While many Americans have put on weight during the pandemic, for others, it’s inspiring them to get healthy.
Robin Foroutan is a registered dietitian with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She says now is a great time to jump start a health and fitness plan. The best way to stay on track is to set a schedule and stick to it. "It's not just about weight. It's really about establishing the kinds of routines and habits that promote health," Foroutan says.
For a routine to work, Foroutan says it has to be doable. Her top tips are:
-Get adequate rest and sleep
-Bring healthy snacks into the home for when cravings hit
-Add a mindfulness activity like meditation or gentle stretching
Another tip from dietitians is to reduce stress as much as possible. Stress causes an increase in cortisol levels which can cause inflammation and weight gain. Foroutan says, "Just a quiet walk around the block, some kind of stress relief that really works is going to help you manage weight loss and maintain your normal weight."
Keith Morlino’s two-year long weight loss journey hit a major bump back in March. “I got panicked because I couldn’t go to the gym anymore, and literally overnight it closed,” he says.
But he refused to lose his momentum. 230 pounds at his heaviest, Morlino is now down to 180, dropping more than 20 pounds during the pandemic. “This is the very best shape I’ve ever been in in my entire life. I think, I can honestly say that,” he says.
With the gym closed, Morlino started small. Morning walks turned into 90-minute workout sessions in his basement every morning. Then, he bought a bike which he now rides about 20 miles a day. “You get your clothes on, you get your mindset that morning, and once you start doing it, just be consistent with it. Just be consistent with it,” he says. Morlino’s advice is to find what works for you and keep moving.