According to a recent report from The American Psychological Association, 61% of adults have seen an undesired weight change during the pandemic, both gaining and losing weight. 

“There is a tendency for people to lose track of their healthy habits when under a lot of stress,” said Logan Delgado, Co-Owner of KetoCoach. “Not only have we experienced a pandemic, but also all of the many issues that have happened along with it, which makes it easy to resort back to unhealthy habits. A crucial key is to not get down about it, don’t beat yourself up.” 

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It is important to start getting back to a healthy diet and positive routine after isolation. “Goal setting is one of the easiest ways to regain focus, as setting targets helps you to meet your performance goals along the way, said Rick Beardsell, CEO of ShakeSphere. “During times such as these, routines can often be thrown out the window. Without routine and consistency, fitness training and performance becomes difficult.”

Verywell Mind advises, for a healthy diet, if you have the financial security to do so, focus on having regular meals evenly distributed throughout the day. For most people this will comprise 3 meals and 1 to 3 snacks. To kick start your routine, plan your meals ahead of time to reduce the likelihood of binge episodes, minimize waste, and create a feeling of emotional security.

Fitness & Diet Journey

“Start simple, don’t overcomplicate it, and don’t burn yourself out. The two biggest mistakes that I foresee individuals making include letting themselves get discouraged to a point where they don’t try to get back on track,” said Delgado. “The second mistake includes a feeling of overwhelming anxiety which forces individuals to overwork, resulting in a burnout with an overall worse feeling.”

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Instead of jumping directly into a restrictive diet and restrictive exercise, it is best to gradually make subtle changes over a period of six weeks. When attempting to make drastic changes to your lifestyle, your results will be ineffective and difficult to sustain. 

“A clean healthy diet with plenty of vegetables, and a low amount of sugars is ideal for the first four weeks. After this initial period you can start to introduce supplements such as protein powders to help you recover from exercise at a faster pace.” said Bearsell. “Any protein powder is advised to be taken within 20 minutes of finishing your exercise. It is important to recognize that supplements alone won’t help you, you have to maintain a consistent healthy diet as well.”

Healthy Habits

When implementing new healthy habits, it’s important to start small and build up slowly. Another key ingredient includes making this journey enjoyable.

“If you don’t enjoy it you won’t stick to it. Set challenging realistic goals, achieve them, move onto to the next feeling accomplished,” Beardsell said.  “Finally, try to eat clean. However, If you are going to snack on chocolate for example, choose a 70% dark chocolate to fulfil your craving. Also, if you do decide to treat yourself, it is best to enjoy them pre exercise rather than post exercise.” 

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Food Business News reported, Younger consumers’ habits were the most impacted by the outbreak. More than 40% of consumers under the age of 35 reported snacking more than normal, compared to 26% of consumers over the age of 50.

“Drink more water, get better sleep, and cut back on sugar. These three habits will be game-changing. Our mood directly affects our attitude, if you’re in a bad mood, your attitude is likely to be poor as well. When your body is functioning at its optimal performance, you feel good, and your outlook is positive,” Delgado advises. “If you drink plenty of water and hydrate your body and mind, you will function better. To get more quality sleep, cut out the distractions before bed and make sure you get a solid 7-8 hours of rest. When you eat less sugar and allow your body to have nutrient dense food instead, you will function better.”

Favorite Healthy Go-To Meals & Snacks From the Experts

“My favorite healthy meal is homemade brown bread, crushed avocado, with chopped tomatoes, a fried egg, with a drizzle of lemon,” said Beardsell. 

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As we know, the pandemic has been beyond difficult and enjoying the simple pleasures of life can be necessary from time to time. 

Beardsell confides, “My comfort food is dark chocolate. A drink to soothe my cravings includes 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, microwaved with coconut milk or soy milk, and add one spoonful of manuka honey to make it less bitter. Plus, the cocoa is great for circulation and the manuka honey helps maintain a strong immune system.”

“My go-to healthy snack is yogurt with keto friendly granola,” Delgado adds.

Living a healthy lifestyle and being positive is fun. Get back into your routine by eating your favorite healthy foods and engage in activities that you enjoy to get the blood pumping. Soon enough, you will be back in your healthy routine and happy lifestyle, because you want to be.