Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems many of us have either gained or lost weight during quarantine, with no in-between. With the added stress, illness, and anxiety, food has been a comfort for many during these hard times. As the United States gets ready for another possible shut down, we must prepare for being trapped with food and our own cravings. This will allow us not to gain another 20 pounds and potentially walk out of the second wave healthier than ever! View the tips below for simple processes on how to stay healthy during a pandemic.
Schedule your meals
Not knowing what you're going to eat next is really discouraging when it comes to scheduling meals. If you plan your meals, it will be very beneficial to your health journey. Meal prepping is important as it allows for the mental preparation of eating; this is good because you won't have to stress about choosing a healthy meal or a cheat meal. Additionally, sticking to a schedule will help prevent your body from going into a hunger mode, leading to unhealthy cravings.
Commit to eating breakfast: Breakfast is definitely of the most important meals of the day, so try and commit to eating shortly after you wake up to fuel your body for the day.
Commit to snacking reasonably: Snacking is not deadly, and some people enjoy snacking over full meals; however, create a balance and try to swap unhealthy snacks.
Meal prep: Some days are busier than others, so do not wait until the last minute to prep for a meal, or else you will opt for the quicker, unhealthy option. Set aside a couple of hours, one day a week, to cook and prep your meals.
Portion control is essential to your health journey because eating too much or too little of something can be damaging. Learning to make the contents on your plate equal allows your body to adjust to healthy digestion and potentially weight loss. If you are following a strict diet that incorporates portion control, then commit to those requirements. However, if you want to enjoy your favorite things every once and a while, then work with portion control to keep a healthy balance.
Make a balanced plate: Every time you eat, your plate should have various healthy fats, vegetables, meat, and a nutritious form of carbs. Again, a stricter diet may require other things; however, make this concept a base for all meals, and you will see results quickly.
Contribute to scheduled meals: When scheduling meals, remember portion control. You will have days where your meals are smaller or larger than others, so account for that when considering portion control.
It is very tempting to stay inside and lay on the couch during a pandemic lockdown all day. Relaxation is key when dealing with underlying stress; however, too much relaxation can lead to a mindset of laziness and lack of motivation when trying to accomplish goals. This attitude will prevent you from accomplishing your personal development goals, so get moving! You may be hesitant to go outside, so find some safe alternatives to get moving, even if it is indoors.
Make it fun: Commit to a workout plan or enjoy a hobby you love while staying active.
Get outdoors: Getting fresh air will influence your sleep schedule for better and lower stress levels.
We have all been loving the extra sleep and laying in pajamas while in isolation; however, this has affected many of our sleep schedules. This is because it is very tempting to want to stay up super late or sleep all day, but your health will face the effects of improper sleep. Attempting to manage your sleep schedule automatically results in a change in your health progress, as many healthy processes relate to sleep.
Adjust your schedule: If you like to stay up late, then adjust your schedule, so you get the recommended hours of sleep a night and vice versa if you go to bed early. Scheduling sleep does not have to be strict; you can still enjoy your night while maintaining your health.
Remember your goals: If your goals include weight loss, it is important to remember that when you sleep, that's when you burn off the calories you've worked so hard for. So keep pushing and get those zzz's!
Everyone always says that the key to weight loss is drinking water; however, it is challenging with busy schedules and work or school. Most of us overlook drinking water and neglect to acknowledge the benefits. Water is the source of our bodies and so important to our health journies. Now that we have the freedom to stay at home and work on ourselves start drinking LOTS of water!
Drink a gallon of water a day: To help drink more water, try and purchase a motivational gallon of water to track your intake.
Control soda/juice cravings: Start controlling your cravings by opting for healthier options. For example, purchase water flavorings or zero-calorie sparkling water to aid soda cravings, but continue to drink pure water.
Cravings are a natural part of the human body and it is very difficult not to eat the tempting goodies in our house while we're cooped up 24/7. Try and control those cravings by swapping your favorites with some healthy options you can stash in your house for those late-night temptations.
Sweet cravings: go for some juicy fruit (ice cold smoothie or fruit bowl)
Salty cravings: go for some nuts (they are a great source of healthy fats)
Crunchy cravings: go for raw veggies (broccoli & ranch or peppers & hummus)
Check the rest of our blog post for more information on health and personal development.