What’s harder than standing six feet away from everyone around you? Standing six feet away from a fridge filled with cookie dough, gelato, and leftover pizza and a cupboard filled with potato chips, gummy candies, snack cakes, and Girl Scout Cookies. Unfortunately, I don’t think the bathroom scale is broken this time.
Our current pandemic is causing us to overeat food high in fat and sugar leading to unhealthy weight gain; it won’t be getting any easier during the holidays! During this time, I have found three great strategies to help stop overeating and focus on a healthy and fun lifestyle.
The first strategy I implemented when COVID-19 forced us indoors was intermittent fasting. Personally, I find this strategy easy, and it leaves my body feeling wonderful. The easiest fasting schedule is a 16/8 schedule. For 16 hours you fast, and you only eat during the other 8 hours. The best part about intermittent fasting is for most of the fasting period, you are asleep. Think of yourself as a bear. Sixteen hours of your 24-hour day are left to your body to burn fat like a bear in hibernation while the other 8 hours allow you to fuel your body so that you can stock up for “winter.” In my case, I do not eat until 11am, and I stop eating at 7pm.
Sugar Free (sort of)
I must admit: my sweet tooth is as big as anyone’s. Suppressing your sweet tooth completely does not work. Trust me, I’ve tried it. Designate certain days in which you allow your body to consume sugar. This tactic not only leads to discipline but also gives you a chance to savor the sugary sweets when you do consume them. For me, I only allow sugar like ice cream and cookies on Sunday. Now my Sundays are not only relaxing but are also a little extra sweet.
If you get bored, like I did the second week of quarantine, try a new lifestyle altogether! I decided to try a vegetarian diet. I have been meat-free for about four months now. Of course, you can try any type of lifestyle from vegan to pescatarian to flexitarian. The sky is the limit, my friends.
These three viable options can make a major positive impact in your day to day life especially while we hunker down in our homes, but make sure to always workout when you can to keep your metabolism engaged and your endorphins flowing. Notably, these strategies can be short term – until the pandemic subsides – or long term depending on your body’s reaction to the change.
Next time you go grocery shopping, cut down on the sugar so your kitchen is not home to as many temptations. The next time you are craving a Twinkie, do twenty jumping jacks and eat a banana instead.
We all get cravings or like to treat ourselves from time to time – try to be aware of how you are treating your body and be mindful! We can all see the light at the end of the tunnel, so hold on until then because the light is much sweeter than the fleeting pleasure and regretful feeling of scarfing down an entire box of Thin Mints.
Pearson Students: How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle during quarantine? Share in the comments below!