As we all adjust to our new way of living, many of us have experienced the “COVID 15” weight gain. I have compiled some tips that have helped me personally maintain a healthy weight for many years, and throughout the pandemic.
1) Walk briskly 5-10 minutes after every meal. This helps to:
- Aid digestion
- Increase metabolism 10-15% (extremely significant over time)
- Reduce stress
- Improve blood oxygenation, improving energy level
2) Eat 3 hearty wholesome meals per day and don’t snack in between. Give your organs of digestion a chance to rest.
3) Drink plenty of water every day (see article on my Blog: Stay hydrated) have water at hand in every room, in your car, and everywhere you go. Make a point of sipping all day long.
4) Think of hunger as your friend. Be present with it. Explore the sensation. Realize that just because you’re hungry, doesn’t mean you have to eat. Remember that “hunger is the best sauce”. Food tastes truly incredible when you’re really hungry. i.e. really look forward to the next full meal. It will taste so good that it will really be worth the wait!
5) If you think you’re hungry, try drinking 8 oz of water, then see if you still feel hungry. Our bodies are programmed, when dehydrated, to feel hungry because almost all true food (non-processed), has water in it..
6) Chew every mouthful at least 30 times. Put your fork or spoon down on the table between bites and focus on the food in your mouth. Enjoy your food. Do not eat and do something else at the same time.
7) If you’re stressed, go for a walk or better yet, do some aerobic exercise. Or you could meditate to alleviate the stress. or take a nap. or watch some comedy. Find alternatives. Don’t eat food to reduce stress.
8) If I gain a pound, I have a fresh fruit yogurt smoothie for breakfast and/or lunch, i.e. semi-fast.
9) Take probiotics every day. Research shows that people who are overweight have fewer helpful gut flora than people who are not. We have 3-4 pounds of flora in our gut normally. This is not insignificant. Studies have shown that having a half cup of nonfat yogurt everyday helps people to lose weight. It’s easy to turn it into a tasty treat by making a fresh fruit smoothie. or you can use crushed unsweetened pineapple. If you freeze the pineapple in small portions, making a smoothie with it turns it into ice cream. You can use nonfat powdered milk to make this as well.
10) If you’re craving sweets, rather than get a piece of cheesecake or some cookies, try a more nourishing sweet.
- fresh fruit with a few nuts or sliced and spread with nutbutters (I actually have this with every meal. It almost always satisfies my sweet tooth)
- Unsweetened granola, soaked in unsweetened almond milk for 24 hours, ( I keep a few 1/3 c. servings in the fridge). Chop up a couple slices of apple or some berries. Put in a covered glass or ceramic bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds, put a dollop of nonfat yogurt on it, add a couple chopped walnuts, and you basically have apple or berry cobbler.
- Get a slice of whole grain, multigrain bread, toast it well, spread it with butter, and T.J’s low sugar jam or with honey.
11) If you are going out to eat or going to a party, bring healthy food with you to eat. Otherwise you will eat whatever poison is available.
12) As much as possible, eat organic true food= Unprocessed or minimally processed. Think of “junk food” as “poison”, not as food. That will make it easier to avoid. After all, it truly is poison and is destroying our health and the health of the nation. Almost all processed food is laden with sugar, fat, salt, and MSG, all of which are extremely addictive. (of course, the food companies do this on purpose) And the ads we see incessantly on every device, constantly urge us to waste our money and our health on this poison. Limit device usage and ads as much as possible.
13) When you go out to eat, wear tight pants, without spandex, and button them up! Avoid dining at buffets.
14) Stop eating immediately when you no longer feel hungry. Don’t eat until stuffed. When I leave the table, I always like to feel that I still have some room for more. When eating out and anytime really, my motto is, “I love leftovers”.
15) I weigh myself before going to bed every night. This is great motivation to not eat anymore than I need. The reckoning comes at bedtime!
16) Truly, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Apples aid digestion and have fiber. I have either a small apple or a third of a large apple with each meal (+ some other seasonal fruit or part of a fruit. They keep well in tupperware). In fact I have 3 fruits a day, one with each meal, either with a few nuts or spread with nut butter. This almost always satisfies my sweet tooth.
17) “Just because you eat it doesn’t mean it isn’t going to waste”. It was a revelation when I came to understand this phrase. I had been raised by parents who went through the Great Depression and so was loathe to ever throw anything out. However, if you eat more than you need, then then in actuality, you’re wasting your health.
18) There are only 2 ways to burn fat:
- eat fewer calories than you burn
- do aerobic exercise (heart rate 270 minus your age, x 70%). This makes you feel good and more energetic. Always do this at least one hour and up to three hours after a meal. This helps to burn the calories you ate. If you do it just before a meal, it will make you want to eat more!
The best way to lose weight healthfully is a combination of both.
19) I highly recommend having your clothes altered. The motivation is significant for me to not gain weight, because I love my old classic clothing which I can’t buy anymore. All I have to do is gain a few pounds, and they start getting tight. Then I say to myself: “Do I really want to say ‘Goodbye’ to my favorite clothes ?” For 45 years the answer has been a resounding, “No”!