Lately, I have been hearing a great deal of talk about the fear of the Quarantine 15. Similar to the Freshman 15 we were all warned about when we went to college, the Quarantine 15 is the concern about gaining weight in this time of overwhelming stress and anxiety. While it is true this time does have the potential to derail our health goals, we can also look at this as an opportunity to rededicate ourselves to be our healthiest selves. Following a few simple guidelines will make this goal more of a reality.
- Stay active: Yes, all of our gyms are closed and we are being urged to stay away from others but many gyms are offering online classes or walks in the neighborhoods are still allowed. You can get an amazing workout by running stairs, hop on a bike, doing body weight exercises (like push ups, sit ups and squats) or doing walking lunges down the street. Working in the yard, chasing our kids around or vigorously cleaning the house all offer some movement. Get off the couch- no one needs to binge watch Netflix for days at a time.
- Focus on eating fruits and veggies: Eating as much fresh, unprocessed food as possible will help keep your calories in check. Fruits and veggies are naturally low in calories, are filling and offer important vitamins and minerals as well as fiber to keep the digestive system humming.
- Eat protein: In times of stress, many of us have the tendency to reach for simple carbs like cake, cookies, pasta and other comfort foods. Try to make a point of including protein with every meal. It will keep you full longer, balances blood sugar, is important for neurotransmitter production (important for mood) and helps build muscle.
- Snack mindfully. It is easy when we are stuck inside to reach for a snack every time we go through the kitchen. However, before shoving that cookie in your mouth, ask yourself, “What do I actually need right now?”. Am I actually hungry? Do I need connection with a friend? Am I bored? Once you ascertain what you really need, you can figure out the best way to meet that need.
I know this time is very hard for everyone and we are all searching for ways to survive the pandemic. In this time of stress, we are not always going to make the choices that we know are most supportive of our health goals. That is okay!! However, doing your best to stick to your normal routine while trying to follow some of the above guidelines, might make this ordeal a little easier.
Photo from flickr.