The COVID-19 virus and the lockdown that resulted have turned daily-life upside-down across the United States and the world. Safety concerns, rampant unemployment, and growing unrest have replaced the hustle and bustle lifestyles that keep America running. After being homebound for a month or more (depending on where you live), it’s no surprise that many Americans have put on unwanted pounds. The good news is you can shed those pounds with just a few tweaks to your daily routine.
Lockdown Effects and Why We Eat More
Lockdown, as in you can’t leave your home except for essential tasks, has helped to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus but it’s increased the spread of more than a few Americans’ waistlines, thighs, and backsides. Not being able to stop by the grocery store at will has modified our shopping lists a great deal. Americans seem to be eating considerably more candy, bread, and pasta than usual, and also drinking more alcohol.
Alcohol sales increased by 55% at the end of March during the lockdown, according to the University of Southern California. Not surprisingly, public health officials harbor growing concerns about alcohol rehab needs in the near future as substance abuse rates increase. While alcohol mostly has empty calories, it does, however, tend to drop inhibitions, making that second serving of french fries all too easy to eat.
Eating more and drinking more tend to go hand-in-hand when stress levels run higher than usual. Stress-eating brought on by COVID-19 and the far-reaching effects of the pandemic account for why so many people are putting on weight. Also, when underlying mental health issues are at work, food can become an all-too-easy way to cope with what’s going on around us. Taking steps to replace stress-eating behaviors with constructive activities and paying attention to what you eat can help shed the “lockdown pounds.”
Tips for Losing Weight
Consider Your Metabolism Rate
The body’s metabolism rate tends to slow down during periods of inactivity, which translates into extra pounds. A slow metabolism can also be related to the types of foods you eat, not just during lockdown but regularly. Certain kinds of foods, such as refined sugar and processed foods, clog up your digestive system, making it difficult for the body to fully absorb available nutrients.
Doing what you can to support your body’s ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients may be the way to go. Sometimes this requires a vitamin boost, especially when the body is low on the essential ones. In this case, a multivitamin or even vitamin injections may help.
Manage Your Stress Levels
Considering the jarring impact the lockdown has had in so many peoples’ lives, finding ways to manage stress levels can pay off in dividends when stress-eating gets out of hand. Since eating in response to stress is a coping mechanism, you can develop new ways of coping with the effects of the lockdown, and keep stress-eating in check. Here are some ideas to consider:
- Journal your daily thoughts and feelings
- Talk about how you feel with a friend or partner
- Daily meditation sessions
- Start a project you’ve meaning to get to
Eat Regular Meals
It can be easy to fall into snack mode when on lockdown and this habit can be hard to break once lockdown ends. Make it a point to eat regular, balanced meals. By eating balanced meals you can keep your blood sugar levels stable throughout the day, which helps reduce hunger cravings.
Stock Up on Healthy, Tasty Snacks
If you must snack, make sure they’re made up of healthy foods. Healthy snacks include fruit, nuts, seeds, and even smoothies. Like eating balanced meals, healthy snacks help keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Put Together an Exercise Schedule
If you haven’t resumed your exercise routine already, schedule time to exercise, be it walking, jogging, or an all-out workout. Regular exercise not only helps shed pounds but also boosts your mood. Exercise will also help speed up your body’s metabolism rate.
Get Proper Rest
A good night’s sleep works wonders for the body’s health and will also help with weight in more ways than one. Here are a few ways sleep helps with weight loss:
- Promotes emotional health and stability
- Supports healthy metabolism processes
- Helps maintain stable blood sugar levels
- Helps prevent weight gain
Help Yourself See Positive Results
Sometimes, even with all this work, we don’t see the results that we really want to. Experts agree that you’re most likely to stick to a weight loss program if you can see the positive results. When you’re ready, consider a body slimming procedure that helps you to see the results you really want to. There are many different options to choose from, and many are non-invasive. Often, many who have been working to enjoy the physical benefits of their diet and exercise programs need a bit of help in this area, and those who have decided to go this route find that they are more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle that if they weren’t seeing the results they hoped for.
While lockdown may not have lasted as long as expected, lifestyle habits picked up during that time can linger if you’re not paying attention. This is especially the case when it comes to food. By eating healthy, exercising on a regular basis, getting proper rest, and keeping your stress levels in check you can drop those “lockdown pounds” and return to your normal weight.
1 – Sunshine Behavioral Health, “Inpatient Alcohol Rehab Options”
2 – USC News, “Pandemic Drives Alcohol Sales — and Raises Concerns About Substance Abuse”
3 – MedicineNet, “The ‘Quarantine 15’: Weight Gain During COVID-19 Pandemic”
4 – Medical News Today, “Why Sleep Is Essential for Health”