It’s been almost 4 weeks since the safer-at-home order around here. We’re getting used to the temporary “new normal” and settling into modified routines.
The curve is flattening. It’s working. And we have to continue our careful behaviors (stringent physical distancing; frequent, thorough hand washing; not touching our face) for many weeks to come.
While there are quite a few challenges to being “safer-at-home”, advantages exist for those who want to lose weight and keep it off. Here are 3:
1. Eating and cooking at home.
Especially for Americans, who got used to eating out so often, this is a huge change.
Many experts on healthy living have been shouting from the rooftops for years to cook more meals at home (see this plea from 2011).
Restaurant meals have many, many more calories than anything you make at home—even if it’s the same dish. Portions, ingredients and the feeling of “vacation” eating make restaurant meals a problem for most people trying to lose weight or maintain it.
Being forced to figure out a way to have safe and nutritious meals at home will give us an overall advantage now and going forward.
Learning (or re-learning) how to cook is a perfect use of new-found time.
Out of necessity, we plan, buy for and cook 2-3 meals a day each week.
By the end of the quarantine—that’s lots of practice!
What a fantastic weight management skill you’ll have honed :)
Bonus: You’ve likely discovered it doesn’t take as much time as you thought AND you save tons of money.
DO NOW: Create a list of meals that work.
Write down your successful meals, including the recipe and marketing list so you’ll have it at the ready when things go back to normal.
2. Appreciating exercise.
Going out for a walk or run has never felt so good.
Getting a break.
Breathing fresh air.
Moving your body.
All has new meaning with the backdrop of quarantine.
Anchoring your day with some movement outside—alone or with family members—helps give us the structure and predictability we need during this unusual time.
Prioritizing your health by supporting your immune system includes regular aerobic exercise. And resistance training at least two times a week will keep your muscle mass and metabolism in tip-top shape (see last week’s blog for more details).
DO NOW: Find an exercise routine that works for you and commit to keeping it going once all this is over.
3. Knowing what we really need (food-wise).
Living with uncertainty means thinking about the future differently.
Now’s not the time to waste food or overeat. We can sense that. Maybe for the first time.
I keep thinking of all the people living in wartime, like WWII. At least we know this will end soon. They had no such luxury. I understand the bread lines and rationing stories from parents and grandparents in a deeper way.
The threat of scarcity focuses our attention on what we really need.
We get back to the basics:
DO NOW: Notice how much food is actually needed to satisfy true hunger. Not to be full, but satisfied. Keep that portion size as your new normal.
Learning to cook, appreciate exercise and honorably restrain translates to weight loss and weight loss maintenance. This unique opportunity to practice these skills prepares you for living in a body you’re happy with for the rest of your life.