Has your waistline widened since the start of the pandemic? Don’t worry, you are not alone. A lifestyle that confines you within the four walls of a house, with limited movement, will surely add inches to your belly.
Routines have been disrupted, stress has increased, and with the emergence of new variants of the virus at regular intervals, it is unclear when things will return to normal. The weight changes came with good reason, as people’s diets, activity levels, sleep habits, and daily routines have all been reversed over the past year.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important for well-being and quality of life. If you are overweight or obese, you have a higher risk of developing serious health problems, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and some cancers.
Obesity is also related to mental health problems like anxiety, depression, etc. Keeping your weight in check will help you stay slim and strong and will also have a positive effect on your health and happiness.
If you are among those who have gained a few inches in life, don’t start being self-critical after reading all of the above. Rather, make some lifestyle changes to help reverse the scale and feel better.
One of the main causes of unhealthy weight gain is poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle without physical activity. Additionally, emotional stress and inadequate sleep routines during the pandemic compounded the problem. Getting fit requires a proper diet, regular exercise, and good sleep; engaging in any of them can defeat the whole purpose.
Follow these simple tips to keep your weight at healthy levels.
Eating well is half the job!
Let’s face it: a healthy diet is the key to weight control. I cannot stress enough the importance of regular calorie consumption. Although a low calorie diet requires you to eat foods in measured portions, it doesn’t necessarily require you to starve! Incorporating foods rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats is a great way to counter weight gain.
A recent study by researchers at the University of Leeds  identifies almonds as one of those foods. The study found that people who ate almonds (compared to energy-equivalent crackers) as a mid-morning snack reported a lower overall appetite. Eating almonds has also led to the suppression of the unconscious desire (“implicit desire”) to consume other high-fat foods, which could be useful in a weight management strategy.
Another study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a daily snack of 42 grams of almonds, consumed as part of an overall healthy diet, improved several risk factors for heart disease. In addition to significantly improving HDL cholesterol,  it also reduced central adiposity (abdominal fat) and waist circumference, all of which are well-established risk factors for heart disease.
Additionally, almonds are also known to have satiating properties, making them a good snack to eat, especially between meals, as they will keep you full without increasing your weight . So be sure to add a handful of almonds to your daily diet for better weight control. In addition to almonds, you can also eat fruit, buttermilk, lemon flavored water to control cravings.
Yes, you read that right: Exercise is a must if you want to lose weight. Did you know that maintaining an exercise routine of at least 150 minutes a week can do more wonders than you can imagine? In addition to losing those extra pounds, exercise helps you gain muscle mass, boost your metabolism, and maintain a healthy heart. It also releases endorphins or happy hormones into your body that elevate your mood.
Renowned fitness instructor Yasmin Karachiwala advises, “By making sure you add cardio and resistance training to the mix, you’ll lose those inches of waist in no time!” He also recommends that “there should be an interval of at least 2 hours between a main meal and a workout. For an extra boost of energy, I suggest my clients eat a banana with a handful of almonds at least 30 minutes before exercise” . . He says that “almonds can satiate hunger without bloating the stomach, allowing for a good workout session. They are a very affordable pre-workout snack and can be taken and eaten on the go.”
There’s nothing good sleep can’t solve
Adequate sleep is essential for your body to recover from daily exertion. Lack of sleep lowers your resting metabolic rate and can also cause insulin resistance. Additionally, it can increase appetite and reduce mental well-being by interfering with hormone production, making you more prone to binge eating unhealthy foods.
Losing those extra pounds can seem difficult at first, even unattainable. But remember, it’s never too late to start. Taking basic measures suitable for quarantine will help you stay within your target weight range. You may face setbacks and may not be able to adjust to a healthy routine as quickly as you would have liked. But it’s important to remember to focus on the long term, and that will pave the way.