Any weight gain in quarantine (for some just a few pounds, for others a bit more) should not keep you worried as it can be easily lost if you just follow some day to day, simple and reasonable advice.
I know it sounds cliché, but DON’T skip breakfast! Systematize your breakfast intake so that you gradually boost your metabolism and therefore your calorie burning ability, and don’t fall head over heels for the next bigger meals. Ideas for healthy breakfasts:
- A toast with wholemeal bread or lebanese pita bread, turkey, low fat cheese and vegetables
- Breakfast cereals, fortified with fiber (rye, barley, oats, etc.)
- Wholegrain bread and 1 boiled egg with vegetables
- Yogurt with honey and cereals Or fresh/dried fruit
Say goodbye to the daily prolonged couch breaks that until now took hours of your time, accompanied by unhealthy delivery, take away or fresh-cooked meal choices that you made with so much mastery using mainly fat and sugar. To get back to a healthy routine, a good idea is to avoid frequent food delivery orders or even eating out once possible, no matter how much you have missed your favourite restaurants and fast food diners. Usually in these circumstances it is very easy to get away with overeating certain food combinations, going down with sugary or alcoholic drinks and desserts.
Avoid high-calorie drinks and beverages that have no particular nutritional value, such as soft drinks and milk or cream based drinks that do not cause the same satiety that a solid meal can give us, but will definitely give us all the extra calories that we do not want, especially at this point.
Drink plenty of water and herbal teas to get the most out of your daily fluid intake. As for alcohol, we know that it provides a lot of calories and no nutrients at all, often causing dehydration during consumption.
Do not leave your stomach empty with no food for more than 2½ to 3 hours. Start consuming quality snacks of around 100-150 calories (fruits, nuts, yogurt, wholemeal crackers, etc) that will help balance your blood sugar levels, increase your metabolism and prevent you from feeling intensively hungry.
Don’t skip dinner for that promising, faster weight loss you’ve read about – this is a myth and in no way does this theory apply when practised. Aim for a lighter dinner that has half the energy value (calories) of your lunch and always consume it 2-3 hours prior to sleep.
I will not dwell on the importance of sleep, because more or less, we all have enjoyed lots of sleeping in self isolation. However, going back to your work routine, don’t forget that good quality sleep will help you balance your hormones and of course, your weight!
If you want to lose the quarantine weight fast, it is important to understand that the first 2-3 kilos may be lost in a short time after you start paying attention to your diet, but in order to continue having positive and healthy results, you should try to focus on a balanced diet that will improve your metabolism, body composition and your overall well-being in a realistic and sustainable way.