Person measuring their waist with a tape measure

Tips for Safely Shedding Quarantine Weight Gain

Over the last year and a half, while the world carefully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, the term “Quarantine 15” was coined. Quarantine 15 alludes to the average amount of weight gained while stay-at-home orders were in place, and everyone was in quarantine for their health and safety.

Now, as the world slowly begins to open back up, your clothes may be feeling a little tighter and your motivation to exercise a little lackluster. Getting back into a healthy routine can be challenging, but we are here to provide tips to make it feel more manageable.

Prepare Your Mind

1. Find Your Inner Motivation

Losing weight is something you should do for yourself. While your closest friends and family can support you on this journey, no one can force you to make healthy choices. Eating the right food and exercising are lifestyle changes that only you can complete. That is why it is essential to find your inner motivation.

Start by making a list of what is important to you to help you stay focused and motivated. Perhaps you have travel plans on the horizon or simply want to feel good in your favorite pair of jeans again. Write all of the reasons down to hold yourself accountable. That way, if you start to lose sight of your end goal, this written list will be there to remind you of why you started your weight loss journey in the first place.

It may also be helpful to post motivational quotes on your bathroom mirror, your refrigerator, or even on your bedside table. Put the notes anywhere that will give you extra encouragement throughout the day.

2. Set Realistic Goals

Setting realistic goals may sound like an obvious trick, but there is more depth to making the goal achievable.

When setting a goal, it is helpful to make it SMART - specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. For example, instead of saying, “I want to lose ten pounds,” try “I am going to lose 10 pounds in 8 weeks by walking 30 minutes each day.” The second version of the goal will make it easier for you to hold yourself accountable by including attainable and specific details.

There are also process goals and outcome goals. For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds” is considered an outcome goal. However, “I will walk 30 minutes per day” is a process goal because it is the action that will contribute to changing your habits and creating a healthier lifestyle.

Fuel Your Body

1. Eat More Protein

Protein is the most essential nutrient when it comes to your weight-loss journey. Replacing carbs and fat with protein is proven to reduce your hunger hormones and increase your satiety hormones (the ones that make you feel full).

Protein also has the highest thermic effect, which means digesting and metabolizing protein burns more calories than digesting carbs or fats. So overall, eating more protein will help curb your cravings and reduce the number of calories you eat in a day.

2. Drink More Water

You may have heard the old-age myth that you should drink eight glasses of water a day. However, the amount of water you drink is dependent on each person. For example, highly active people who sweat a lot may drink more water than those who are less active.

Replacing sugary drinks with water is a great way to automatically reduce your calorie intake and fuel your body with healthier options. Plus, staying hydrated in the summer heat is extremely important!

3. Eat Less Sugar

Overconsumption of sugar is extremely popular in American diets but is also harmful to your health. High sugar diets can lead to many health complications such as fatty liver, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Reducing your sugar intake will cause you to focus on more nutrient-dense food options filled with protein and fiber. Overall, cutting out sugars will lead to weight loss.

4. Exercise

Exercise is not only beneficial for weight loss but for maintaining well-balanced physical and mental health. Physical activity has also proven to reduce high blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack, reduce arthritis pain, and reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

To lose weight and keep it off, the CDC recommends a combination of regular physical activity and a healthy eating plan. Some suggested methods of exercise for weight loss include walking, running, cycling, interval training, weight lifting, yoga, and pilates.

Consult With a PrimeHealth Asheville Physician Today

There are a lot of factors to consider when beginning a weight loss journey. Here, at PrimeHealth Asheville we offer Lifestyle Counseling for those looking to maintain a healthy, balanced, and well-managed routine. Call us today at (828) 705-3520 to schedule an appointment with a medical professional that can help you live a healthier and happier life.

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