7 Tips to Control Weight Gain While in COVID-19 Lockdown:

There currently are over 3 billion people around the world in coronavirus lockdown. Normal routines are cast aside, and regular activities are not possible.

For most people, these unprecedented and unsettling circumstances lead to excessive visits to the refrigerator.

Many people are complaining about weight gain because they are at home all day with nothing much to do. 

It doesn’t have to be this way.

Here are 7 tips to help you control your eating while in lockdown:

  1. If you desire to reduce the amount of food you are eating mostly unconsciously, I recommend that you do not keep any snacks at home. This way you will have to do some sort of preparation and to exert some effort before you can eat the food. Preparation is a great deterrent for most people to stop eating all day. When you have snacks around, you just have to open the cupboard or refrigerator door and open a package of processed food and eat it. This makes weight gain so prevalent. The food needs no effort to prepare and is available ready to eat at any time of day. Snacks include yogurts — even natural ones, small energy bars, chocolate, and of course, the usual snacks in bags. So decide to rid your home of all snacks and instead fill up your kitchen with mostly fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lentils or frozen cooked beans, and a few nuts and tahini. Great snacks that are healthy and will not lead to weight gain include apples, peeled carrots, peppers, cherry tomatoes, bananas, dates, natural nuts that are not roasted or salted which makes them irresistible and difficult to stop even when you are not hungry.
  2. I recommend buying fruits and vegetables in bulk so that you do not become stingy when eating them, and instead, consume them in abundance. I know that money is short for most of us at this time and this is why I also think that it is best to buy directly from farmers doing home deliveries. I’m sure you can find local growers selling their produce with home deliveries at this time. These vegetables are usually much cheaper as there is no middle man, and it is an excellent opportunity to consume more fresh food picked straight from the field.
  3. It is also noteworthy to know that if you consume a lot of foods rich in nutrients, your real need for food will decrease, and, at the same time, you will be ensuring that you are caring for your health, and boosting your immune system. The simple foods I mentioned before are rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients that will help keep you healthy at a time when you are all day indoors with little opportunity to go out for fresh air.
  4. I also want to add that even if you are not physically active during this time, although I do not recommend this, you will not gain weight if you are eating the right foods. You will simply notice more elimination happening. At least twice to three times a day. However, if you can afford it, I would order a walking machine and walk daily on it while you are listening to books through audible or on youtube or simply talking on the phone. Physical activity keeps your body functioning at its best, and a walk a day is vital for your physical and mental health.
  5. It is also vital to consume sufficient carbohydrates. However, all carbohydrates should be consumed whole. Consuming whole grains should not be too difficult to do during this time since you are only eating food at home, and you are the one who decides which foods to buy for home. There is also less temptation from external sources. The whole-grain carbohydrates or potatoes will calm your body and mind and help you feel in a better mood. I really recommend avoiding all diets that remove carbohydrate-rich foods now. When you consume sufficient carbohydrates in the form of whole grains, of any sort, including gluten-free, you are caring for the needs of your brain and muscles. If you consume whole grain carbohydrates and not simple carbohydrates like sugar or white refined grains, then you do not need to worry about gaining weight as whole grains and potatoes are rich in fiber. Fiber helps you feel full faster. With the right carbohydrates, you will automatically feel the desire to stop eating when you have consumed sufficient food. But, not only that, fiber also helps support your health providing good food for the healthy microbes in your gut. They also need food to thrive, and you definitely want these bacteria to thrive and help you fight off disease at this time.
  6. The foods that you do consume, although they should require some amount of preparation, do not have to be very complicated to prepare. At least two meals can be more manageable to make. A sandwich from whole grain or sprouted bread, some hummus, and avocado with sliced tomato and dash of lemon is a great meal. Oatmeal with sugar-free plant-based milk and some fruit or jam or honeycomb to sweeten it is another simple meal to prepare that requires no cooking at all. Also, a fruit shake with frozen and fresh fruits is excellent. Use can use bananas, strawberries and forest berries of all sorts, as well as a pear and you have a wonderful meal. You may also want to add some superfoods like spirulina or tahini to add protein to your shake meal, and you’re ready to go. This way, you have at least half of your meals mostly raw and the rest of your meals cooked. The raw meals usually also produce much fewer dishes to wash afterward.
  7. In the cooked meals, you can make easy-to-prepare lentil soups, each time from a different lentil. You may wish to cook with your kids healthy and easy to prepare pancakes. Whole grain spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce with peas for added protein is another excellent option. Potatoes in the oven with some tomatoes and onions to add flavor served with edamame is another great idea. Mushrooms are a great side dish that adds so many nutrients to your meal. I also like to add a raw element to the cooked meals in the form of a salad. A leafy green salad with cherry tomatoes and onion slices with a dash of lemon juice, garlic, and mustard as the dressing (nobody will smell you now anyway) is delicious and healthy. A different of chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and different colored peppers make a delicious salad as well served with lemon juice and some salt.

I hope these suggestions have helped you understand how you can control your weight easily even while you are housebound.

I wish you much health during these unfamiliar times.

Best wishes,

Galit

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Dr. Galit Goldfarb

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