Throughout the last year, many of us have spent a tremendous amount of time at home. In order to protect ourselves and our loved ones and curb the spread of the novel coronavirus, we’ve opted to remove ourselves from situations and settings in which exposure and transmission are likely.
While hanging out at home all the time has been more of an adjustment for some of us than others, being stuck in your house is often conducive to indulgent eating habits. Feelings of fear, boredom and stress are closely associated with junk food consumption, and many of us have felt these emotions in abundance since the pandemic began. Although there’s nothing wrong with the occasional retreat into comfort food, indulging these cravings too often isn’t doing your health any favors.
So, if you’re looking to maintain a healthy weight during this trying period, put the following pointers to good use:
Place Limits on the Frequency of Takeout Orders
Ordering takeout on a consistent basis can prove detrimental to both your waistline and your personal finances. Although getting takeout is a great way to support local businesses in this difficult time, indulging in it excessively is unlikely to help you maintain a healthy weight. With this in mind, place limits on the number of times you allow yourself to order in each month. Not only will this help you save money, it will make takeout seem like more of an occasional treat instead of a go-to meal option.
If you used to regularly dine out before the pandemic hit, placing limits on your takeout orders is liable to be a bit of an adjustment. While some people are likely to find this more difficult than others, turning takeout into a periodic indulgence will afford you many opportunities to try your hand at cooking. Whether you’re an experienced at-home chef or a complete novice in the kitchen, the more you hone your culinary abilities, the more proficient you’ll become.
Limit the Amount of Junk Food You Keep in the House
When ample supplies of junk food are easily accessible, ignoring cravings can prove difficult. After all, if you’ve already spent money on unhealthy foods, you may believe there’s no sense in letting them go to waste. Conversely, the less accessible these foods are, the easier cravings for them are to ignore. As such, you should make a point of placing strict limits on the amount of junk food you keep in your pantry. Instead, stock up on healthy snacking alternatives, like fruits, veggies, hummus and nuts. This isn’t to say that you can never treat yourself to some comfort food, but make sure your supplies of such foods are very limited.
Experimenting with healthy eating may help disabuse you of the notion that healthy foods are lacking the taste department. As you’ll quickly discover, health-conscious meals and snacks can be every bit as delicious and filling as their less healthy counterparts. For instance, if you’re in the market for a tasty treat, a shake made with dairy-free protein powder is likely to satisfy that craving. In fact, after a month or two of consistently healthy diet choices, your junk food cravings are liable to start fading away.
Find an At-Home Fitness Routine That Works for You
When working to maintain a healthy weight, proper diet and exercise go hand-in-hand. In the interest of limiting potential exposure to the novel coronavirus, seek out exercise regimens that can comfortably be carried out from the safety of home. Fortunately, no matter what type of fitness activities you’re into, you should have no trouble engaging in them from the old homestead.
For example, if you enjoying walking, jogging or running, a good treadmill is sure to be a worthwhile investment. Alternatively, if you’re a fan of strength training, look into purchasing a durable pull-up bar, power wheel or set of free weights.
When the bulk of one’s time is spent at home, it’s very easy to gain weight without even realizing it. Boredom combined with easy access to junk food can lead to weight gain within a relatively short period. Fortunately, staving off temptation and maintaining a healthy weight through the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t nearly as daunting a task a you may think.
*Photos by Tim Samuel