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How To Cope With The COVID 15: Weight Gain During the Pandemic

By Rachel Parodneck, LMSW

Have you put on weight during the last year? COVID-19 has thrown just about everyone’s schedule and routine out of whack. Those good habits of eating healthy and being active on a regular basis that you honed your whole life have been totally obliterated by this pandemic. With possibly the most chaotic year of the past century, your body may be looking quite different than it did 1 year ago. Most have gained some weight just by the very nature of being cautious which means staying at home. In NYC, where apartments look like shoeboxes, that doesn’t leave very much room to be exercising.

So what’s to do about all this? Below are some steps you can take to get back on track:

1. Get outside! Even though it may be a freezing cold winter, on a day where the sun is shining, bundle up and get a brisk walk in. This is also a great opportunity to spend time with a loved one while being active and socially distanced. Two birds one stone!

2. Pick an activity you love and stick with it! Has yoga been your thing or is pilates more your jam? Spend some time on Youtube or any exercise platform to find a few workout videos you can move to. Schedule time into your day to do a video, even if it’s for 10 minutes. Anything is better than nothing.

3. Buy exercise equipment and use it! Elliptical trainers or stair steppers these days are compact and affordable: think between $50-$100. If that’s too steep or space is an issue, there are alternatives. You can get a great workout in by using resistance bands, a yoga mat, or dumbbells.

4. Use an app to assist you in getting back to a healthy lifestyle! Noom is a great resource that tracks calories and exercise. Additionally, there are daily CBT educational exercises so you can view nutrition in a whole new light. Noom comes with a goal specialist and a group to support you from the moment you start. This app can be pricey, $55 per month but has been shown to be very effective. Alternately, My Fitness Pal is free and also tracks food and exercise. These apps can be highly motivating.

5. Create a vision board! What’s your goal? Whether it’s a number on the scale or feeling healthier with more energy, it never hurts to create a vision board. This is something you can view that helps you visualize your success and is a fun activity to help keep you busy. Have old magazines lying around? Cut them up and paste them to your board, get to drawing and writing out unique motivational quotes or mantras. This can be a cathartic activity and at the end, you get the bonus of a visual to keep you on track.

6. Share your plans with a loved one! By vocalizing your plans to reach your goal, this automatically holds you accountable; saying your goals out loud helps to speak them into existence, manifesting positivity. You might also get some tips and tricks from your friends or family who are likely dealing with the same issues.

7. Book an appointment with a nutritionist! Little known fact: many insurance plans cover nutritionists. These are professionals who specialize in creating a meal plan for their clients and are another resource to help you stay accountable to reaching your goals.

These are just a few actions you can take to get back on track during this difficult time. If you’ve got more tips to help, send them our way! You can always DM us on Instagram @refreshnewyorkcity for a chance to be featured on one of our stories!