As if things aren’t crazy enough, many people are experiencing a significant side effect of the pandemic – weight gain (a.k.a. the “covid 19”). If you’ve been feeling that, you’re not alone! Many people are wondering why this is the case, when they’re still working on working out and even avoiding the oreos most of the time. Read on for some simple, effective solutions to the top three causes.
About Those Steps
Pre-pandemic, we were out and about, shaking and groovin’. Now, instead of 10,000 steps, it’s more like 10. That short walk from the home office to the couch just isn’t cutting it. And if we’re being completely honest, the home workouts aren’t always as challenging as the ones we do when we’re in front of others, right? So let’s step this up. Take a walk every day even if you worked out, pick it up in the workouts, and get up and move every hour. Set a timer on your phone as a reminder. Just say no to extreme sitting!
Could it be Stress Weight?
And now we’re stressed, legitimately, over real things like finances, health, safety, politics, confusion, uncertainty… Stress all by itself causes weight gain. When stressed, your body thinks there’s an emergency and hangs onto calories. Don’t be mad at your body, it’s just trying to ensure your survival. Well you know what the tough ones do in tough times? They meditate furiously! Here’s a great resource that I’ve been loving. They also exercise, hug their loved ones, breathe deeply, and walk in the woods. Forest bathing (or “Shinrin Yoku” in Japanese) has been shown in research to reduce stress hormones. Stress reduction is an important, and often missed, part of any weight loss strategy.
Resistant Starch for Resistant Weight
Refined carbs like conventional bread, bagels, pasta, and cookies raise your blood sugar, which spikes insulin, which stops fat burning. Besides the calories, this is how refined grains and sweeteners contribute to fat accumulation.
But resistant starch (RS) is your friend! This type of starch acts like fiber – you barely absorb any carbs from it and research shows that it reduces insulin, even in the next meal! So RS is exceptionally good for blood sugar control and weight loss. Another huge benefit is that RS feeds your microbiome, another important factor in health and weight management.
Two examples of RS are cooked potatoes that have been fully cooled, and a great product called Miracle Noodle. They’re made from the konjac root, like the shirataki noodles that have been eaten in Japan for over a thousand years. It might look weird when you buy it, but the noodles are seriously good and wholesome. I loved the Pad Thai version (I added fresh sauteed tofu and broccoli, tamari, and hot sauce). The plain noodles are extremely versatile – you can add any sauce or accompaniments you have a hankering for. You can learn more here.
If your microbiome isn’t used to a lot of fiber, it’s best to start slow. Only eat a portion of a serving the first couple times and gradually increase the amount you consume. We need to give our microbiome time to adjust (in a good way!).
This is my new favorite thing. I’d love to hear how you like them!