Updated: May 27
There's a ton of jokes going around about the COVID 19lbs, and the struggle is real. People are gaining weight due to the stress of the pandemic, and the easy access to food while working from home. Now weight doesn't matter in the end because you are worthy as you are, but health does.
Some weight gain is linked to eating poor quality foods and puts you at risk of heart disease, some cancers, and type 2 diabetes. Not to mention low energy, loss of movement, and the stress the extra weight can put on your lower back.
There are lots of factors that contribute to weight gain such as;
Hormones (thyroid, adrenal glands, menopause, testosterone)
It's no wonder that many of us struggle with our weight. It's always been a battle for me. I find that stress and portion control are my issues. It's easy to eat, way too much of a good thing.
With all these factors in mind, here are a few tips to help you manage your weight during this stressful time.
Get outdoors for a socially distanced walk, run, or cycle. Exercise helps you manage your emotions and can help prevent you from reaching for one more snack. As well, you burn some calories (if you are counting calories).
Eat more veggies and watch your intake of processed or junk foods. If you feed the bad gut bacteria, it will cause you to crave more of foods such as sugar. So feed the good bacteria with greens and veggies to avoid these cravings. Gut health and immune health are the same, as 70% of your immune system is in your gut.
Processed Vegan foods have a place in your diet, occasionally! Avoid them as part of your everyday diet as they tend to full of oil, salt, and even some chemicals. These types of foods do not meet your body's nutritional needs.
Be moderate with your oil intake. Oil is a refined food that is high calories and has low nutrient value. Sauté in water instead. It's better to eat the fat in its original state. Such as eating some Avacado, as there are still nutrients at this point.
Watch your intake of nuts. Yes, in their natural, state they are a whole food. Nuts though, are calorie-dense. So if weight loss is your goal, avoid handfuls of nuts.
Watch your takeout. Even in Vegan restaurants, portions can be huge !! Vegan mayonnaise is super high in fat and calories, much like regular mayonnaise. Order it on the side to control your intake or skip it altogether.
Watch your alcohol intake; it's empty calories, limit, or give it up while you are trying to lose weight.
Ahhh, sweets, vegan baking is yummy. Still, sugar is sugar .if you are craving sweets, reach for fresh fruits, a juicy Medjool date, or some homemade banana "nice" cream.
What else are your drinking? Lattes, pop, and other high-calorie sugary drinks can add up. Limit them!
Drink water ! It boosts your metabolism, flushed toxins, and will give you more energy. Picture your plants when they need watering. That's you when you are dehydrated.
Stop eating a few hours before your bedtime, your body detoxes and heals while you sleep. If it has to digest food, it halts the other processes.
Eat more mindfully. Stress affects your digestion, so slow down, eat your food, and savor the moment. As well don't drink liquids during or right after meals, this affects your digestion and your nutrient retention.
Eat your veggies. Vegetables are full of the micro-nutrients your body needs to thrive. Often those cravings that drive you to reach for nutrient-poor snacks are just your body's way of saying, "Hey, I need more vitamins and minerals. "
Watch your stress levels. Stress affects your endocrine system and can cause your hormone levels to be out of whack! This is especially true in the case of belly fat. Get your sleep, meditate, and find time for self-care.
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Sheree Nicholson is the owner of Live With Spirit Yoga & Fitness studio in Whitby, Ontario. She has a certificate in plant-based nutrition from eCornell University and is working on her Masters in Metaphysics. Sheree holds certifications in Advanced Yoga, Pilates, Reebok Spinning and Kettlebell training,. This benefits you as she focuses on functional movement, strength and weight loss.