If you gained weight in lockdown, then you’re certainly not alone, with many people reporting that they piled on some extra pounds during the stay-at-home coronavirus restrictions. And with gyms closed and nothing much to do other than work from home and snack in front of the TV for most people, it’s easy to see why. After all, in a situation like a global pandemic, your waistline might not have been your main priority – and that’s okay. But perhaps you’ve decided that you want to get back to your pre-lockdown figure and start tackling the weight gain. Now is a great time to start, with gyms reopened and supermarket shelves restocked with healthy foods again. Whether you’ve got a few pounds to lose or want to achieve significant weight loss, we’ve got a few handy tips to help you get started.
A meal replacement shake can be a great way to make sure that you’re getting the nutrients that you need, especially in the morning if you are a breakfast skipper. Skipping breakfast can actually be more detrimental to your health than you realise, so one of these healthy, protein-rich shakes from Shake That Weight can help you get your day off to the right start. Shake That Weight offer a range of healthy, tasty shakes with loads of gorgeous flavours to choose from including strawberry, white chocolate and raspberry, hazelnut, cafe latte, banana, vanilla, mint chocolate and more with something for everybody. You can opt for one shake a day or take advantage of their carefully created diet plans designed to help with rapid weight loss.
Now that the panic-buying has long calmed down, we can get to the supermarket without having to worry about the shelves being empty. So, make sure that fruits and vegetables are priorities for your next grocery shopping list. Ideally, you should aim to fill around one-third of your plate with healthy vegetables for every meal, especially leafy greens which are a definite superfood and offer far more health benefits than weight loss alone. Spinach, kale, collards, lettuce and pak choi are just some great examples of leafy greens that you can add to a wide range of tasty recipes.
With offices reopening and kids back in school with strict measures in place to keep everybody safe, life is getting back to some resemblance of normal and for most of us, that means that we’re back to our busy routines. Meal planning at the beginning of the week or before you do your weekly grocery shop makes it easier for you to ensure that you’ve got healthy dishes planned for every day, making it easier to avoid giving in to the temptation of a takeaway. You could even go one step further and prepare ingredients for your meals in advance – chopping your vegetables and freezing them to be used later on makes cooking throughout the week a lot easier.
Water consumption plays a huge part in health and weight loss and ideally, you should look to drink around two litres per day. One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a reusable water bottle with measurements so that you can track how much you are drinking. Keep your water bottle close by so that you can sip on it throughout the day and stay hydrated. If you get a hunger pang, bear in mind that it could simply mean you need to drink more water – drinking water if you feel hungry will let you know whether you actually do need food right now or not, which can help you reduce the amount that you eat.
If you’re still working from home, you probably know by now just how tempting it can be to snack all day long when there’s nobody around to feel guilty in front of. Home-based workers are, after all, right near or even inside their kitchen, so the best thing to do is remove all unhealthy snacks from your reach and replace them with healthier options instead. If you feel the need to refuel with a snack throughout the day then opt for a handful of nuts, a banana, Greek yoghurt or a protein bar instead of reaching straight for the biscuits, crisps or a chocolate bar.
While most gyms have now reopened and have strict measures in place to keep everybody safe, it’s understandable if you do not want to risk going to the gym, particularly with the news surrounding a potential second wave of the virus coming quite imminently. Thankfully, there are plenty of ways to exercise more at home and have some fun with it. If you have a gaming console at home like an Xbox or Nintendo Switch, games like Just Dance are a fun way to get moving and you can get your whole family involved. Or, use nature to your advantage and go walking, cycling or jogging in your local park. As long as you get your body moving and your heart pumping, you can exercise from wherever you like.
Perhaps you started going back to the gym as soon as lockdown restrictions were lifted, but with rumours of a second national lockdown this winter, you are worried about the implications of that on your fitness routine. Now is a great time to invest in some exercise equipment for your home if you have the room. A home treadmill, exercise bike or some dumbbells are great items to have in your home – even if gyms stay open in the future, having them there can motivate you to exercise and keep fit even when you don’t feel like heading out.
Sleep can play a huge part in your weight loss achievements. Aside from feeling tired and groggy the next day, not sleeping enough can cause your metabolism to slow down and make it harder for you to lose weight, even if you’re putting all the hard work in with your diet and exercise. To make sure that you’re getting the best results from all your efforts, try to get between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. You can make it easier to achieve this by having a good bedtime routine, banishing electronics from your bed and avoiding stimulants in the evening.
Sadly, many people forget to celebrate their small successes when it comes to weight loss and focus only on the end goal, but this could lead to you becoming disheartened. Notice your smaller achievements like losing one pound or a couple of inches off your waist; they are much bigger than they seem. Don’t give up if it seems like you are losing weight slowly; after all, this is the safest way to do it and typically, those who lose weight gradually over time are more likely to keep it off in the future compared to people who lose a great deal of weight very quickly.
Lockdown weight gain is certainly nothing new for most people, with staying at home affecting many of our waistlines. If you’re ready to shed those extra pounds and get back to your old self, keep these tips in mind to help you get started.