Alt title: 3 Ways To Tackle Pandemic Weight Gain
The COVID-19 pandemic shed a spotlight on weight gain and obesity in numerous ways. Obese individuals were far more likely to die if they contracted the virus, while child obesity rates increased due to food instability and relaxed school nutrition standards. Meanwhile, individuals isolating at home tended to either lose or gain weight as part of dealing with stress, with a poll conducted by the American Psychological Association showing that 61% of US adults had some kind of undesired weight change. Of this group, 42% reported a weight gain of 29 pounds, a substantial amount. Baby Boomers and adults age 76 and older reported the least weight gain, while millennials reported the most, but now it’s time to turn this trend around.
If you’re determined to lose that added pandemic weight, you’re not alone, and there are a number of strategies that can help you make progress. At the end of the day, though, what’s most important is pursuing healthier habits because your long-term health depends on it.
The first step towards losing any weight you gained during the pandemic is making smart dietary changes. Swap out sugary drinks for water, as staying hydrated will facilitate weight loss while also keeping you from drinking your calories. It’s also important to pay attention not only to what you eat, but why you eat. During the pandemic, many people turned to food to deal with stress or boredom, but food can’t fix those things.
Many diet trends restrict specific types of foods, whether that’s low-carb, high-protein, or any other all-or-nothing approach, but it should come as no surprise that this sort of diet often fails. That’s because it’s normal to want variety, and ultimately there’s no reason to choose this sort of extreme diet.
Instead of restriction, a good diet prioritizes healthy food options, monitors micro and macro nutrients, and ensures that eating remains enjoyable. A trainer or nutritionist can help you develop a custom diet plan that doesn’t require you to give up all of your favorite things but still helps you get your eating back on track.
Make A Family Plan
People respond differently to stress, which means it’s entirely possible that some members of your household may have gained weight while others shed pounds during the pandemic, but according to statistics, it’s far more likely that most members of your household gained weight than lost it. With that in mind, consider developing a plan that will support your whole family.
While adults can go to the gym, everyone benefits when movement is part of your routine, whether that means splashing in the waves at the beach or playing tag at the park. Not only will moving together set a good example for your kids, but it will also help reduce stress. After all, you’re never too old to play!
Weight loss is ultimately determined by the gap between the calories you take in and the calories you expend, but on its own that model can be fussy and hard to manage. By emphasizing healthier choices and increased activity without creating an atmosphere of deprivation and pressure – stresses that can make you want to eat more – you can make better health a source of joy.