No doubt the year 2020 saw the unprecedented Coronavirus pandemic bring many unexpected challenges to the entire world.
This virus has impacted everything we do from our health, the economy, and security. The stay-at-home restrictions with the consequent reality of making meals in our kitchens have presented a need to stay healthy more than ever before in our lives.
If you are keen on maintaining a healthy body in these challenging times, we have selected some recommended weight loss plans by nutritionists, which may work for you in 2021. Please keep reading for more information on how to actualize it.
Important factors to consider
- A weight loss program should be designed to work for you.
- It must conveniently fit your lifestyle and food preferences, thus enabling long-term success.
- Research-based programs are effective for weight loss.
- The weight-loss plan should incorporate other healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular physical activity and mindful eating.
Embrace a plant-based diet
Plant-based diets are distinguished especially for their richness in fiber. Examples of plant-based foods are fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are resistant to digestion. Fiber helps to keep you full between meals, thereby promoting weight loss.
Studies indicate that plant-based diets are more effective for weight loss compared to conventional diets. Uptake of a plant-based diet leads to greater blood sugar control, cholesterol levels, and inflammation.
Various plant-based diets do not reject meat or animal products entirely. Such foods, therefore, are only enjoyed in moderation.
Consider a Mediterranean diet.
A comprehensive Mediterranean diet includes:
- Plenty of fruits
- Whole grains
- Proteins and healthy fats
The Mediterranean diet came from the eating habits of such countries as Italy, Spain, and Greece. Various studies have proven that following the Mediterranean Diet could lead to weight loss.
Move to a vegetarian diet.
Did you know that embracing a vegetarian diet can also be an easy way to enhance weight loss?
Some studies have established that people who followed a vegetarian diet lost considerably more weight than those who followed non-vegetarian diets over an average of 18 weeks.
It has been established that plant-based protein sources, e.g., canned beans, lentils, tofu, and tempeh, are also a cost-effective alternative to meat, poultry, and seafood.
Be aware of emotional eating.
COVID-19 related stress, which characterized 2020, caused some people to turn to food for comfort!
Indulging in your favorite comfort food may be soothing in the short-term. In the long run, however, this can lead to weight gain.
Identifying any mindless snacking or grazing that could be preventing weight loss should become a priority for anyone desirous of keeping and maintaining good health in the year 2021.
Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Although there are many styles and variations of Intermittent Fasting, IF mostly entails restricting food intake for between 14–24 hours at a time.
Studies have shown that IF increases weight loss akin to cutting calories, even as it may also boost fat-burning.
Adjust your working environment
With the COVID-19 pandemic “new normal” spilling well into 2021, remote working and the kitchen’s constant temptation could make it difficult to curb impulsive eating, leading to weight gain.
Expert advice is to focus on the changes to your home environment, supporting your weight loss goals.
Some questions to this effect can help:
- What is the first thing you see when you open the fridge?
- Is it tempting to take-out food or a container of washed and cut veggies?
It would be prudent to store baked goods in the freezer, or at least out of sight.
Do small workouts throughout the day.
Keep-fit instructors affirm that short bursts of exercise during the day keep your energy up and help burn a few added calories.
Every couple of hours should stand up, do some stretches, run in place, do some jumping jacks or push-ups.
Get enough hours of sleep every night.
Research has established that when you don’t get enough sleep, Leptin’s production, which is a hunger-suppressing hormone, decreases. Conversely, the production of Ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger levels, rises!
This means that you are biologically setting yourself up to want to eat more by sleeping less. It is advisable to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.
Getting adequate sleep, therefore, is not an option if you desire to gain weight loss!
If you have some underlying health conditions or are under medication, it is critical to talk to a healthcare professional before embarking on a weight-loss program or making changes to your diet.