The last few years of lockdowns, gym closures and restrictions on our activity has brought about unprecedented changes to our daily lives. We work from home on a regular basis, the technology we have access to in some of our workplaces has been improved so much that we now barely recognise our working life.
Many of us have noticed an improvement in our work/life balance, but some have also experienced some downsides, including weight gain for many individuals. With lockdown and quarantine measures in place, a lot of people found themselves with fewer opportunities for physical activity, more stress, higher alcohol intakes, and an increase in our use of Uber for comfort food, which for many of us also led to weight gain.
There is hope however, for those of you who are looking to lose those lockdown kilos to get back to a healthy weight where you feel good in your body.
The way to lose weight is simple, but that does not mean it is easy to achieve. The way to lose weight can be summed up in four simple changes to your daily life.
1. Creating a balanced diet plan
2. Staying active
3. Managing your stress and improving your sleep quality
4. Using the health benefits of a hot tub to aid you on your journey
One of the most important aspects of losing weight is creating a balanced diet plan. Eating a diet that is rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help you feel full and satisfied, while also providing your body with the necessary nutrients it needs to function properly. To create a balanced diet plan, start by making a grocery list of nutritious foods and try to stick to it when shopping. Also, it’s important to monitor your portion sizes and be mindful of how much you’re eating.
When it comes to portion control, it can be helpful to use smaller plates so that you are not tempted to fill your extra large plate resulting in overeating. For people looking for a more scientific method, measuring cups are a great way to weigh and measure your food. You should also try to eat slowly and pay attention to your body’s hunger and fullness signals, drinking a cup of water before each meal can also be a good way to help you feel when you are full. It’s also important to limit your intake of processed foods, sugary drinks, and alcohol. You don’t need to cut them out completely, but reducing the amount of sugar and processed foods can help you achieve your weight loss goals.
Physical activity is crucial for weight loss and overall health. However, over the last few years, it became difficult to maintain an active lifestyle. Fortunately, there are many ways to stay active at home, regardless of your fitness level or the equipment you have access to.
One way to incorporate exercise into your daily routine is to set aside a specific time each day for physical activity. This could be a morning workout, a lunchtime yoga session or an evening walk around your neighbourhood. Another way to stay active is to try out new types of exercise. For example, if you’re not a fan of running, try taking up cycling or swimming. Many people own dogs as a way of encouraging exercise.
You can also try out bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, squats, and lunges. These exercises use your own body weight as resistance, and they can be done anywhere with no equipment needed. There are heaps of tutorials on YouTube, and they are completely free! You can also join paid online fitness programs that walk you through your exercise every day. If you find exercise boring, you could also try some more creative exercise routines like the Valkyrie Squad training course on YouTube (learn and practice your sword fighting while exercising!).
Did you know that stress and poor-quality sleep can also contribute to weight gain? In order to lose weight and keep it off, it’s important to manage stress and improve your sleep habits.
One way to manage stress is to practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or yoga. These techniques can help to calm the mind and reduce feelings of anxiety and stress. You can find free tutorials and guides on all of these techniques on YouTube. Another way to manage stress is to engage in activities you enjoy, such as reading, watching a movie, or spending time with loved ones. If socialising is your thing, organise a games night to just relax and talk with friends while playing a board game (or multiplayer console game). If you are in a lockdown, no problem, there are a number of online game platforms that have converted board games to a digital format, organise a video chat and play online. Cards against humanity are just as entertaining as a group on the computer as it is at the kitchen table!
Improving your sleep habits can be done by sticking to a consistent sleep schedule, avoiding caffeine and heavy meals close to bedtime, and creating a comfortable sleep environment. Many experts say you shouldn’t have caffeine after 11am, 1pm at the latest, and that you shouldn’t eat after 9pm. It’s also important to be mindful of the amount of sleep you get each night. Adults usually need 7-9 hours of sleep, but it does vary from person to person, so make sure you listen to your body, it will tell you how much you need.
A Sapphire swim spa is a great way to enjoy all the benefits of a spa and a pool in the comfort of your own home. Swim Spas offer many benefits over traditional pools, they are portable and self-contained, so there’s no need for excavation or plumbing work. They can replace a gym membership, with your choice of swim jet configurations to ensure you can walk, run or competitively swim in your own backyard. They also replace your masseuse, make the most of your free time sitting back and enjoying the hydrotherapy massage jets as they wash away your muscle aches and pains. Plus, with their integral heating, a Sapphire Spas swim spa is a true all-seasons swimming pool solution. Make the most of your time with a Sapphire Spas swim spa, the perfect way to work out, relax or play.
Soaking in a hot tub can be an effective way to support weight loss. The warm water can help to relax muscles and reduce pain and tension, making exercise more comfortable and enjoyable. The heat of the water can also increase blood flow, which can aid in the recovery of muscles after exercise. Additionally, hot tubs can be an excellent way to unwind and relax after a long day, which can help to reduce stress levels and improve your sleep.
Considering a swim spa is also a great idea to help with your weight loss journey. Sapphire Spas offers a great range of swim spas that give you the luxury of massage jets, warm water and the ability to socialise in a relaxing setting, as well as powerful swim jets that allow you to simulate swimming laps, all from the comfort of your backyard in just 6m of space.
Losing weight can feel challenging but, with a balanced diet plan, regular physical activity, stress management, and improved sleep, it is something you can achieve. Hot tubs can also be a valuable tool in the weight loss journey, by aiding muscle recovery and reducing stress. To help stay motivated, you may also want to start this journey with a friend or family member to help keep each other accountable. It is a challenging road to take, but when you make it to the end of that journey, the rewards are worth the effort and dedication.
Remember to be patient with yourself and to consult a healthcare professional or registered dietitian if you're looking for assistance with your new weight loss program.