New Delhi: Has your waistline expanded since the pandemic began? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lifestyle that confines you within the four walls of the house, with limited movement, is bound to add inches to your belly. Routines have been disrupted, stress has increased, and with new types of virus emerging at regular intervals, it is unclear when things will return to normal. The weight changes come with good reason, as diets, activity levels, sleep habits and people’s daily routines have been turned upside down in the past year.
Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is important for well-being and quality of life. If you are overweight or obese, you are more likely to develop serious health problems, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, gallstones, breathing problems, and some types of cancer. Obesity is also associated with mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. Keeping your weight under control will help you stay fit and strong and will also have a positive impact on your health and happiness.
If you are among those who have gained a few inches from your waistline, don’t start to be self-critical after reading all of the above. Instead, make a few changes to your lifestyle to help reverse size and feel better.
One of the main causes of unhealthy weight gain is improper diet along with a sedentary lifestyle devoid of physical activity. Additionally, emotional stress and improper sleep routines over the course of the pandemic have exacerbated the problem. Getting in shape requires a proper diet, regular exercise, and good sleep – compromising on either one can kill the whole goal.
Follow these simple tips to maintain healthy weight levels.
Eating right is half the work!
Let’s face the truth – a healthy diet is key to weight management. I cannot stress enough the importance of regular consumption of calories. Although a calorie-restricted diet requires eating in measured amounts, it doesn’t necessarily require you to starve! Incorporating foods rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats is a great way to tackle weight gain. A recent study by researchers at the University of Leeds He identifies almonds as one of these foods. The study found that people who ate almonds (compared to an equivalent energy biscuit) as a mid-morning snack reported reduced feelings of hunger overall. Snack on almonds also suppressed the unconscious craving (“implicit craving”) for other high-fat foods, which can be helpful in a weight management strategy. Another study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that a daily snack of 42 grams of almonds, eaten as part of an overall healthy diet, improved a number of heart disease risk factors. In addition to significantly improving HDL cholesterol, It also reduces central obesity (belly fat) and waist circumference, all of which are well-established risk factors for heart disease. In addition, almonds are also known to have satiating properties which makes them a good snack to have especially in between meals, as it will keep you satiated without making you gain weight.. So make sure to add a handful of almonds to your daily diet, to control your weight better. Besides almonds, you can also have fruits, yogurt, and water soaked with lemon to curb hunger cravings.
Yes, you read that right – exercise is a must if you want to lose weight. Did you know that maintaining an exercise routine of at least 150 minutes per week can do more wonders than you can imagine? Besides shedding those extra pounds, exercise helps in gaining muscle mass, increasing metabolism and maintaining a healthy heart. It also releases endorphins or happy hormones into your body that lift your mood.
Celebrity fitness trainer, Yasmine Karachiwala recommends, “By making sure you add both cardiovascular and resistance exercises to the mix, you’ll shed inches from your waistline in no time!” She also recommends that “there should be a gap of at least two hours between the main meal and the workout. For an increase in energy, I suggest my clients eat a banana with a handful of almonds at least 30 minutes before exercise.” She says, “Almonds can satiate hunger without bloating the stomach, allowing for a good workout session. They are a very convenient pre-workout snack and can be carried and consumed on the go.”
There is nothing a good sleep cannot solve
Adequate sleep is essential for your body to recover from daily exertion. Lack of sleep lowers your resting metabolic rate and can also cause insulin resistance. Furthermore, it can increase appetite and reduce mental health by interfering with hormone production, making you more likely to indulge in binge eating unhealthy foods.
Losing those extra pounds may seem difficult at first, even out of reach. But remember, it’s never too late to start. Adopting basic quarantine-appropriate steps will help you stay within your target weight range. You may experience setbacks and not be able to settle into a healthy routine as quickly as you would like. But it’s important to remember to stay focused for the long term, and this will lead the way.