While many are happy to see 2020 go, others are struggling with their weight as they cope with social isolation and /or financial difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As I often say, eating styles are coping mechanisms, and the stress of these months has caused many to overeat and gain weight.
Those who know me, and my philosophy of weight management, know I am not a fan of rigid dieting. Rather, I teach mindful eating, including an abundance of plant foods, while limiting fats and animal protein. Eliminating or restricting alcohol can have positive effects, and reduce unwanted health consequences.
Increasing physical activity burns calories, builds muscles, and increases stress tolerance. Walking, dancing, cleaning house, and climbing stairs all count toward the goal of at least 20 minutes of physical activity per day.
I also do not recommend getting on a scale daily. So many things show up on the scale that can be discouraging. Constipation, fluid retention, even drinking pure water can all add weight, and add to one’s stress. If one does use a scale, I recommend getting on it once a week, at the same time of day, without shoes, and minimal clothing – before the first meal of the day. A kinder approach might be to monitor how clothing fits over time. If non-elastic waist-bands become looser, that is a good indicator of weight loss. Some people use a tape measure to keep track of weight changes.
There is no reason to eliminate treats…savory or sweet. They can be budgeted into a low fat, plant-based, and delicious approach to weight management. The ultimate goals of being lean include the reduction of health risks while increasing the quality and length of life. Feeling better makes everything better.
Wishing you all a Safe, Healthy & Happy New Year!
Dateline: Latham, Albany County, New York.