On any given day, it can be hard to take control of your weight and eat healthily. When you are stuck indoors (as is the case with many Americans these days on the advice of medical experts), it can be even more of a challenge to choose the rights foods and stay on track with your weight loss goals. Though you may feel like you can’t enjoy all the activities that were once at your disposal for managing your weight, you can still take care of your diet and eat right when you are stuck inside.
What to Put In
Before you figure out what you should be taking out of your diet, you need to have a replacement plan in place. Simply taking things out isn’t the only way to improve your weight. You need to replace bad habits with good ones, especially when it comes to the foods you are consuming at each meal. If you are on a diet plan like the HCG diet, it is a lot easier to know you can and can’t eat to stay on track. Generally speaking, a healthy diet will have lean meats, whole grains, dark greens, low-fat dairy, and colorful fruits and vegetables. To anyone who was paying attention, you would have noticed how few things were on that list. In reality, that is because most of what Americans consume each day isn’t healthy and sabotages your weight management efforts. In case those items aren’t clear, here is a quick rundown of what you should avoid eating when you are sheltering in place, self-quarantining, or just trying to escape the crazy outside your house.
What to Keep Out
1. Potato Chips and French Fries
There is something rather boring about lunch with a sandwich and no potato chips or a hamburger without fries. Though these items may be American staples, they are very high in calories and are consistent consumption is linked to weight gain. They are salty and tasty, but they aren’t filling. You will only end up wanting something else to eat later. Eating a whole, baked or boiled potato is more filling and nutritious.
2. Soft Drinks
Research has proven that sugary-sweet beverages are addicting, labeling them one of the most unhealthy foods on the entire planet. When consumed in excess, there are disastrous health consequences, one of which is weight gain. Soft drinks are high in calories, but these too are empty calories that will still leave you feeling hungry later. For those with diabetes or glucose issues, try to avoid soft drinks altogether. Switch to water or water that is naturally flavored as an alternative.
3. White Flour
Since you are staying indoors and need quick ideas for lunch or dinner for your crew, it can be tempting to turn to grilled cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly for an easy solution. White bread and items made with white flour contain a lot of added sugar and are highly refined. This can spike your blood sugar levels and create a roller coaster with your energy supply. There are alternatives to white bread if you do have to make sandwiches for your family or want to have spaghetti for dinner. You can use wheat or whole grains bread, and you can find whole-wheat pasta options as well. If you want to get adventurous, try spaghetti noodles made from red lentils or black beans.
4. Candy and Snack Cakes
When people are depressed, anxious, or bored, emotional eating starts to kick in. People often turn to quick, sugary items like a candy bar or iced snack cake to lift their spirits. This is just a momentary pleasure, and as the old adage goes, a moment on the lips is forever on the hips. Candy bars and cakes are loaded with sugar, refined flours, and saturated and trans fats. They are low in nutrition while high in calories. They can be hard to resist, especially when you are looking for a pick-me-up before dinner, so try not to buy them at all.
You may be feeling a little depressed over having to stay indoors or isolated from your friends, but reaching for the beer or alcohol is a temporary relief. The more you indulge your emotional state in drinking, the worse it will be for your health. A glass of red wine once or twice a week can provide some antioxidant properties, but overindulging with beer loads up your diet with unnecessary calories.
Since you will probably be spending the next several weeks indoors or have limited social interaction outside your home, it might be a good time to focus on clean, healthy eating. Trying changing out poor food choices for better ones, and see how much better you feel at the end of the few weeks.
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