5 Ways to Beat the Quarantine Bulge

Top Diet Hacks to Beat the Quarantine Bulge

I gained four pounds the first month of quarantine. I blame the evil mix of gym closings, excessive yoga pant wear, and the fact that peanut butter pretzels seem to diffuse all stress caused by being furloughed and promoted to homeschool teacher.  I watch yard squirrels for fun now, so if Sun Chips get me through the day, I was okay with a little bloat.  But then, as we all know, it can be depressing feeling all a frump. Especially when we try on the new skinny jeans we planned to rock on Cinco de Mayo before life shut down, and realize there aren’t enough margs that could ever make our reflection okay. I’ve since bid those pounds adieu, and as a lifetime dieter and exercise freak, so I thought I’d share my weight loss hacks.

Find your carb doppleganger

If you really love starchy foods like pasta and bread, giving up carbs is a heartbreaking statement. Right up there with when the Lord told me to stop watching Game of Thrones. You know I’m in the third season, right Lord? But ‘tis a sad fact. Our bodies won’t burn fat until they’re through with the carbs. So through the years I’ve found a few carb substittes that happily scratch the itch. The spiralizer has been a life changer. With enough yummy sauces you can almost pretend you’re eating linguini, and fettuccini every night. Mashed cauliflower and butternut squash are other faux carb rock stars.  If sweets are your thing, find some low sugar, high protein snacks that scratch the itch. The beauty of today’s health conscious age is there’s a yum substitute for almost anything.

Drinkity drink drink

My daily goal is to basically fill my belly so full of water and coffee, it can’t bear that fistful of Chex Mix. I find when I’m constantly drinking, either water, or flavored seltzers, or hot tea, I snack much less. I usually fill a big sports bottle with room temp water (aids digestion) and lemon juice in the morning and take it with me on the go- which sadly had been from kitchen to bedroom. I have a bit of an oral fixation so I’m also constantly drinking coffee with sugar free creamer, and tea.

Make friends with your weakness

I’m an avocado addict. I’ve been a lot worse in my pre-saved past, so I’ve made friends with this obsession and adjusted my diet accordingly. I simply need my low carb chips and guac almost nightly. So I try to avoid carbs and save my smallest food portions for dinner. If sweets are your thing, I find that it’s better not to deprive yourself and still eat a little daily, but just reduce your calories in some other category. I’ve even rationed out pieces of dark chocolate in plastic wrap to compensate for my utter lack of self-control. And woe to the family member who raids this psychotic snack reserve. I’ve all but transformed into Gollum searching for his “precious” when I’m one piece short. 

Eat to Survive

Okay this sounds extreme. But my workout routine has been reduced to dead lifting in my kids’ “distance learning rooms”… these are desperate times. One mantra that’s always helped me through the years is to remember eating isn’t a recreational activity. Whenever I find myself in a binge haze, or just thinking too much about the next meal, I can snap myself into a better mindset by remembering the purpose of food is to nourish. We should just be eating leafy greens, lean protein with, and low sugar fruits for the sheer purpose of feeling better, living longer and perhaps the greatest motivator- having better/younger skin (Amen).

Become a grazer

Our stomachs are the size of an adult fist. I remind myself this at least once week, when tempted to take down an entire skillet of chicken fajitas.  Unless it’s pizza night, when I eat portions sized for an actual cow (two stomachs!) and run an extra mile later. Eating little mini meals or at least smaller portions are a good way to avoid over eating at meal time, and a good trick is to scoop smaller portions of whatever’s on the menu, only going back for seconds if you’re still hungry.

Normal life will resume soon.. I see the light! Keep making good eating choices and playing mind games by the hour, and you’ll get there. : ) Even when the hubs will NOT stop tempting…

“Hun want nachos with the movie?”

Get behind me, Satan…

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JESSICA KASTNER

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