If you’re like me these days, you’ve been spending a little extra time of social media. And as such, you’ve probably seen some of the memes joking around about the extra weight we’re going to gain due to social distancing and staying home. So here’s a few ideas on how to avoid the “COVID 19 (pounds).”
- Get up and move! Take the family for a neighborhood walk. Check out all the things we’ve overlooked. Flowers starting to bloom, a neighbor’s garden, even the cracks in the pavement. If you have younger children, perhaps even making a scavenger hunt where they check off items that they find or see. Or, pile in the car and head to the park or woods. Just remember to keep a distance from others.
- Don’t need to skip the snacks, just be mindful of portions. In these uncertain times while being cooped-up inside, many of us crave our favorite “feel good” foods. This is okay. Have the chips, cookies, or ice cream if it feels good. Just don’t eat them all in one sitting. If that’s not easy for you, divide them out into snack-sized bags. You can even label them with the days of the week so that you only eat Tuesday snacks on Tuesday.
- Don’t forget the fruits and vegetables. The natural starches found in fresh fruits and veggies can hold hunger pangs at bay between meals. Veggie sticks and hummous, apples and nut butter are just a couple of my favorite combos. Concerned about buying fresh produce right now? Look for items that are bagged versus loose. You may not get the perfect pear, but they will have been kept free from other’s hands.
- Meditate. Or at least take some quiet time. Find at least 10 minutes to just sit in stillness, not thinking about anything. Simply allow thoughts to come and go without getting involved in their story. If you can, close the eyes. Before you know it, ten minutes may not be enough.
- Drink water, lots of water. Maintaining proper hydration is necessary for a well-functioning body, including our immune system. For a healthy person, aim to drink half your weight in ounces of water. So if you weigh 165 pounds, aim for 83 ounces. that’s about 5 standard (16 oz) water bottles. If you are sick, drink more. Added benefit: sipping regularly washes the throat, bringing bacteria and viruses hanging out there a quick ride to the stomach. This may help to prevent virus like COVID-19 from getting into the lungs.
- Bored of plain water? Change it up. Add lemon or lime juice (fresh squeezed is best, but if you are concerned grab a bottle juice). Slices of cucumber or frozen berries work too. Try some herbal teas, and even hot broths.
- Shrink portion sizes. If you’re not moving around as much, you don’t need to eat as much. Try cutting your meal portions a bit. You can always have seconds if you’re still hungry.
Most of all, stay positive. Do the things that bring you joy. And, yes, you can eat some of those chips.