How to Lose Weight After COVID-19 and All of the Lockdowns
In the wake of COVID-19 and all of the lockdowns, it is very hard to find time for a healthy diet.
With so many people being affected by these events, we wanted to create an article that would teach you how to lose weight in spite of them.
So many of us gained weight during the multiple lockdowns and found it hard to lose weight again.
This article will teach you how to lose weight after COVID-19 and the lockdowns, so that no matter what happens in the future, you can continue with your fitness regimen.
Knowledge Is Power
Did you know that obesity is a chronic disease and it's not always easy to control?
The common narrative has always been between "calories in" and "calories out". As long as the calories out were more than the intake you should lose weight.
So it made sense to cut back on your high-calorie food intake and exercise to burn calories.
The problem with looking at it this way is down to the fact that weight is not a behaviour.
There are no guarantees regarding losing and putting on weight in a short period of time. It's not predictable.
However, if you asked someone to go on a run every weekday between 8 pm and 9 pm they could do that quite easily.
That's because exercise is a habit. Losing weight isn't.
Behaviour is simple. Weight is not
The vast majority of us have a lot of control over what we do and don't do. We even control how much food we consume.
But, since weight is not a behaviour, we don't have the ability to switch it on and off.
We can't dial it back and forth like a thermostat.
This is because our personal genes have a lot to do with this. It turns out that there's a 40% to 70% chance of developing obesity based on our genes.
Our society has so much access to high-calorie and low nutrition food that is not only available but also cheap, we're now seeing more people who are obese than ever before.
And because obesity has a strong correlation with all sorts of other diseases like diabetes and heart disease it's becoming one of the biggest risk factors for death in our modern society.
Changing your diet may help get some pounds off but even then not all people will lose any significant amount by changing what goes into their mouth.
It's not as easy as most people think which makes eating healthy seem like an impossible task for them when really it's possible with small changes done daily.
So, what makes obesity a medical condition?
We all know someone who is overweight, and we often think that those people just need to find a way of motivating themselves into losing weight. But what makes obesity medically dangerous?
The number on the scale may not be significant - it's how fat cells impact your quality of life that counts!
Fat cells are active in secreting hormones and peptides that can directly cause diseases when they're close to organs such as the heart, liver or pancreas (intra-abdominal adipose tissue).
Obesity is a medical condition, but it’s important to understand the body's mechanism for defending its highest weight. It might seem like an instinctual defense against caloric overload and starvation, but our bodies have more in mind than we know.
The first thing that strikes me about obesity as a diagnosis is that there are so many people who think of themselves as overweight or obese when they're not - which makes sense because oftentimes their body mass index (BMI) falls into healthy ranges despite the way they feel about themselves.
This causes problems both medically (since doctors use this number) and socially since other peoples' perceptions of them can be altered by false notions such as thin privilege even if these things don't apply at all.
Here are a few examples:
- weight stigma affects people's mental health
- if you're a man, it can impact your chances of getting hired
- if you're a woman, it can affect the salary that you get offered by prospective employers.
That familiar moment when biology takes over
The weight-loss curve is something we all know.
Early on in the journey, your body sheds those pounds with ease and you feel like you're losing more than ever before. However, as time goes by, that becomes harder to maintain at a steady pace.
This normally happen somewhere between three and six months. And, that's when those pounds start to creep back on with a vengeance.
There can be a few reasons why this happens:
- You're tired after work
- Your workouts aren't as intense as they used to be.
- You've reached a weight plateau and your body is no longer shedding those pounds like it once was.
- The stress of everyday life or something more specific going on in you're eating more than you think.
The energy in and energy out model is a dangerous model to follow because it sets unrealistic goals.
When someone uses this system, they have expectations that are as good as impossible.
That's pretty extreme.
How the “eat less, move more” mindset actually harms us
Many people are conditioned to believe that the best way to lose weight is through "eat less, move more." But what happens when they go on a diet?
They have success at first, but then always end up losing traction and gain it all back.
The problem with this mindset isn't just in their lack of understanding about how bodily functions work – It's also due in part to being given external validation for succeeding only after having tried something new or difficult enough times before finally achieving some sort of victory.
Essentially: winning awards because you're trying hard outweighs the satisfaction you would feel if he/she were actually successful without much effort involved.
The other major issue here is that most diets entail giving yourself an ultimatum – to either succeed or fail.
We create "either-or" scenarios when in reality, most people should be seeking a middle ground where they're able to experience some success but also face the truth about their current situation and change it if necessary.
The good news is that there are ways of doing this without having to give up.
You can either:
- commit to a permanent diet plan that you'll lose weight with in the long run.
- try intermittent fasting, which is an excellent way of getting your hunger and cravings under control as well as improving your hormone balance.
- choose certain times during the day when you eat more. For example, if you know you can't resist those snacks at 11am and then again at around five, you'll want to only eat breakfast and lunch.
- Focus on what hunger feels like. Sometimes, people eat when they're not hungry because it's a habit. The next time you feel cravings or hunger pangs, stop and ask yourself if this is something that will last for more than ten minutes. If the answer is no, then try to distract yourself from the craving until it passes;
Chewing gum might help?
The idea is to find a way of eating that's sustainable for you – which might mean tweaking your diet or schedule significantly; it all depends on your individual situation.
When people constantly try and give up, this is called learned helplessness. Learned helplessness is when you constantly try and give up, so it becomes impossible to do once the time comes.
In a lab setting with dogs by Martin Seligman, learned helplessness was first observed as an effect of uncontrollable events on subsequent learning ability - most notably that repeated shocks did not generate the previously observed avoidance behaviors.
Recently, a number of studies have been done to better understand how we can improve care for people living with obesity.
What they're learning is that many don't think healthcare providers are sources of support, but rather should focus on diet and exercise as the only way to go in order to get rid of their weight problem altogether.
This means providers also feel like there's nothing else they could do besides giving tips about what food is best or which exercises will help them lose those pounds faster.
Time to change the narrative
Obesity rates are rising because the human brain is no longer adapted to the environment in which it lives. There really is nothing wrong with you or your brain, it's simply a combination of our genetics and our environment.
Obesity is a complex health problem that has been on the rise in adults and children.
Doctors have found great success with weight loss treatments for some people, but not all.
A recent study from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center may provide us hope to end this epidemic once again by reintroducing realistic hope into obesity management through self-esteem-building techniques.
For example, talking about their successes rather than failures or giving themselves credit where it is deserved instead of only when they lose weight.
If we approach obesity like every other medical condition, then we'll be able to come up with effective treatments for this type of weight loss.
To lose weight, you need to find a balance between what your brain is telling you and how it's making you feel. It can be really hard for you to manage your emotional wellbeing because of the ongoing battle you're fighting against your own body.
What we eat has an effect on our moods too. So make sure that if your goal is to lose weight, one way to do this would be by eating healthy food (and also a reduction in sugar).
There are a lot of different ways to lose weight and get healthy. It's up to you how you want to do it, but the first step is always making that decision.
If you're feeling helpless or stuck in your current routine, it may be time for some new changes.
Start by changing what food choices you make so that they support an active lifestyle instead of obstructing one.
You'll also need to find a balance between eating enough calories while still restricting yourself from overindulging in junk foods and other unnecessary treats.
These tips should help you to lose weight and fit into your favorite clothes again, without feeling like a prisoner :)