As we all know, the last 5 months or so have been tough. For some of us, they have been the toughest in living memory. Confined to our homes, seeing very little of our family, friends, and loved ones, the routine playing out in much the same way, day after day. Now, as lockdowns are starting to ease (at least for now), many of us are starting to venture outside in a meaningful way, for the first time in a very long time. Going out has coincided with some self-reflection, and many of us may have indulged a little bit too much during the pandemic. It is only natural, being stuck inside, we often end up making one too many trips to the fridge or cupboard, and before we know it, we have piled on the pounds. If this story is sounding rather familiar, listen up, because now is the time for you to make the changes in your life that will impact you in a positive way. Yes, that means now is the perfect time for healthy diets, a little light exercise, and meal prepping!
Positive mental attitude
Firstly, it is important to realize that you need to have the correct mindset. If you don’t want to lose weight and don’t have the drive, you won’t succeed. If this is something that you wake up thinking you want to do, you have a far higher chance of getting to your goal than if you are dragging yourself kicking and screaming. Get yourself into the right mindset before you even start. Think about your goals, make them achievable and don’t allow yourself to get out of the structure that you set yourself in pursuit of these goals. Promise yourself that you will walk two miles every day? Do it. Only allow yourself a couple of chocolate biscuits a day? Don’t make exceptions. Be ruthless with your regime, and you will find yourself moving towards the promised land far quicker than if you entertain the “oh, but today I don’t feel like it” attitude that your old self would accept.
Equally, this is why it is so important to set achievable goals. If you are a 6ft guy currently weighing 17 stone, the chances are you aren’t going to have a body like Usain Bolt within 6 months. You may, however, be able to get down to 15 stone in 6 months quite comfortably. Be realistic, be strict, and if you reach your attainable goal quicker than you imagined you would, set yourself a new one and go from there.
Be aware of what you are putting into your body
Meal prepping is, of course, a great way to aid your weight loss. By prepping meals in advance, you are less likely to buy food when out, or indeed order take-aways. It is also far easier to see exactly how much of any ingredient (and calories) is going into each meal, and it is a great way to keep an eye on portion control. Our containers come in a variety of sizes and shapes, so grab yourself a selection, and you will be ready to prep any type of meal for any occasion. It also has the handy side effect of freeing up your time (perhaps making it easier for you to find the time to exercise) and also makes packing a cooler box for a day out at the park or a long country walk all the easier. Start prepping your meals, and you will start to become far more accurate in your assessment of what you are putting in your body. It is also worth noting that meal prepping is not only great for your waistline, but buying and cooking in bulk also tends to be far kinder on the purse strings too, which I think we can all agree is another rather welcome side effect.
We have plenty of recipes on the website that are healthy, as well as super tasty. It goes without saying that those looking to lose weight need to ease up on the carbs and fatty foods, while those who are aiming to gain muscle may wish to include more protein in their diet, but it should also be noted that for most people, it is simply a case of eating a healthy, balanced diet, and keeping an eye on their portion control. Too much of any food can lead to weight gain, while avoiding all carbs and fats can lead to a sluggish feeling that may impede your workout routine too. Sensible, healthy, portion-controlled meals are all most people need to worry about when looking to lose a stone or two, and listening to your body is a must. It has a knack of letting you know whether you are over-indulging or not. That feeling you get after the second helping of dessert isn’t a coincidence!
Before you set your goals, it is worth looking at what is not only attainable, but what is actually healthy in your particular case. The human race is a smorgasbord of different shapes and sizes, and one weight might be healthy for one person, but not for another. There is plenty of information out there to help you work out what you should weigh for your height and body type, but for those who are curious about their BMI (body mass index), Medical News Today has a handy calculator.
Want to see a huge difference? Exercise is the key
When considering your exercise, it really comes down to what your current situation is. It is worth remembering that diet accounts for far more weight loss than exercise, but if you really want to make a dramatic difference and build muscle tone, exercise is mandatory. The same rules apply here for every other aspect of your new healthy lifestyle, set achievable goals. It is better to start slowly and build up, than go too hard at the beginning, and injure yourself. With a huge selection of free online Youtube stars to follow, websites dedicated to fitness regimes, and Instagram influencers to listen to, those who are looking for advice don’t need to be shelling out hundreds of pounds a year at their local gym (which is probably still closed anyway!). For those serious about monitoring their fitness, it can be worth looking at the tech sector for inspiration, in the form of a fitness tracker.
Tech can help
With so many different options on the market, it is obvious to see that fitness trackers are now big business. From Apple and their top of the range Apple Watch, through to Fitbit and Samsung, functionality and prices vary considerably depending on what you want from your fitness band. For a device that does everything, you can expect to pay anything from £200 to £400, but there are also some great options out there that do all the basics (such as GPS tracking, heart rate monitor, and step count) for about £50. For some people, they are not necessary, but for others, they are a great way of tracking progress, and in some cases, they can even ‘gamify’ your workouts, pitting you against your friends who own the same device. Great for people with a competitive streak, and an equally competitive friend!
So if you are looking to lose weight post-lockdown, get yourself meal-prepping, set out an exercise regime, and be rigid with it. The absolute worst part of any health kick is the beginning when you feel that nothing has changed, and all that you can notice is the sheer amount of effort you have put in. Give yourself a month, be strict, and see if you feel the same after stepping on the scales and seeing the difference for yourself. Chances are, seeing that number heading in the right direction is all the encouragement you will need to keep going!