As we start to emerge from COVID-related quarantines, many of us are noticing that our scales are edging up and our clothes are fitting a little snugger. One U.S. study earlier this year found, in fact, that 47% of women and 22% of men were already reporting weight gains related to such quarantines.
That makes sense, given the widespread changes in eating habits that have resulted from the pandemic. The good news? Whether your waistline has expanded from added stress, comfort eating, less access to healthy foods or the closer proximity to your snack cupboard, there’s no reason you can’t lose your COVID-19 pounds starting now. Five key suggestions for helping you regain your pre-quarantine body:
Get outside and move. Now that warmer weather is here, it’s easier than ever to go outdoors to walk, run, swim, garden or play. In addition to burning off calories, a day at the beach or a walk through the woods can elevate our moods and give us respite from daily stress. To lose weight, aim for a minimum 200 minutes of moderate activity each week in addition to calorie cutbacks.
Keep eating delicious foods. Watching your weight doesn’t have to mean giving up your favorite foods. When you can find healthier substitutions for the dishes you enjoy the most, you’re more likely to keep to a weight-conscious eating agenda. Thankfully, low-carb enthusiasts, KETO fans and taco aficionados of all kinds can still savor mouth-watering tasty tacos thanks to Mr. Tortilla, the world’s only one-carb tortilla. For an easy and healthy meal or snack anytime, slice up your favorite meats and fresh veggies add savory sauces and wrap the entire delicious concoction in a guilt-free multigrain Mr. Tortilla. It’s 15 calories, packed with protein and fiber, and strong enough to perfectly support even the heartiest fillings. Bonus? It can be fried to crispy perfection if you choose.
Stop eating late at night. While late-night calories are no more fattening than other calories, studies show we tend to eat larger portions of high-calorie foods in the evenings in response to boredom or stress, and/or in conjunction with screen time. As such, you may wish to rule out after-supper treats when trying to lose weight.
Decrease or eliminate sugar. Eating sugar can make your body crave more sweets by leading to imbalances in your blood sugar. Your goal should be to replace empty sugar calories with whole foods that make you feel fuller sooner, reducing the likelihood that you’ll overeat. Almonds, berries, dark chocolate and certain artificial sweeteners can be your friend. In general, added sugars should make up no more than 10% of a healthy daily diet.
Drink more water. H2O is a natural appetite suppressant that helps your body optimize workouts, burn calories and fat and remove waste. It may also keep you from turning to other less-healthy beverages to hydrate. As a rule of thumb, the Mayo Clinic advises that men drink some 11.5 cups of fluids daily and women aim for 15.5 cups.
With a few simple lifestyle changes, you won’t hold on to those unwanted quarantine pounds for long. Take steps now for a healthier future that still includes plenty of tasty, enjoyable foods.
UCLA grads Anthony and Ronald Alcazar developed Mr. Tortilla as an affordable, flavorful and healthy option for taco enthusiasts. Distributors, broker, media and online shopping info can be found at www.mrtortilla.com.