Lockdown has seen us baking banana bread in our droves, tie-dying the life out of our old tees and joggers and rediscovering the joy of simple pleasures like jigsaw puzzles and drawing rainbows. Another thing lockdown has done has seen some of us put on weight due to our newly adopted unhealthy eating habits. It’s not exactly surprising – we’ve been cooped up at home with snacks on standby and rewarding ourselves for a hard day of homeschooling/working/looking after kids/all of the above with a chilled glass of rosé, a bar of chocolate and everything else inbetween. Plus, pandemic stress eating is a real thing. But as the UK starts to ease out of lockdown, it’s a good time to start transitioning your eating habits back to something resembling a healthy diet. Yes, that means no more cake for breakfast or nightly G&Ts (well, not every night). But it’s not all bad news or hardcore dieting – here’s five tips to help you lose weight safely and effectively.
1. Give your metabolism a boost
Your metabolism is probably feeling a little like you are – sluggish. But a metabolism in good working order will help you burn calories more effectively, and give you the energy to move more too. Protein-rich meals help give it a boost, as does drinking more water. You can also try a meal-replacement shake, like Almased, Germany’s best-selling* meal replacement for healthy, sustainable weight loss, which is packed full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Use it by replacing any meal of the day and team it with a calorie-controlled, veg-rich diet. Almased also contains more protein than any other meal replacement shake (so great for energy-boosting) and with 30 years of scientific research behind them, there is little wonder why Almased is voted ‘Most Trusted Weight Loss Brand 2020’.**
2. Stop snacking
Those devilishly good snacks are hard to resist but are quite often the cause of weight gain. It’s important to get a grip on your snacking, and during lockdown, reaching for those snacks has often been a by-product of being bored. Switch up your routine, go for a walk, anything to avoid boredom; and if you do find you’re still thinking of nothing but snacks, make sure your meals are nutrionally balanced with the right amount of protein, carbohydrates and essential fats – this is why Almased could be your perfect solution. It contains natural, high-quality ingredients; soya, yogurt and enzyme-rich honey with added vitamins and minerals. The unique blend is filling, protein-packed and full of essential nutrients to provide your body with optimum nutrition – so you won’t need to look for sustenance elsewhere or feel the need to snack.
3. Get moving
It isn’t rocket science – move more, eat less. It doesn’t have to be an intense HIIT class or an hour long run, a simple walk around the block is a good place to start. You can build on this as the days and weeks get on. The same goes for during your working day. Try to get up at least once an hour for a walk around the living room, going up and down the stairs a few times or simply to make a herbal tea. If you’re already exercising but finding you’re not losing weight, look at what you’re doing – try to include some form of weight-lifting, which burns fat faster and ramps up your metabolism for up to 36 hours post-exercise, much longer than cardio does. Fine-tune your workouts even more with an Almased shake before or after you work up a sweat – it will help to increase physical performance, lean body mass and strength too.
4. Sort out your sleep and stress levels
A lack of sleep has been repeatedly linked to weight gain. When you’re tired, you’re much less likely to exercise and you probably don’t have the enthusiasm to make a decent healthy meal – and end up treating yourself with something bad instead. Same goes for stress; stress can cause the hormone cortisol to spike, leading to an increased appetite and, you’ve guessed it, lack of sleep.
5. Sling the scales
It is NOT healthy to be checking your weight everyday – fact. That number on the dial is not what you should be living your life by, but how you feel and your general wellbeing. Don’t forget, a change in diet can have brilliant results everywhere but the scales, so if they’re not saying what you think they should be, it can be pretty disheartening. Instead, focus on how you feel in yourself, your clothes and your energy levels too. And the final krux? Muscle mass weighs more than fat. Those extra workouts are GOOD, not bad, as the scales would have you believe.