Liz’s easy tips for losing lockdown weight gain
Looking to lose the extra pounds of weight gain as a result of lockdown? Most of us have piled on a few pounds in the last few months due to a combination of comfort eating and reduced opportunities for activity.
Here, Liz shares her top tips for losing lockdown weight gain while enhancing your wellbeing.
How to lose lockdown weight gain
Check your portion size
Scaling back portion sizes is one of the simplest and most effective ways of dialling the scales downward. Using simple tricks of the mind – such as serving food on a smaller-sized plate and eating with smaller cutlery – sounds simplistic, but does actually work to cut the sheer quantity of food we’re eating each day.
Stay well hydrated
Staying well hydrated is important as sometimes the brain can confuse thirst for hunger. We should be hitting six to eight glasses of water a day (1.2 litres) but we may need more if we’ve broken a sweat.
Slow your eating
It takes around 20 minutes for the stomach to signal to the brain that we’re full. Eating too quickly means we’re chomping our way through mounds of food before our brain has had the chance to register that we’re actually full and have eaten enough.
Chewing each mouthful of food at least 20-30 times before swallowing may sound extreme, but it does slow us down and allows satiety signals to reach our brain so we don’t overeat. It’s also a useful practice for better gut health as it starts to break food down in the mouth, reducing the amount of stress on our stomach.
Discover intermittent fasting
Thinking about when we eat is also helpful for losing lockdown weight gain. There’s growing evidence that intermittent fasting helps slow the ageing process and can help us shift pounds by reducing calorie intake and regulating blood sugar levels.
A research review recently reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition revealed how those who reduced their calorific intake had significantly lower blood pressure, less inflammation and a lower risk of age-related diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
A longer daily break from digestion is better for our gut health too. Giving up breakfast might sound hard, but that’s only because we’ve become so conditioned by the likes of cereal companies and their marketing!
The reality is that few of us wake up starving following a decent supper and a good night’s sleep. It’s more often a question of mind over matter. We need to tell our brain that it’s OK not to eat first thing.
Not only that, but fasting can also help to encourage specific strains of bacteria that are associated with staying slim. Some bugs, such as Akkermansia and Christensenella are found in high levels in those lucky few who can eat as much as they like and remain lean.
By fasting, we’re much more likely to enourage these fat-burning friends to take up residence in our gut.
Liz’s go-to meal plan
Liz favours low G-I eating (low in sugars) and refined carbs, preferring to focus on healthy fats which keep us feeling fuller for longer.
Coffee or tea (with just a splash of whole milk or cream), or herbal teas.
Good source of protein (grass-fed meat, eggs, tofu or sustainably-sourced fish), loads of greens and a healthy drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. A generous spoonful of fermented goodness such as kimchi or sauerkraut on the side. Followed by berries with a serving of plain live yoghurt or kefir.
Nuts, seeds or dark chocolate.