COVID-19 has forced us into month 2 of isolation. For many, this means another month of binging, boozing, and stress-baking – a perfect recipe for weight gain. All the couch-sitting, TV-watching, and quarantine-snacking are taking a toll on our health. But so are the fat jokes and memes that fill social media. (While often hilarious, they can fuel anxiety – which is not great for our mental health during an already trying time.)
So how can we avoid weight gain, shed the quarantine 15, AND stay body-image positive?
According to health coach Nathaniel Jordan, concentrating on healthy habits is key.
“Making a conscious effort to stay active, make smart food choices, and maintain routines is important, but like most things in life, it’s all about balance…”
…says Jordan who devoted his career to bringing health information to the masses. We all know nutrition is important for health but it’s easy to let this fall by the wayside in times of stress, frustration, and boredom – the emotions that many are experiencing right now as we isolate. Anxiety no doubt alters our eating, and people often turn to food for relief. But ironically, traditional comfort foods – which are laden with sugars, fats, and carbs – actually add to stress levels. As a certified health coach and keynote speaker, praised for his common sense and simplistic approach, Jordan teaches practical strategies for healthy living and maintaining control of your body.
Here are a few of Jordan’s many tips for curbing the quarantine 15 and staying body image positive:
- Stock your kitchen with nutritious ingredients and take advantage of spring produce. It can be hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you are home-bound – especially if junk food is what’s readily available. Having nutritious, versatile ingredients around is key. According to Jordan, some of the best super foods you can eat are greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, and berries. Now that it’s spring, these fruits and veggies are cheaper and easier to find.
- Drink water and stay hydrated. Being hydrated acts as a barrier to potential, unnecessary snacking because most people often confuse thirst with hunger. Next time you want to snack, reach for water first.
- Practice self-care. Instead of curbing stress with mindless eating, Jordan suggests to distract yourself with self-care activities. Take a bath, give yourself a facial, go for a walk, listen to a podcast, or read a book. Self-care is a healthy distraction that can enhance your confidence and self-esteem. And a positive body image is important to help you stay motivated and healthy.
- Keep your body moving. In addition to eating healthy, it’s also important to stay active both physically and mentally. Keep your body moving by taking walks, dancing, doing yoga, even gardening or cleaning can get your heart pumping.
- Eat mindfully and make a routine. When hunger hits hard you’re likely to reach for anything. Instead, create an eating pattern where you have a meal or snack every three hours.
-Nathaniel Jordan, Minister of Wellness.