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Weight Loss during a Lockdown:5 Smart Ways to Avoid Weight Gain during a Pandemic

 Most parts of the world are under a lockdown as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.Most American families have experienced shelter in place for 5-6 weeks. Some of the states are beginning to ease sanctions and allow businesses to open but there seems to be a tacit consensus among health professionals that time is not ripe to open up all businesses and ease safety protocols.

One of the fall-outs of the lockdown is that businesses have been shut and movement curtailed. .People have had to remain indoors to stop the spread of the virus. When you go out now, maybe you take a dash to the store to get grocery, the new normal is for you to wear a mask and observe social distancing. Wearing a mask and staying home has become mandatory for all Americans.

In the most part, people are advised to stay home because it is the safest place to be. Some people are asymptomatic and do not display any of the signs of the virus but are active carriers of the disease. . To avoid coming in contact with such people and risk being infected, it is safe to stay within the confines of your home.

What are the implications of staying home all day?

Nobody likes staying indoors all day except they are forced to do so. People are used to the idea of waking up, going to work and returning home to relax after a hard day’s work.. Some people would even brag that they would not take any work home. Whatever work is left unfinished at the end of the work day  would have to wait until the following day when they would be back in the office to finish it.

People suffer from cabin fever if they have to stay at home for a length of time

A few people are able to transfer their work home. They work remotely from their homes and are able to link with their offices.

These are people in computer-related industries, mostly software engineers, a cadre of health work professionals and social workers who can communicate with their clients through Zoom, write reports and upload them to their offices and supervisors. But even this group of professionals have to share the home with their school age children whose schools have been shut down. Some parents have had to double as teachers, because their children’s schools have been closed, while working remotely from home

Majority of American workers have had to stay home and wait out the pandemic. They are feeling listless and lethargic because they have to stay home all day. As if that is not enough, they have to stay put with their children. As I write, some schools in my district of California have been able to move some aspects of their curriculum online and are able to connect with their students online.

For the most part, adults staying back at home are inactive. They can no longer get up, get ready and go to work. They can not even go to their gyms after work as they used to because gyms are closed..

Who is this Post for?

This post is for the working adult whose movements have been severely restricted as a result of lockdowns, shelter in place in most states of the United States of America and most countries of the world. The restrictions have separated them from their gyms and denied  them access to exercise, an important aspect of their weight loss program. They have been rendered inactive and passive in their fight against weight gain because of these restrictions.

Helpful Tips for fighting the battle against Weight Gain

1 Come up with a Routine/Daily To Do Tasks

Most of us do not like routines because of its unvarying nature but we must admit that it helps us accomplish our tasks every day. Establishing a routine for your home with an everyday task will give you and your family structure and an expectation of what to do on a daily basis. It straight away gives you orderliness in place of chaos. That’s exactly what you need instead of the confusion the lockdown has caused.

When you wake up in the morning, you know exactly what you need to do. Do you start your morning by holding a family devotion or straight away start homeschooling your kids? Your Daily To do list will spell out what to do in the afternoon and in the evening as well. It tells you when the children should go out in the yard to play, when they should go to sleep and when you should go to sleep as well.

What a Routine will do

  • It will give you focus and stop you from wandering aimlessly about the house, occasionally looking into the refrigerator looking for snacks and food to nibble at.
  • It will cut out boredom because every task has a time-limit on it.
  • It will make your tasks habitual especially for the children. They have a fondness for routines.
  • You know precisely how long to spend on a task.

Cut out the Booze

There is a strong temptation to take occasional swigs of wine or hard liquor out of the frustration you feel for being asked to stay at home. It is even worse if you do not have a routine/To do task in place. The mere fact that you are restricted to the house and you can not do those things you would want to do makes you feel frustrated and tempted to take quick swigs from the bottle.

The danger with this type of drinking is that you lose count of how much alcohol you have taken. Besides becoming inebriated for drinking more than you can hold, you will expose yourself to health challenges. Those challenges are beyond the scope of this write-up.

Alcohol and Weight Loss

Alcohol has not been known to aid weight loss. If anything, alcohol is known to be responsible for weight gain.especially in a time of lockdown when you can not easily go to the gym to exercise and sweat it out.

Most alcohols contain calories which are empty and have little or no nutritional value. Sugars and carbs are what you are trying to run away from your meals. You should not be welcoming them in your drinks. It leads to weight gain and subsequently  obesity. 

Alcohol has the ability to lower the testosterone level in your body. Testosterone is the hormone responsible for losing weight and gaining lean muscle.

Alcohol clouds your judgment about food choices. The food choices you should be running away from are the self-same food choices you will be running towards when in a drunken state.

Alcohol can act as an appetite suppressant if you do not eat before drinking. By the time you finish drinking, you will be so full you will not have space for food. Later in the night, you will suddenly wake up to gnawing hunger and thirst that will make you go rummaging lockers looking for snacks to eat. In this state, you will be less discriminatory in what you eat.

3  Eat home-cooked Meals

One positive aspect of the lockdown is the fact that it gives you so much time to do other things. You should invest some of the time in preparing delicious home-cooked meals for your family

Some people have been forced to eat out because of the restrictions of time and the fact that you are at work that leaves you with little time to prepare healthy home-cooked meals for your family. Now you have all the time at your disposal. There is no excuse not to feed your family with good home cooking.

The major attraction of the restaurant and eating out is its convenience. It’s so convenient to just walk into a restaurant, be ushered to  a seat by  a courteous, uniformed waiter/waitress. Because of this convenience, we tend to be blind to the fact that restaurant food may not be as healthy as it looks.Besides the fact that they are pricey.

Make sure your home-cooked meals are delicious, healthy food. It should be mostly vegetables and protein like meats, eggs, fish and chicken. There should be nothing processed. Whatever diet you choose to make, ensure it has high-protein intake.

If you have a problem with deciding on a recipe, there are websites that will willingly send you a free recipe that will show you step by step how to prepare a particular meal  if you contact them. www.Chef.com has thousands of recipes and a user-friendly search box that will help the newbie find recipes easily. Similarly www.Allrecipes.com will help you find recipes to your taste.

Again, there is absolutely no excuse to eat outside your home during this lockdown. It is truly an opportunity for you and members of your family to sit and enjoy a healthy, home-cooked meal in the convenience of your home. 

4  Drink more Water

The lockdown period affords you the opportunity to drink a large amount of water which is what your system needs to flush out toxins.

Most times, you do not drink enough water for fear that you would need to go to the toilet more frequently and that would disrupt your daily schedule.

Now is the time to jettison all those fears and ensure you drink all the water your famished bodies need. To avoid dehydration, we should drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water every day. I don’t know about you but I do not remember the last time I drank half a gallon of water last! You have no excuse whatsoever during this lockdown. You are cloistered in your homes and your toilets are close by.

Benefits of Drinking Water

  • It helps us maintain a healthy digestive system.
  • It facilitates proper kidney function
  • It relieves tiredness
  • It helps in weight management

How does Water Aid Weight Loss

Water acts as a suppressant and helps to rein in our appetite. If you drink water just before a meal, you feel less hungry and eat less. It is calculated that water can help reduce weight in a year just by drinking water.

Children prefer flavored drinks to water just because water does not have the sweet taste that these drinks do have. A way to get around this, is to sweeten water with lemon. If you cut slices of lemon and drop in the glass, it gives the water a fruity look.

Lemon contains pectin. Pectin suppresses your appetite and helps make you eat less and lose weight.

Engage in Low-intensity Exercises while under Lockdown

The fact that you are cloistered at home does not mean that you can not engage in low-intensity exercises. You may cite the reason that you do not have gym equipment at home as an excuse. You can be creative about this.

Informal Ways You can Exercise at Home

A number of gyms have moved their programs online and on TV. These gyms get their celebrity trainers to demonstrate exercise regimens and you can follow along. I know Planet Fitness has such a program that airs at particular times depending on the state you live. You can access Planet Fitness to find out if it airs in your area at www.planetfitness.com  Turn on your TV and just follow along with the trainer. You can even participate as a family doing the moves in sync with the trainer.

With the close down of businesses most gyms have gone virtual. They offer follow-along trainings at a fraction the cost of gym memberships. You may consider enrolling in one of them.

Zumba is another fun exercise regimen you can engage in with members of your family. You can engage in the series of dance routines. You would not only sweat but derive a ton of fun from engaging in this activity while burning tons of calories.

You can access Zumba videos on Youtube and use them to practice exercise dance moves

Treadmill: It is time to put that treadmill gathering dust in one corner of your home to use. Crank it up and walk, run on it. You can take turns with members of your family using the treadmill. The good thing about a treadmill is that you can use it at any time of the day. You can draw up a schedule for your family giving every member a time slot.

You may say I do not own a treadmill. No problem. If you do not own a treadmill, there are alternatives to using the treadmill like walking, running, rollerblading, biking, cycling, skipping and jumping rope. Some states are less restrictive than others in tolerating movement. Most states would allow running and walking as long as we stay 6ft. apart.( Social Distancing )

Make Exercising a Regular Feature of your day

You can actually make exercising a regular feature of your everyday living. While watching TV, you can get up during the commercial break and walk around the house. You can engage in a variety of home workouts for seconds at a time. You can do Push ups, jumping jack and Mountain climbing for 30 secs each. If you take time to repeat this series of exercises 5-6 times a day, it will begin to have a compound effect on your weight loss.

Weight loss can be likened to a numbers game. If your caloric intake is more than its output, you are bound to experience weight gain. If your output is more than your intake, you are bound to undergo weight loss. The way to cut down on your intake of calories is through exercising and dieting.If as a result of the lockdown you put a stop on your exercising and you start engaging in overeating to ease your anxieties, you will experience weight gain.

It is advisable to engage in limited cardio and Resistance training that will help you build muscle mass instead of foregoing it completely.

Weight loss is a continuous battle and any attempt to take your eye off the ball, even for a short period of time as a lockdown, will result in weight gain.

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