Adopting Healthy Lockdown Habits for Weight Loss
As the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown comes to an end, many individuals are reflecting on their eating habits over the past two years. Some people have managed to improve their diet during this period, while others have experienced unwanted weight gain. Regardless of your current situation, it is never too late to adopt some beneficial lockdown habits that can aid in weight loss. On the other hand, certain eating patterns that emerged during the pandemic and led to weight gain should be left behind to maintain healthy eating habits in the long run. This blog explores the dietary habits you should embrace during the lockdown and those that are better off discarded.
Understanding Weight Management
Weight management involves the physiological processes and techniques that contribute to an individual’s ability to achieve and maintain their desired weight. It encompasses long-term lifestyle strategies that promote regular physical activity and healthy eating. Additionally, weight management involves adopting effective techniques to track weight over time and determine ideal body weights for different individuals.
The Role of Leptin in Weight Management
Leptin is a hormone primarily responsible for regulating appetite and fat storage. It is produced by fat cells in the body and plays a crucial role in controlling fat storage as well as the number of calories consumed and burned. Leptin acts as a mediator for long-term energy balance regulation, suppressing food intake and promoting weight loss.
Effective Ways to Lose Weight at Home Without Exercise
1. Prioritize Breakfast
With the transition to working from home, many individuals no longer have to rush through their morning routines. This newfound time can be utilized for self-care activities like having breakfast, which can aid in weight loss. Research has shown that skipping breakfast often leads to increased consumption of added carbohydrates, sugars, and total fat throughout the day. Breakfast is an opportunity to incorporate essential elements of a healthy diet, such as fiber.
2. Prepare Homemade Lunch
Due to office closures, a significant number of people started having lunch at home during the lockdown. This change can be seen as a positive development for weight management. A survey revealed that 31 percent of individuals consumed lunch at home daily, compared to only 18 percent before the pandemic. By preparing homemade lunches, individuals have more control over the ingredients and portion sizes, which can contribute to healthier eating habits.
3. Reduce Dining Out
The restrictions and closures imposed on restaurants during the lockdown have resulted in fewer opportunities for eating out. From a weight management perspective, this is beneficial. Studies have shown that 91 percent of restaurant meals provide excessive calories for a single eating occasion. By reducing dining out, individuals can better control their calorie intake and make healthier food choices.
4. Regularly Monitor Your Weight
While tight clothing may indicate weight gain in a typical work setting, it is essential to regularly check your weight when spending extended periods at home. Research has consistently shown that frequent weighing is associated with better weight outcomes. This practice should be maintained even when returning to wearing more formal attire.
5. Incorporate Whole Grains and Beans
During the early days of the lockdown, many people stocked up on shelf-stable ingredients like whole grains and dried beans to minimize trips to the grocery store. These foods are not only convenient but also highly nutritious. Consuming whole grains and beans regularly can promote gut health and contribute to maintaining a healthy weight. Studies have indicated that individuals who consume three servings of whole grains per day experience smaller increases in waist size compared to those who consume little or no whole grains.
6. Embrace Home Cooking
Social media feeds during the lockdown were filled with homemade dishes as individuals rediscovered their passion for cooking. With limited entertainment options outside the home and restricted access to restaurants, families turned to their kitchens for both nourishment and enjoyment. Cooking at home has been linked to positive health habits, including lower calorie intake and a higher quality diet.
Habits That Can Sabotage Weight Loss Efforts
1. Mindless Snacking
Working in or near the kitchen posed a challenge for many individuals during the lockdown. Without the usual social constraints, such as eating in front of colleagues, people often resorted to mindless snacking throughout the day. This habit can undermine weight loss efforts. It is important to be mindful of unhealthy snacking habits and establish healthier alternatives.
2. Emotional Eating
The pandemic brought unprecedented stress and uncertainty into people’s lives, leading many to turn to food as a coping mechanism