You may have heard about the Covid 15. Kind of like the Freshman 15 that is still common for many college students. Many of us have been working at home and the refrigerators have been wide open. Weight gain creeps up on us. Over half of women and a quarter of men have packed on the pounds since this began. When is the last time you jumped on a scale? Do you know your numbers? It is also happened to many of our dogs oddly because this story in Psychology Today says we are spending MORE time with them and giving them MORE treats. It is not just weight gain, but anxiety is up also according to recent stories in the media. Martin Luther said it best –
“Nothing in the world causes so much misery as uncertainty.”
That uncertainty can be difficult to deal with and cause anxiety. I get it. I have experienced it too. Some turn to food to comfort them. When you are feeling that way how often do you turn to food or fast food? A typical fast food meal like a Big Mac, fries and a Coke contains 1350 calories. That is HALF the calories of what is recommended for an adult. Life is too short not to have a great burger of course…I would not put a Big Mac in that category. The challenge comes when we consistently make poor food choices. What is your go to food at home that you know you need to cut out? Every time you buy it grocery shopping you KNOW you should leave it on the shelf, and you reach for it any way. If you are going to eat them, put a few in a cup and don’t grab the entire container.
The CDC says on any given day in the United States, an estimated 36.6 percent or approximately 84.8 million adults consume fast food. Is that you? You cannot out exercise a bad diet. You cannot outrun a Big Mac….it will catch you! How long does it take to burn off 1350 calories? You would need to cycle 3.4 hours, run 2.3 hours or do 8.2 hours of house cleaning! That is hard to do consistently. Exercise is of course essential and –
You simply cannot make up for on a treadmill for what you can put in your mouth!
If you do get a quick snack or meal try to make better choices. A simple way to control your food choices is to have them near you. If you have nothing good to eat close by, that is when many will settle for unhealthy choices.
If you are mobile or even just in your office, a new habit is to pack a small cooler so you have it with you. Get proactive and select healthy, low sugar options and bring them WITH YOU each day when you leave the house….if you leave the house! National Cancer Institute says the men need 9 and women need at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. This habit can help you reach this goal.
Some of my favorite go to snacks are apples slices or celery with natural peanut butter. I love tuna fish with mayo, lemon and lemon pepper on a Triscuit. Both are a good source of protein and can promote the feeling of fullness and reduce your appetite. Dipping veggies like carrots, celery, snap peas or cucumbers in hummus is also easy. Cutting up oranges or a pear can make them easier to eat. Make interesting salads with dark greens (never Iceberg Lettuce), red/green/orange peppers, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, berries, cut up dried apricots for example. In a Tupperware container without the dressing on it of course it will stay fresh all day in the cooler. Often you just need something quick to take the hunger edge off until you can get to a healthier meal option. During the day, ask yourself before you eat something a simple question –
What would a healthy person do right now?
Make conscious decisions each day to make healthy food choices. Each good choice makes the NEXT good choice even easier! Instead of reaching for that comfort food grab a healthy option. Go take a walk with your dog. Remember to watch how many treats you give them.