together with a friend, she co-created PublicHealthLibrary.org as a way to push reputable information on health topics to the forefront, making them easier and quicker to find.