Achieving a weight loss result is hard enough when the world is going smoothly. But throw in a viral pandemic and it's imposing daily life disruptions, sticking to a healthy eating and exercise regime may start to seem out of reach and simply unrealistic. Luckily, that's where we can help!
What follows is our advice at simplifying this already challenging and uncertain time to maximize your chance for success or even preventative actions to avoid your results from spiralling backwards.
COVID-19 is unlike anything we have ever experienced or seen in most of our lifetimes. It is a new highly infectious viral disease that appears to have a much higher complication and, in many cases, fatality rate than the seasonal flu. While overall good health and staying home should decrease one's risk of complications, everyone is doing what they can in their own control in order to reduce community spread.
With the new restrictions we are experiencing in our "new normal", which are quite foreign to us from our usual way of life, everyday living is now becoming increasingly stressful and requires extra planning to achieve the simplest of things such as shopping for food and amenities.
Local shopping centres, although they have social distancing measures out in place, is still full of people. So, is now a time to give up on your health and fitness goals in order to just… stay healthy?
The short answer is "no". Here are some things you can do instead of throwing your hard-earned healthy lifestyle out the window.
SIMPLIFY What you can control
During these times of social isolation and social distancing, those of us who have the time to do meal prepping at home more frequently or are getting meals delivered, are at an advantage from a weight gain prevention perspective. Fewer daily shopping trips and delivery opportunities also offer the surprising benefit of reduced diet-sabotaging temptation.
Listed below are some foods "taking up space" in most of our pantries, which can now come in very handy and are easy to meal prep.
- Lentils and beans (canned or bagged)
- Whole grain or white pasta
- Fruit (frozen may be most convenient during this time)
- Potatoes (sweet potato or white)
- Lean pre-packaged lunch meat
- Vision Protein powders
- Meat home delivery services
- Canned tuna or salmon
- Frozen chicken breasts or fish
- Lean beef/turkey mice
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Mixed nuts
- Olive oil
- Fish oil
- Frozen vegetables
- Home delivery service
- Store-bought Bagged salads
- Canned vegetables
- Fresh vegetables
MAKE SURE YOU MEAL PREP
Looking at things from a positive perspective, being safe and staying at home/working from home gives us a bit more time to meal prep, which in turn puts us in total control over our food intake, increasing our likelihood of adherence, and thereby faster success. IF, you avoid the boredom snacking!
Trying to decrease your calorie intake too aggressively right now.
Doing so may be an added stress to your body. In case you are exposed to the virus, you will want your body to be maximally capable of fighting it. Though there is no accurate data on how much weight you can lose without compromising your immune system, it has been said that up to 0.5% of your bodyweight per week is a safe target.
If you're currently close to an energy balance breakeven point, going into maintenance for a small period may help your immune system fire on all cylinders when you need it most.
Another thing to avoid is buying into fad dietary patterns.
If you've seen promotion of specific dietary patterns like Keto or plant-based diets as a way to battle the virus, the bad news is that there is absolutely zero evidence to support such diets over others for the purposes of decreased susceptibility. Instead, ensuring a wide range of nutrient dense foods is key. The same goes for immune-boosting supplements: there is nothing out there right now proven to be of benefit.
EASY WAYS TO BOOST IMMUNITY
- Focus on nutrition! Ensure you consume a wide range of nutrients in your diet from every food group where possible.
- Try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night.
- Get some Vitamin D, at least 30 minutes per day.
- Exercise with us 3 times per week at least with our Online Group Training sessions (Monday and Wednesday's 6.30pm and Saturday's 7am) + attend your Online Personal Training Sessions with your Trainer and where possible, get in some incidental exercise where you can like going for a walk in a non-public place (around the neighbourhood, on or a bush track or trails).
Even during this stressful, and unexpected time, the keys to successful long-term weight management remain largely the same:
- Be compliant and remain consistent
- Learn to love slightly blander and simpler foods
- Switch food choices and meals up to keep variety and avoid diet burnout
- Consume an arrange of nutrient dense foods to fuel you for energy and immunity"
- Maintain your healthy lifestyle routine as close to what you used to as possible
- Stay connected with us via on Zoom via our interactive Seminars and Online Group Training Sessions to avoid feeling isolated
- Play the long game
Remember, probably one of the few positives of a viral outbreak is that some of the above is actually easier to do when we're forced to get "back to basics", like eating out less, having fewer tempting (and late-night Uber eats!) options.
Stay safe, stay connected and stay healthy!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.