There’s no structure. We’re home all day. But it is still possible to lose some weight.
With Pesach behind us and with more quarantine time ahead of us, I want you to know that losing some post-Pesach pounds IS possible. All you need is some motivation and organization. (Yes, I know these 2 are hard to come by these days with children home and no major structure.)
Here are some basic guidelines to try to follow:
1) Stick to a mealtime routine: Our bodies expect to be fed at certain times. It is important to maintain the timing of our meals so that we are not thrown off-kilter. Try to get your children on a set schedule as well. Breakfast should always be between 7:00-10:00 am, Lunch should always be between 12:00-2:00 pm and Dinner should always be between 5:00-7:00 pm. By eating on time, lots of extra noshing and nibbling is mitigated. We don’t realize that by pinching on something here and snacking on something there, we amass many unnecessary and unneeded calories, which can very quickly amount to 1400 excess calories per day!
2) Stock your pantry and fridge strategically: Thankfully, we still have access to fresh produce and healthy foods daily. Stock up on fruits and veggies that you enjoy eating so that you have it handy when you need it. It is very simple to grab a cookie instead of cutting up a fresh salad if the vegetables are nonexistent!
3) Plan ahead: Try to know what you are having for lunch and dinner in the morning so that you can keep track of the amount of carbs you will be consuming that day. For instance, if you see that you will be having more starch with your dinner, try to eat one less bread/pack of crackers with your lunch. Use strategic thinking to “save” your carbs for when you will need/want it most. For instance, if you want to have a salad, with a can of tuna for lunch, perhaps skip your bread (as you are already filling up on proteins and veggies) and use the carb for a popcorn snack at 4:00 pm and enjoy some potatoes with your dinner portion later on.
4) Drink! Drink! Drink!- You can read the benefits of water drinking in this post. Water is like gold for our system! Have at least 8 cups of water daily. Super easy and super healthy!
5) Move!– Yes, gyms are closed. Yes, we cannot stroll the streets as usual, but there are still so many things that we can do! Using a simple heavy book/ bottle of water as weights can do us much good. Set aside a half-hour per day for physical activity. Have a mat and weights (or whatever you prefer to use as weights) handy and try to do some basic moves. A sample exercise routine can consist of 15 minutes of brisk walking around your street/backyard. Once you come inside you can do 30 squats, 20 pushups, 50 sit-ups, followed by 50 jumping jacks. End your workout with a gentle cool down. Try to alternate your moves daily so that you get to work out all your body parts. You will see much progress if you continue to work out for a half-hour daily.
6) Sleep! Ever noticed how when you’re short on sleep you crave sugary foods that give you a quick energy boost? There’s a good reason for that. Sleep deprivation has a direct link to overeating and weight gain. There are two hormones in your body that regulate normal feelings of hunger and fullness. Ghrelin stimulates appetite, while leptin sends signals to the brain when you are full. However, when you don’t get the sleep you need, your ghrelin levels go up, stimulating your appetite so you want more food than normal, and your leptin levels go down, meaning you don’t feel satisfied and want to keep eating. So, the less you sleep, the more food your body will crave.
We must remember that we cannot be too hard on ourselves. This is a time of crisis and hardship, and if we don’t actually lose weight now, but we manage to maintain our weight and feel good, that is great progress as well.