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Health and Fitness News

Lose the Quarantine 15

Have you gained weight while stuck at home? Here’s how to shed the pounds.

You’ve sat at home alone for days, weeks, or months on end. As a result, there’s a good chance you gained a few pounds. You’re not alone. In fact, it’s so common that the phenomenon has been given a nickname: the quarantine 15.

While restaurants weren’t open for business, your kitchen was open 24 hours a day. The gyms were closed down, and your couch became more comfy with each passing minute. On top of all this, your irregular schedule threw off your healthy eating plan. And stress from lost income, kids being home from school, and fears over the virus led you to overeat. For if you copy with stress, overcome boredom, or find comfort with food, you put on even more pounds.

Now what? Instead of accepting your new norm, make the necessary changes to lose the quarantine 15. Here are a few ways to go about it.

Make Mid-Year Resolutions

We normally reserve resolutions for January 1, but it’s never too late to resolve to have better health. Put the past few months behind you and move forward with a new commitment to improve your health and fitness. While spending more time at home, take advantage of the extra time to focus on making healthy changes. Set weight-loss goals to work toward and then make a plan on how you’ll accomplish your goals. Healthy weight loss aims to lose one or two pounds a week through diet and exercise. Remember—it took a few months for the pounds to add up, so don’t expect to lose it all overnight.

Get Back on Track

Before the lockdown, you may have been faithful to workout at the gym with your trainer each day. It’s time to recommit to fitness. As the gyms reopen, renew your membership or enroll in a new class. If you’re not ready to exercise around other people, there are plenty of other ways to workout. Take a jog in the park, walk around the neighborhood, do a workout video in your living room, or ride your bike on the greenway. Plan to get some form of exercise for at least half an hour five days a week. Talk with your trainer for new ways to work out in these odd times.

Stop Emotional Eating

Maybe you gave yourself an excuse to eat more comfort foods during quarantine because you needed something to lift your spirits. Unfortunately, emotional eating is often at the root of weight gain. The food may have temporarily helped you feel better, but the old feelings just return. Food is meant to be enjoyed while relieving hunger and providing energy. Before taking a bite, ask yourself if you’re truly hungry. Listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues rather than to your emotions. Maybe you’re tired. If so, take a nap or go to bed earlier. Maybe you’re bored. So read a book or go try a new hobby. If you’re stressed or anxious, exercise or meditation are much more effective at bringing relief than eating a candybar or bag of chips.

Make a Meal Plan

An irregular schedule, stress, and social isolation may have made healthy eating difficult, but with the right changes you can emerge healthier than when it all started. Make healthy eating a priority in your home. Rid your kitchen of junk food and keep it out of your grocery cart. Sit down and plan your week’s meals, then shop for the ingredients you don’t have on hand. Fill your fridge with healthy but convenient snacks and easy-to-prepare meals made with whole foods.

Before you know it, you’ll be stronger and healthier than before COVID showed up!