Sticking to healthy habits can feel like a challenge at the moment with our daily lives being turned upside down.
It’s never been more important to take care of physical and emotional health though, and when we do our whole family benefits.
Here’s the lowdown on looking after yourself in lockdown…
Reset your goals
If the wedding you were slimming for has been postponed or your holiday cancelled, it’s understandable that it might have zapped your motivation.
Don’t scrap your goals completely though, just re-adjust them so they’re more appropriate for right now.
It might be that instead of thinking about your ultimate goal of reaching your dream weight, you find it easier to think about a mini-ambition.
You could aim to cook more meals from scratch (you’ll find healthy recipe inspiration on the slimming world website) or take up a new hobby such as running (the Couch to 5K app is a great start) or online dance classes.
Or simply pledge to go for a walk increasing the distance every day.
Don’t feel guilty for adapting your plans either – we’re all adjusting to lockdown living!
Find your ‘new normal’
If you’re someone who thrives on routine, make a new daily schedule and stick to it where you can – keeping to regular mealtimes, bedtimes and activity slots will give your day some structure.
If you prefer a more relaxed approach, make a date with yourself to do something you’ll enjoy and that will help you move closer to your weight-loss or health goals.
Ideas include getting up at a scheduled time to get some fresh air in the garden, practising keepy-uppies with the kids to get your heart rate up, sprinting to the next lamp post on your run, experimenting with a new recipe or reading 20 pages of your new book a day.
Eating well at home can help to keep your energy levels up, manage your weight and feel great too. While there aren’t any specific foods that will boost your immune system, the good news is that eating a healthy, balanced diet with lots of variety is a great way to support a well-functioning immune system.
Slimming World’s list of Free Food, including fruit and vegetables, lean meat, pasta, potatoes, pulses and eggs, are typically low in energy density and satisfying, helping you feel fuller during the rest of the day.
By basing your meals on Free Food you’ll be less likely to feel hungry – and less tempted to reach for less-healthy options as a result.
Make things easier for you
If eating well and staying active are feeling more challenging for you right now, you’re not alone. Instead of trying to be super-human, where you can, make things as easy as possible for yourself.
Making up a batch of your freezer-friendly favourites will make weeknight dinners less stressful – especially if you’re a parent balancing working from home and looking after your little ones or one of the busy key workers keeping our nation going. Instead of picking up the share-bag of crisps or biggest chocolate bar when you’re at the shops, you could pop a smaller bag or bar that you can enjoy in moderation in your trolley.
You could also set out your workout clothes the night before so you can start your planned activity without hesitation in the morning.
Whether you set up a video call with your friends, join in with a live online event or take part in the heart-warming clap for carers, lots of us are finding new ways to connect with our loved ones and remind ourselves that we may be apart, but we’re not alone.
Slimming World members have their My Slimming World Virtual Group to look forward to each week.
These temporary virtual groups are full of the support, inspiration and friendship you’d normally find in Slimming World physical groups – from the comfort of your own home. With the same friendly Consultants at the helm, Slimming World’s virtual groups have become much-loved hubs of recipe-swapping, idea-sharing and problem-solving activity.
This means they’re a fabulous and fun way to stay on track and get advice to manage your weight whatever life throws at you.
Meanwhile, Slimming World Online members can log on to the friendly Slimming World Online Community for a chat anytime.
Eat the rainbow
Fruit and vegetables are at the heart of healthy eating – they provide slow-release energy, fibre and water, plus many are low in calories while still very filling.
Adding lots of fruit and veg into your usual meals helps to make them extra filling and adds variety in taste, texture and colour – keeping your dishes interesting. You could experiment with new fruits and veg, and frozen fruit and veg can be a great option – plus it lasts for much longer!
Know your ‘tipping point’
Lots of us are finding that being at home has seen an increase in our alcohol consumption. As every day feels the same you might be finding it harder to distinguish weekdays from weekends, or maybe alcohol feels like a good way to relax after a busy or worrying day.
Alcohol is high in calories and can weaken your resolve around food and drink – in fact, research by Slimming World has found that most of us have a tipping point when drinking, after which we go on to eat and drink much more than we intended – on average an extra 6,300 calories over the next two days.
The good news is though, by making a few changes to your drinking habits, you don’t have to miss out on the (house) party completely. Planning ahead is key so set yourself a limit and stick to it and be sure to measure your drinks as free-poured drinks tend to be much larger than you think. Beer drinkers could also try having smaller measures overall by picking up bottled beers over cans.
Put comfort food on the menu
We’re all – understandably – feeling a little more worried and anxious at the moment and that might mean turning to food for comfort. However, comfort eating doesn’t have mean answering the call of the biscuit tin.
Whether it’s a family favourite or a dish that you loved as a child, there is a huge variety of comforting meals that you can prepare healthy versions of to warm your heart without impacting your weight.
From a cottage pie made with lean mince beef, a just-like-mum-used-to-make roast with all the trimmings (tip: try cooking your veggies in low-calorie cooking spray instead of butter) or a delicious dessert – did anyone say banana bread? – you’ll find lots of ideas at the Slimming World Website.
Your mind matters
Compassion, care and understanding are at the very heart of what Slimming World does, which is why the organisation is proud to support Public Health England’s Every Mind Matters campaign. The campaign aims to change the way we think about mental health and empower us to take positive steps to help ourselves and each other.
Search ‘Every Mind Matters’ to find ideas to tackle working from home, as well as expert tips for looking after your mental wellbeing during lockdown.
Keep moving at home
A solo bike ride, jog or brisk walk are brilliant ways to make the most of your ‘once a day’ time outdoors. If you prefer exercising at home or you just fancy filling your time with a bit of extra activity, there are still plenty of indoor activities that will get your heart rate up and you moving more.
Think of anything from online workouts, to dancing in the kitchen, to doing step-ups on the staircase.
You’ll help keep the kids entertained, too – whether that’s through joining in or having a giggle at your efforts.
- Check out #MySWVirtualGroup on social media to see what Slimming World members are saying about their virtual groups and find out more at the Slimming World website