If the weight of COVID restrictions has forced you to loosen your belt, a nutritionist has developed seven simple habits to help you to shed the kilos without excessive dieting.
“At the start of COVID-19, I think everybody thought working from home was going to give us the work-life balance we all craved,” nutritionist Gemma Daley told 7NEWS.com.au.
“But many are just tired and frustrated with countless trips to the fridge forced on by procrastination.”
When most of us open the fridge or the pantry, we’re grabbing processed snacks and high-sugar foods.
But if the fridge is packed with ready-made healthy meals, it makes it far easier to choose the right option.
“In order to achieve real lasting weight loss, you have got to adopt sensible nutritional habits into your lifestyle,” Daley said.
“Meal preparation is key to staying on track with healthy eating.
“But many are not putting aside time to do this because they are simply mentally fatigued, which is where ready-made fresh nutritious meals come in handy.”
These seven simple changes will help you to get in control of your COVID eating.
1. Drink more water
Daley says you should aim for two to three litres each day but the amount of water you need is dependent on your body mass size.
On average, women need to drink around two litres while men need around three.
2. Eat protein with every meal
Meat is a common source of protein but other options include Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and legumes.
“Protein leaves you feeling fuller the longest, as it assists in producing hormones,” Daley said.
“Hormones play a direct role in making you feel full or satisfied.”
It also helps to build muscle, instead of building fat.
3. Add exercise
If you are working from home, turn your commuting time into exercise time.
Walk the dog around the block on your break, instead of going to the fridge.
Once you get into the habit of a daily walk, run or swim, you will find it is much easier to maintain a healthy weight.
4. Cut out processed carbs
Sorry, that means doughnuts, pies and sugary drinks are going to have to go.
Daley says you can eat wholegrain breads and pasta but limit their intake.
5. Eat healthy fats every day
Instead of dollops of butter, go for avocado or extra virgin olive oil.
Pack walnuts and flax seeds into small containers so they are easy to grab and snack.
6. Boost your vegetables
To maintain a balanced diet, nutritionists recommend eating five to six servings of vegetables every day.
For snacks, you can cut up carrot sticks, celery and capsicum.
Add large salads or stir-fried vegetables to your lunch and dinner to fill you up so you don’t need dessert.
Daley also recommends including a couple of servings of low glycemic index starchy carbs such as sweet potatoes, pumpkin and beetroot.
7. Ready-made meals
Make one day a cooking day and whip up several different meals that are easy to store or freeze for the week, such as bolognaise sauces, pies and casseroles.
If you have a slow cooker, you can simply throw everything in the pot and leave it while you work.
Not great at cooking?
Try a ready-made meal service that delivers healthy options such as Workout Meals.
That way you will have more time for your daily walk.