Coronavirus pandemic has disrupted our normal activities, and we now have to adjust to the new life of isolation. The gym-goers feel the pinch, as gym centers are closed. COVID-19 has forced people to adapt to a new approach to health and fitness as more people are encouraged to work from home and exercise from home.
Coronavirus and immune system
The deadly COVID-19 pandemic has claimed thousands of lives worldwide. The cure hasn’t been found yet; thus, we still rely on a stronger immune system as the “cure.” Our immune acts as our first line of defense against infections, and people rely on the immune system to fight off the Coronavirus. The immune system response decreases as we age, making older people at risk of getting more infections. This has been evident in the Coronavirus’s mortality trend as older people above 60 years have the highest death tally. Building a strong immune system demands that you exhibit healthy eating habits for long periods. Vitamins offer excellent protection against infections as they help strengthen our immune system. It’s better to get your vitamins from food than supplements due to the effects that the supplements may have. Here are some vitamins that will strengthen your immune system:
Vitamin C is abundant in a lot of foods and you need this daily intake to keep your immune system strong; therefore you don’t need supplements to get it as such, as long as you keep a varied and healthy diet. This vitamin boosts your immunity against infections and is available in a variety of foods such as oranges, broccoli grapefruit, strawberry, and kale.
Vitamin E, found in foods such as spinach, peanuts, sunflower seeds, almonds, is a powerful antioxidant that boosts your body’s ability to fight infections
The body turns carotenoids found in carrots, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes into Vitamin A which has antioxidant properties as well.
Vitamin B6 supports biochemical reactions in the body that offers protection against infections.
Mental health during Coronavirus pandemic
Job losses, relationship problems, shelved travel plans, constant and ongoing negative media news and thinking, and isolation during COVID-19 can bring mental issues. Mental well-being is a topic of concern during this Coronavirus period, and it should be taken seriously. One way of dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression that may be associated with mental health is to keep in touch with friends and family members through platforms such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp video call, and even Skype. This will help you avoid loneliness brought by the lockdown.
Meditation can also help you manage stress and anxiety as it helps you have inner peace and relaxation. Avoiding unhealthy dietary habits such as drinking alcohol will make you avoid gaining weight, have irrational thoughts, and bring more depression. You can also take magnesium supplements, which help reduce anxiety and depression. Some of the supplements that you can take include:
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium oxide
- Magnesium glycinate
Diet and physical activity during Coronavirus
Dietary practices and physical activity influence your weight loss journey. For you to lose weight, you must burn more calories than you take in. Thus, eating healthy foods that are low in sugar, carbs, and salt is effective in losing weight while also engaging in physical exercises to burn calories. Changing a few habits that are detrimental to your health and weight loss journey is necessary.
Does sleep deprivation cause weight gain?
Adults should get around 7-9 hours of sleep, and sleeping late can interfere with this. Those who go to bed late tend to always wake up late, or those who don’t have enough sleep still wake up feeling tired, and they are likely to skip breakfast, which is not suitable for your health and weight loss journey. Sleep deprivation can stimulate ghrelin hormone, which triggers hunger and can slow down your metabolism. When hunger is triggered, you’ll end eating more than expected, and since your metabolism is also decreased, you’ll gain more weight instead of losing fat. Sleepiness and fatigue also promote a sedentary lifestyle, which will make you gain weight.
What about watching TV?
Watching TV till late night can make you sleep late, which is not suitable for your health and weight loss journey. Eating while watching TV is a common practice, and it can lead to weight gain since you’re likely to keep adding cookies or chips until your favorite Netflix movie is over. Eating sugary foods, refined products will add more calories to your body, and you’ll gain weight. TV commercials are also filled with fast-food adverts, which are likely to influence your food choices. Most of these foods are unhealthy, and they are going to add more fat to your body instead of losing fat. Aim to reduce your screen time and focus on doing some physical activities that keep you engaged and keep your metabolism stimulated to burn calories.
Time to quit snacking when you want to lose weight?
Snacks are convenient foods that help curb cravings and hunger, but when you want to lose weight, you have to limit or avoid snacking. Snacking on sugary foods and processed foods can affect your weight loss, and you’ll gain more than you had before. Practice mindful eating when dealing with snacks because there are healthy snacks that promote weight loss, and the majority will add you extra calories that you don’t need.
Drink more and more water
You need around 2 liters of water a day for optimum health. In weight loss, water is equally essential because most people do mistake thirst for hunger. Thus, it reduces your appetite and helps cut down unnecessary snacking that may make you add extra weight.
Water also helps you replace liquid calories from unhealthy sources such as soda, energy drinks, and fruit juices, which can mess up your weight loss journey. Many researches have shown that water increases the number of calories burned while the body is at rest, better known as resting energy expenditure. Water is also effective in the metabolism of stored fat and carbs.
Foods to avoid when you want to lose weight
You have to cut out sugary foods, processed foods, refined products, and fast food from your diet if you want to lose weight. These foods are filled with high calories, and they also slow down your metabolism, making you at risk of gaining weight. Here are some of the foods that you should give up to have a successful weight loss journey:
- Chips and fries
Chips and fries like potato chips and fresh fries are loaded with high calories, unhealthy fats, which won’t make you lose fat anytime soon. Consider eating boiled potatoes rather than fried or baked ones, which will make you make you add more fat instead of losing fat.
- Sugary drinks and beverages
Soda and energy drinks have high sugar content, which makes you gain weight and puts you at risk of getting other diseases such as type 2 diabetes. The beverages laced often with high fructose corn syrup, which is addictive and can make you overeat easily.
- White bread
There’s growing evidence that refined grains lead to more visceral fat in your belly. White bread, which has a high glycemic index, can lead to weight loss due to the added sugar sugars. It’s also easy to overeat this food leading to a high intake of calories, and you’ll gain more weight in the long run. You can go for Ezekiel bread as an alternative to white bread.
- Cookies, cakes, pastries
Mostly consumed as snacks, these foods are high in calories, have added sugar, and even trans fat, which puts your weight loss journey and overall health at risk. They are not that fulfilling, making you at risk of overeating them.
- Sweetened yogurt
Sweetened yogurt, be it by honey or processed sugar is detrimental to your weight loss journey and overall health. You can choose Greek yogurt as an alternative to sweetened yogurt, which is high in sugar.
- Ice cream
Ice creams have little protein and no fiber. They are also high in sugar and calories. When you want to lose weight, you have to avoid this product. High sugar levels in your body can put you at risk of getting type 2 diabetes also.
- Processed meat products
Apart from putting you at risk of getting chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, processed meat can also cause weight gain and put you at risk of being obese. Products such as sausages, hot dogs, ham, bacon, and jerky have trans fat, which is unhealthy. They are also high in calories, salt. If you want to get proteins, aim for lean protein sources such as oatmeal, beans, fish, poultry, and nuts.
Alcohol products such as beer have little to no nutrients that are needed by your body. Beer consumption is associated with higher BMI, which puts you at risk of being overweight. Coupled with high sugar and calorie content, you need to stop consuming alcohol if you want to lose fat. You can take wine as an alternative.
Can you lose weight without going to the gym?
Physical activities like exercises can help you increase metabolism and help you burn more calories. This will, in turn, help you lose weight.
Yoga and weight loss
Yoga promotes physical and mental fitness. It can improve the quality of your sleep, which is essential for your body and weight loss journey. Active types of yoga, such as vinyasa, ashtanga, and power yoga, helps in calorie burning by increasing metabolism. Some other yoga poses that can try include:
- Upward plank pose
- Boat pose
- Seated forward bend
- Sun salutations
Cardio exercises are also very useful in losing fat, and you can do them in the comfort of your home. Some of the cardio exercises that you can do for weight loss include:
- Squat jumps
- Jump rope
- Donkey kicks
- Butt kicks
Remaining motivated is a significant factor in your weight loss journey. The moment you lose hope, you’ll end up adding more weight than you had before. Find a friend, relative or family member who will keep you motivated. Avoid being discouraged because losing weight takes time.