Looking to Lose the COVID-19 Weight? Try These Small and Achievable Steps
Do not get down on yourself if you have put on some weight over the last year. Recent studies show that an overwhelming amount of Americans gained some extra pounds during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The stress associated with the pandemic, more time spent at home, and the lack of access to gyms and other recreational activities have presented the perfect storm for a bulging waistline.
The good news is that you are not destined to hold on to this weight forever. You also do not need to engage in a fad diet or strenuous exercise plan to help to shed the pounds. Here are six easy steps that you can try today to help to gradually lose that COVID-19 weight and keep it off.
Use the Stairs When Possible
Never take an elevator when you can easily take the stairs. This is especially important if you work in an office building with stairs. Simply choosing the stairs over the elevator a few times per day can really add up over time. In addition, the simple movement of walking up a flight of stairs will also strengthen your glutes and quads, providing valuable strength training benefits.
Pack Your Lunch
With many Americans heading back to the office after working at home for months, it may be tempting to dive right back into the routine of going out to lunch with your co-workers. If losing weight is one of your goals, you will be better off packing your lunch at home and bringing it to work with you. Restaurant meals are loaded with extra fat and calories that you do not need. As a bonus, you will also save loads of money in the process.
Avoid Calories in Your Beverages
Many people make the mistake of taking in too many calories just through their beverages. If controlling your calories is how you plan to lose weight, you will want to avoid taking in calories through what you drink. Instead, opt for water, seltzer, unsweetened iced tea, or plain coffee. Smoothies, energy drinks, and sodas will quickly sabotage all of your weight loss plans.
Track Your Diet and Movements
While it may seem like overkill to some, tracking your diet and your physical activity can keep you accountable for your weight loss efforts. Start by keeping a food journal of everything that you put into your mouth. You may not realize how the little nibbles here and there throughout the day are wreaking havoc on your waistline. There are many online food diaries that make this a breeze.
You may also want to consider using a fitness tracker. Today's modern trackers deliver a host of data and information about your activity level as well as your sleeping habits. You can also use these trackers to monitor your heart rate while exercising, ensuring that you are making the most out of your sweat sessions.
Move, Move, Move
Every opportunity that you have to get up and move is a bonus in your weight loss efforts. Instead of flipping through the channels during a commercial break of your favorite show, stand up and spend two minutes doing jumping jacks. Or consider parking your vehicle in the farthest spot in the lot when you go to the grocery store. Over time, these little steps can make a big impact on your overall health. You might as well take the opportunities as you get them to get up and move your body.
Be Wary of Processed Foods
Processed foods are full of extra fat, calories, sodium, and sugar, making it difficult to shed pounds if you are still consuming them regularly. By eliminating these foods from your diet, you will automatically lose weight. If you know that going cold turkey will be too difficult for you, pick your biggest weakness and try to eliminate that first while holding on to your other indulgences. You can then gradually eliminate all of this unhealthy food from your diet. Be sure to replace these foods with healthy alternatives so that you are able to keep your energy up.
Adopting these smaller lifestyle changes will make it easier for you to stick with your weight loss goals in the long-term. Before long, you will be back to your pre-pandemic weight.
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