So your reflection in the window caught your eye and you’re strongly suspecting that there’s a little more of you than a few months ago!

It’s been impossible to escape the memes on social media about weight gain during the lockdown. The banana bake craze all over Instagram on one side, and on the other, the explosion of lockdown-friendly home exercise advice; it may seem as if it’s never been easier to work out at home. But the reality is, it’s never been harder. For every person posting a sweaty “crushed it” selfie on Insta, there’s another one (or four!) perfecting yet another comforting bake.

We’ve been cooped up at home with constant access to a refrigerator stocked with panic buys, rewarding ourselves for a hard day of home-schooling/working/looking after kids, or all of the above! According to a recent survey, 48% of people have put on weight during the lockdown.

The good news is that, on average, weight gain during lockdown is not necessarily as prominent or concern-worthy as you may think. Most of us will see the scale go back to mostly normal once our lives do.

So now, ahead of the festive season, is the perfect time to get your body (and your confidence) back on track. Unfortunately, that means no more cake for breakfast or nightly G&Ts (well, not every night!)

Start by moving your body in whatever way feels good to you. It doesn’t have to be intense, a simple walk around the block is a good place to start. If you’re already exercising and not losing weight, try to include some weight lifting which burns fat faster and ramps up your metabolism for up to 36 hours post-exercise. Also, stand more often. Standing burns more calories than sitting. Try pacing next time you’re on the phone, or stand for your next zoom meeting.

To lose weight your diet has to be in a calorie deficit. However, focus more on what you can add to, rather than remove from your diet. Eat plenty of lean proteins such as chicken, fish and eggs, beans and lentils. Increase your intake of fruit and vegetables, and incorporate wholemeal carbs. Remember, high fibre foods will keep you fuller for longer.

Say no to sugar and starches. Carbohydrates and sugar trigger the production of insulin in the body and it is responsible for storing fat. So, the more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces, storing it in the form of fat. Stick to healthy carbs from vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, brussels sprouts, cabbage or swiss chard.

Sort out sleep and stress levels. Lack of sleep has been repeatedly been linked to weight gain. Also, make sure to drink enough water to make you feel fuller and to reduce food cravings.

Don’t deprive yourself too much of the things you love eating. You can have a cheat meal, indulging once a week is fine. However, have a reasonable portion of the food that you fancy. This will help you to stay on track.

Be sure to treat yourself with compassion and kindness, nothing we’re going through right now is normal.

Oh, and keep baking banana bread, just be sure to gift it to a neighbour!

Source: hellomagazine.com, express.co.uk, in.askmen.com, pinkvilla.com, mirror.co.uk, nytimes.com, mh.co.za, latimes.com, bbc.co.uk

DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.