Who else is finding it extremely difficult to stay on track with their diets under the new COVID rules?! Personally, I thought that with this newfound free time, I would finally have a chance to finish all of those projects I started, kickstart my workout routine, and read a ton of books. However, all I seem to do for 24 hours a day is lay on the couch, binge watch Netflix or TicToc, and eat everything in my pantry. Well, unless I want to gain the quarantine 15 — and I’m already halfway there — this needs to stop. NOW!
If you’re anything like me, all you need is a little bit of motivation and a plan-of-action to get you started. Put down the bag of chips, turn off your TV, and scroll down to learn the best ways to stop yourself from gaining the Quarantine 15.
**Just a heads up, this article contains affiliate links at absolutely no extra cost to you. I only share products that I love and feel that my readers will benefit from.**
Cook Your Own Meals
Cooking your own meals keeps your diet on track as you know exactly what is in your food and what you are putting into your body. You don’t have to worry about eating a salad, only to realize that the dressing was made of nothing but butter, cream, and salt. You are in complete control of the nutritional value of your meals when you prepare your own food.
With that said, cooking isn’t easy for everyone, but that’s okay. You don’t have to be a professional chef. You’re not competing for the title of Master Chef. You’re just taking control of your diet. Try following self-made chefs on Instagram as the visual references left by some of these food Gods, makes cooking easier and a lot more fun.
Some of my favourite accounts to follow are @halalketogirl as she lists a ton of keto-friendly recipes from desserts to full-blown gourmet dinners. She also has a bunch of great snack recommendations, which is fantastic because my favourite meal of the day is snacking. For all of you momma’s out there, @milansmama__ on Instagram prepares easy-to-follow recipes that are healthy and tasty options for you and your kiddos. I love this page because she goes deep into the nitty, gritty, and shitty (literally.. lol) parts of being a parent while also focusing on mindful eating. For other quick and delicious recipe inspo, my go-to cookbook is The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook.
Pre-Portion Your Meals
I cannot stress how important it is to pre-portion your meals. A large majority of us were taught, at a young age, that we can’t get up from the table until we finish what’s on our plates. With newer studies and the obesity rate consistently rising, a newer notion is being enforced: Stop eating when you feel full. Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. This is especially true when you’re starving and you go to pour yourself a plate of the hot, cheesy, ooey-gooey macaroni that you just made. Chances are you’re going to generously pour yourself two to three times more than you should. You’re probably going to force yourself to finish it all too, even though you’re full.
By meal-prepping, your portions are already predetermined. You won’t have to worry about overeating from boredom or because you think you’re hungrier than you actually are. I use meal-prep containers like the JLY Canada Stackable Meal Prep Food Storage Containers. This Tupperware comes in a pack of 10 decently-sized containers with three convenient compartments each. I actually bought multiple packs so that, together, my husband and I could prep for our entire week.
Attempt an At-Home Workout
Exercise is an exceptional way to keep you from gaining the quarantine 15. Even though we may not be able to attend the gym or join group boot camp classes outdoors, going for a walk around the neighbourhood or engaging in some type of resistance training will definitely keep you on track with your health goals. If you need help figuring out what exercises to do, follow some helpful fitness pages on Instagram such as @lady_g_fit, or @workoutfitvideos. These pages give you a circuit breakdown with video tutorials so you can ensure your form is right.
I live by resistance bands, the Peach Bands Resistance Bands Set in particular. Even when I have access to the gym, my resistance bands are never far from my grasp. Personally, I find that with varying levels of stretch, resistance bands can sculpt your body in ways that weightlifting alone cannot. Pair a weighted HIIT workout with some resistance bands and your body will THANK YOU.
Dress Up Your Water
Drinking water not only fills you up and curbs snacking, but it can also help you to lose weight. The recommended daily amount of water you should be drinking is around 2 litres or 68 ounces. To someone who only drinks one standard-sized water bottle a day, 68 ounces may seem like a lot. Changing up the flavour of your water by adding fruits and herbs can make it more enjoyable throughout your day.
You can make a lovely mixture of lemon and berry-infused water in a large jug and store it in your fridge or you can use the Allnice Fruit Infuser Water Bottle to carry your concoction around with you as a reminder to keep drinking. Use berries for antioxidants and to remove toxins from your body. Lemon and lime-infused water is great for aiding in weight loss as these fruits improve digestion and speed up your metabolism when consumed on an empty stomach. Mint and cucumber are refreshing and hydrating while offering anti-inflammatory properties. Have fun pairing different herbs and fruits and experimenting with different flavours throughout the day.
Start Your Own Garden
Although starting your own garden is not an immediate solution to keeping yourself from gaining the quarantine 15, it is an awesome long-term solution to sticking within your health goals. There is something therapeutic about growing and caring for your own herbs and vegetables. Watching them grow from little seeds into wonderfully bright and vibrant legumes gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. The flavours found in your own garden can never be matched anywhere else because the energy and love that you put into raising your own vegetables transfers into the vegetable’s overall health and taste.
An easy and organized way to start is with a fabric raised garden bed. With a garden bed that is made from fabric, your vegetables will have room to grow in a flexible environment. You can transfer the vegetables to a larger area once they have rooted, or you can leave them just as they are. The fabric provides a cool and hydrating habitat with lots of access to airflow and circulation.
Finding ways to stay motivated when it comes to having a healthy mind and body can become difficult during this time of self-isolation. Routines are diminished and normalcy is hard to come by. That’s why it is important to hold ourselves accountable and take steps toward achieving our health goals even while in quarantine.
Cooking your own meals, pre-portioning what you eat, exercising, drinking water, and even growing your own little garden are great ways to start you on your health journey. Use this time right now to kickstart your healthy lifestyle because you may not have this much free time again!