Two Low-Effort Ways to Fight Quarantine Weight Gain

With so many of us experiencing curtailed exercise routines (we are sorely missing group workouts and our gyms!), it’s no wonder that COVID weight gain memes dominated 2020.. 

While finding new ways to keep up your exercise routine is important, there are also some lower-effort ways you can help keep your weight in check. 

1. Pay attention to your microbiome

When it comes to your microbiome (the billions of bacteria living in your gut), diversity is a good thing: studies have shown that leaner individuals have more diverse microbiomes. The good news is that it’s not hard to improve yours. Getting enough prebiotics in your diet is an easy way to help good gut bacteria flourish. 

While probiotics such as yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are also helpful, they will be more effective if you foster a healthy gut environment with prebiotics. The list of good prebiotics is long: high-fiber vegetables, fruits, and whole grains such as asparagus, dark leafy greens, onions, garlic, oats, apples, seaweed, barley, flax seeds, walnuts and more have been shown to support gut health.

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Here are some easy microbiome-loving swaps you can make with your next grocery shop or delivery: 

  • If you’ve been having bacon and eggs for brunch, try switching to overnight oats instead.
  • Planning a pasta night? Chop up a bunch of hearty greens to include in your sauce. Here’s one simple recipe, but you can also include canned tomato and ground meat or sausage if you want a more kid-friendly dish. Topping whole-grain pasta with a walnut-based pesto is another great way to increase your prebiotics.
  • Instead of getting cake- or cookie-baking supplies for desserts, load your cart with fresh fruit for plant-based smoothies and fruit salads. (As the weather warms up, you might find prepping fruit is more pleasant than cranking up the oven anyway!) Add a dollop of yogurt to each serving if you want to make it a more creamy treat.

2. Eat only during a specific set of hours

If you’re stuck at home, it’s easy to keep snacks at hand or pillage your store of sweets at any hour of the day. However, both past and recent studies show that limiting the hours during which you consume food can have a number of beneficial health effects

Old-school advice about avoiding snacking between meals has been modernized and is now called “intermittent fasting.” The idea is to simply choose a range of hours in which to eat your meals—for example, only eating between 10 AM and 8 PM. Limiting your intake to those hours allows your body the remaining 14 hours to clear out and reset your system. 

Some people with trouble regulating their blood sugar levels may wonder if intermittent fasting can possibly be safe for them. While you should check with your doctor, it has actually been found that limiting when you eat may actually help the body better regulate insulin.

Clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting has broad-spectrum benefits for many health conditions.

And that’s not all. Per a review of studies on intermittent fasting published in the New England Journal of Medicine in December 2019, “clinical trials have shown that intermittent fasting has broad-spectrum benefits for many health conditions, such as obesity, diabetes mellitus, cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurologic disorders.” That’s a list of benefits we can get behind, especially given some of these conditions can exacerbate susceptibility to coronavirus.

Intermittent fasting doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay hydrated. Just be sure to limit yourself to calorie-free drinks without artificial sweeteners. You might try a twist of lime in sparkling water or simply use the time to help get in your eight daily glasses of plain water.

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We hope these ideas help support your health and wellness both now and in the future! If you’re in the Inland Empire and want help looking your best too, the Inland Weight Loss team would love to help. Simply contact us for a free consultation.

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