Locking down weight gain

By: Natasha Archary

Lockdown weight
Photo by nappy from Pexels

Did anyone factor in how much weight we’d be prone to during the lockdown? Naturally, being home means multiple trips to the kitchen. It also means not leaving empty-handed as temptation and the munchies, multiplied by procrastination to get anything done through remote working.


For one, gyms are a no go. Two, every other post on social media seems to showcase our countries hidden chefs in the making, with homecooked meals and fancy baking taking over our feeds. Three, people are stressed and depressed about the COVID-19 pandemic that just seems to be worsening in the country and what this means for many families economically. And when we’re stressed, we tend to seek comfort food


Lockdown weight gain

It is not easy to stay healthy when things are looking so bleak at the moment. South Africans are not known to be the most active, but with our lifestyles being so severely restricted lately, it’s not exactly motivating to get up and burn some calories is it? 


Healthy lifestyle choices are just that, you choosing to implement a change and committing to it. We know what some of the benefits to an active lifestyle and clean eating plan are, but it is still very much a mindset change. 


Bad habits don’t just happen overnight. It’s a series of poor choices that build over time that becomes tough to break out of. The reality show “My 600-pound life,” is an eye-opening depiction of how excessive unhealthy eating and an inactive lifestyle can lead to morbid obesity. 


With a killer virus on the rise, striving for a healthier mind and body should be a priority for all South Africans, kids included. 

Lockdown weight
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels
Eat clean and hydrate 

In a way, the lockdown has already provided everyone with an impromptu detox plan. No alcohol, take-outs or cigarettes. That should have been enough of a kickstart to a new you. 


Swapping out the junk foods for wholesome meals, fresh fruit and veg and nourishing homecooked meals should be the new norm that stays. But with fast-food outlets pushing for the re-opening of drive-throughs in the country, it seems short-lived.


One of the ways to speed up your metabolism and boost fat-burning is through intermittent fasting. Controlling your cravings or the urge to constantly be eating is a method of curbing over-eating. The number of hours you fast for all depends on how long you are capable of pushing your body, under the advisement of your health practitioner of course. For the average, health cleared, South African this could be anything from 6 to 8 hours or 12 to 18 hours. 


You are advised to drink water throughout the fast and snack on fruits or load up on veggie juices to take your metabolism into over-drive. 


Get up off the couch

It’s good to see that many South Africans have taken to the streets during the allocated time to enjoy an early morning walk or run. It may not make much sense, as the virus doesn’t have an “off-time”, but it’s a welcome respite we will take advantage of. 


A run or brisk walk is a great cardio workout. Breaking a sweat and accelerating your heartbeat through exercise is one of the best ways to boost endorphins. Those feel-good hormones that relieve stress and anxiety. 


It’s not just about dropping a few cms or kgs, it’s about improving your state of mind. A small change or short bursts of physical activity should be celebrated as a step in the right direction. For all of you who use the excuse, “there’s no time to exercise,” we’ve been given an indefinite amount of time at home to focus on our health and well-being, what are we choosing to do with it?


Some fun ways to keep active at home with the kids

– Play hopscotch 

– Kick a soccer ball around

– Make use of the basketball hoop, swing-ball set, or any sport set you have in your yard

– Take turns skipping with the kids. Skipping is a fantastic full-body workout and just 15mins can burn up to 250 calories.

– Do some yoga in the garden. YouTube has some excellent yoga workouts that you can try. 

Download a workout app that doesn’t require a full gym setup. Something you can modify or perform with just your body weight. 

– Play with the dog.

– Do some gardening. Squatting to pull out the weeds count as a workout.


How are you keeping fit during the lockdown?

Share your tips and eating plans with us on @KayaFM95dot9 using the hashtag #KayaOnline

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