2020 was a year like no other!
The year of staying home to stay safe, of locking ourselves away to protect those we love, of working and learning online, of weekly (or daily) take-out meals to support local restaurants, of more screen time than we thought possible… And though our inner introverts may have initially loved an excuse to stay home with Netflix- for many of us, as the confirmed case count rose, so too did the numbers on the scale.
Now, after almost a year of uncertainty and COVID19 anxiety, a vaccine is available and with it: a light at the end of the tunnel.
If your excitement at the thought of re-emergence from quarantine is tempered by angst over having to fit into your pre-COVID wardrobe, you are not alone. Gym closures, working from home, and self-soothing with comfort food are just a few reasons for the prevalence of weight gain during the pandemic.
Make 2021 a year of celebrating health by embracing habits that will help flatten unwanted quarantine curves while boosting your immune system. The New Year is a great time to set weight loss goals and resolutions to renew your lifestyle. Check out our previous blog article, 6 Tips to Avoid Holiday Weight Gain, for advice on staying healthy throughout holiday festivities.
To combat holiday overindulgence, Dr. Kaitlin Brasier DNP, has a few suggestions to help you fit into your skinny jeans.
Believe it or not, dehydration can cause you to eat more. The body can mistake thirst for hunger, so if you’ve eaten recently and still feel peckish- try drinking a glass of water instead. Also, water can help your body break down fat and burn calories. Simply not drinking enough water may lead to a weight-loss plateau.
So how much is enough? In general, you should try to drink between 1/2 ounce and one ounce of water for each pound you weigh daily. For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, that would be 70 to 140 ounces of water a day.
Avoid added sugars
It’s easy to detect sugars in the obvious foods like cookies, ice cream and cakes, but did you know that “healthy foods” such as salad dressing and spaghetti sauce can be packed with hidden sugars?
Excess sugar can have devastating effects on brain chemistry, (sugar addiction is real!) and on the body. When we consume too much sugar, the liver cannot metabolize it all, and insulin resistance can develop increasing your risk of diabetes, heart disease, cancer and even dementia.
Try a healthy alternative to sugar such as monk fruit sweetener, which contains compounds that, when extracted, are an estimated 200–300 times sweeter than regular cane sugar but with no calories and no effect on blood sugar. Monk fruit sweetener was once hard to find but is now available at many local grocery stores and on Amazon. Check out draxe.com/nutrition/monk-fruit/ for more information on this amazing natural sugar substitute.
Do you know how many hours you sleep at night? If your answer is under eight hours, you should probably be sleeping more. Getting enough quality sleep will not only increase your focus and happiness but can shrink your waistline as well. When you skimp on sleep, your body craves extra (high calorie) food for energy. Getting a sleep tracker, such as the Oura ring, can provide you with important insights to the length and quality of your sleep. You might be surprised at the answer.
Eat more (lean) protein
Protein helps to balance out blood sugar and kick start your metabolism. Some healthy options are organic grass-fed beef, lentils, wild caught fish like salmon or tuna, nato, greek yogurt, free-range eggs, or collagen protein powder. Not only will these nutrient rich foods provide energy, but they also provide important amino acids, which help with muscle recovery and skin health. Ancient Nutrition Multi Collagen Protein is an odorless, tasteless powder that packs 9 grams of protein in 35 calories, making it the easy addition to your morning coffee or tea.
This may sound simple, but it’s essential. Movement helps keep our bodies limber and our minds sound. Also, movement burns calories, which is why exercise is essential for weight loss. If you are new to exercise, start with walking at a brisk pace and increase the frequency and intensity of your workouts gradually. Each week step it up a notch. Aim for 30-45 minutes of moderate to high-intensity exercise at least every other day. Try new activities to find an exercise you enjoy.
Keep yourself accountable by tracking every meal, snack, glass of water, workout and hours slept. Knowledge is powerful and simply knowing your baseline can help you identify areas of opportunity and unhealthy habits. There are several apps available such as MyFitnessPal.
If your weight gain has gotten out of hand, or you’d simply like help to lose your excess pounds once and for all, the weight loss experts at Pur Skin Clinic can help you to emerge from your COVID cocoon with confidence!
The Pur medical weight loss program is administered by licensed medical providers who are dedicated to helping you achieve your weight loss goals. This program goes beyond the usual diet and exercise routine and incorporates nutritional therapy, supplements, stress management, detoxification, lifestyle changes, and (when necessary) prescription weight loss medications. This multifactorial coaching approach, combined with a real food diet, prioritizes health to ensure safe, successful, long-term weight loss. Call 425-967-3877 to schedule an appointment today, to see how the Pur medical weight loss program can help you meet your 2021 health goals.