Here we are again back in lockdown. It’s a drag, many of up are fed up, frustrated, and worried but we’re here regardless and since there’s nothing we can do about the situation, what can we do is make sure, that when we do emerge from lockdown, we are healthy, happy, and ready to embrace our freedom again. To make life a little easier, I have built a downloadable program, called LightenUp in Lockdown with meal plans, recipes, shopping lists and, 7 things to do each week in lockdown. It’s free to everyone in Sydney and Melbourne who is currently in lockdown.
35% of Australians gained weight LAST YEAR due to Covid.
Last year around 35% of Australians gained weight due to Covid. We also led the world in increased alcohol consumption, according to the results from a survey by market research company Ipsos. For our mental health, eating and drinking our way through lockdown is NOT the way to emerge out of it healthy, happy, and ready to embrace our freedom. I want to fit into my clothes when I get out of this, and I want to feel energetic, fit, and well. If you do too then lets’ Lighten Up in Lockdown.
On a more serious note, although a 1 – 2 kg gain is not a huge deal, aside from the usual lifestyle-related health problems associated with weight gain, there is a growing body of evidence that identifies obesity as a risk factor for more severe COVID-19 illness and death.
According to the article in GP news – a magazine that goes out to the GP network – Dr. Georgia Rigas from The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners writes that people who are obese are at greater risk of:
- Acquiring the virus
- Spreading the virus
- Being hospitalised with the virus
- Requiring ventilation, with an increased mortality
The bottom line is
A physio once said to me, there are two types of people, externalizers, and internalizers; externalizers look around to see who they can blame for a situation they don’t like, and internalizers work out what they can do to help themselves. Lockdown may be an opportunity depending on how you view it. If you’re normally busy with places to go and people to see, you may now have some time to care about your own health.
Don’t comfort eat and drink your way through the next, however – many – weeks we are in lockdown
The 3 key areas to focus on to improve your overall wellbeing during lockdown are:
DIET: Let me to take some of the work of planning, shopping, and deciding what to eat much easier. Download the program Lighten Up in Lockdown and on the days when/if you struggle remember these 6 things.
- Eat at least 5 serves of vegetables a day – mainly the non-starchy kind.
- Cut out ultra-processed packaged and junk food (it is not food anyway), this includes soft drinks.
- Reduce alcohol consumption.
- Cut out processed meat and reduce your intake of cheese.
- Try NOT to eat between meals.
- Watch your portion sizes
MINDFULNESS can be anything from staring at a flower for 10 minutes and examining its beauty or form, colouring in a picture, chopping vegetables, or sitting comfortably while you focus on your breath. Anything that brings you into the present moment with no thought given to the past or future is mindfulness and the longer you can practice it, the longer you are not thinking about the things that cause you to feel anxious. Mindfulness is helpful to keep the weight off because it can stop mindless eating and eating from anxiety.
ACTION: Schedule 10 – 15 minutes each day for mindfulness/meditation
EXERCISE: is something we all know is good for us but, given we are all hard-wired to not want to exercise it can be the hardest thing of all to do.
Our cavemen ancestors recognised the need to conserve energy. They didn’t know when they would get their next meal or have to escape from a dangerous predator, so they certainly didn’t expend energy unnecessarily by leaving their caves for a morning jog. Bizarrely, understanding that intrinsically we don’t really want to exercise can make us more inclined to do it, and we always feel better for having done so.
Covid may be an excuse NOT to do any exercise, but it’s a poor excuse. We’re allowed to do it and for our physical and mental health, we must.
ACTION: – Aim to clock at least 7500 steps a day, ideally with a friend. Add weight-bearing exercise 3 times a week.
Happy lockdown everyone, I hope I see you on the program!