10 Hacks to lose the Covid Kilos
By Gloria Jones
Lockdowns can be ruinous for our health, for mental health, for physical health and for a feeling of being trapped indoors too many hours in the day leading to boredom and eating too much. In an ideal world there would be plenty of time to cook and prepare healthy, balanced nutritious meals. I am sure many of our readers are managing to do just that. However, for those of us who have found it more difficult, here are some weight loss hacks to keep us on track with a healthier lifestyle and to help shed the “Covid Kilos”.
The problem with convenience stores such as 7/11 and Family Mart is that they are a hotbed of unhealthy snacks. Crisps,chocolate bars and biscuits are all too easy to pick up. If they’re near you when you’re hungry, the temptation may just be too great. Instead look for bags of nuts – there’s usually a good assortment or try a low calorie lolly – ones using yoghurt are often only around 70-80 calories and can be very refreshing.
Drink More Water
Drinking water seems to be the cure for everything from better skin, improved digestion, and yes losing weight. If you drink a glass of water before a meal it will fill your stomach so you eat less without feeling hungry. Also between meals feeling hungry can actually be a sign of being dehydrated so again try drinking water instead of reaching for a snack. Drinking water instead of sugary drinks or even sugar-free drinks will train your tastebuds to enjoy less sugar each day which will in turn lead you to crave less sweet treats. Try adding lemon,lime, strawberry or cucumber to your water to make it more interesting.
During enforced lockdowns it’s easy to become a couch potato but weight loss is not just about food and calories it’s important to keep moving and stay active. Ride a bike, go for a run or a long walk, take a swim in your pool or if you live in a condo try taking the stairs instead of the lift. If you can’t go to the gym at this time then try some exercise routines indoors. Each day try lying on the floor with your legs raised up against the wall for 20 minutes.This helps your circulation and improves digestion so you can process your food more easily..
Obviously in the morning and before going to sleep should be a a normal routine but try also doing this after every meal you eat. Not only will it improve your general dental hygiene, the clean minty, fresh feeling, it affords will also encourage you not to upset that by eating more especially if you are used to a dessert and are trying to skip that..
As Benjamin Franklin once said “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” Planning helps you avoid making poor food choices and when trying to eat more healthily it’s a good idea to have pre-portioned meals ready and waiting in the fridge. Plus, when you meal prep, you can opt for the best ingredients and can pre-portion your food. It also helps you avoid opening the fridge to find out you have nothing to eat!
Another COVID problem, especially when working from home is that it is all too easy to take to wearing loose, comfy, clothing throughout the day. This can often lead to a tendency to let yourself “grow into your clothes’ ‘. Try wearing something that has a fitted waistband – especially when you eat. It will help you to feel when you have had enough to eat and if it makes you feel a little uncomfortable then that will give you the impetus to shed a couple of kilos and feel more comfortable.
Coffee only becomes fattenting when you add milk cream and sugar to it. An average mug of black coffee usually has just 5 calories. It is also a big source of antioxidants that can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes, protect your liver and help fight depression. It will also improve your energy levels and so help burn fat.
Green Tea is another ideal hot drink to take when losing weight as it helps the fat burning process especially if taken after a fatty or calorific meal.
Scan the Menu
Choose healthy options from restaurants or take away menus Look for keywords on the menu that are giveaways for what to avoid such as :pan-fried, crispy, breaded, cream. Alfredo. Dishes with these words tend to have a lot of fat and salt. Instead, look for items with grilled, steamed, baked, roasted, seared in the description. Try to select meat, fish, vegetables and avoid bread and desserts
Often a diet can consist of boring, bland food that doesn’t taste good is going to be hard to stick to. Try adding herbs and spices to enhance the flavour and put taste into your food. Also certain spices have actually been found to be beneficial to weight loss. For example, according to a 2009 study by Tufts University, turmeric can help your body burn fat. Likewise Cayenne pepper, Cumin and in fact chillies generally can raise body temperature and boost the metabolism. Also black pepper is rich in piperine, which gives the pepper its unique flavour and can help prevent the formation of fat cells. Ginger is also useful for controlling blood sugar levels and can prevent a spike in glucose levels after meals heavy in carbohydrates or sugar.
The final hack is a psychological one namely that you should pay attention to the food on your plate. Don’t eat while you are on your phone in front of the TV or working at your computer. Instead try to take time out to eat at the table and chew slowly. you’ll feel more satisfied and less hungry.