It’s been an interesting spring, that’s for sure, and it may have been a challenge to stay motivated about your weight loss or wellness goals when your routine was turned upside down. As a result, you’re probably ready to fine-tune your low carb lifestyle. In fact, a recent survey done by the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF), showed that stress and boredom during the recent lockdown boosted unhealthy eating habits, while a survey done by Atkins found that people are rethinking their habits and 70 percent are ready to take a break from certain foods, like fast food, pizza and even ice cream.
For sure, the total change in our daily lives has had an impact. If you weren’t able to make it to the grocery store as often, couldn’t find the ingredients you were looking for (or weren’t comfortable going), it’s likely you relied a lot more on take-out and delivery options. You might have been gung-ho about meal planning and cooking at home for a while, but that can also lose its allure when it’s a constant requirement. Fortunately, people are ready to make some changes as restrictions are gradually lifted. According to the BNF survey, 47% of people say they want to become more active and exercise more, and 43% say they want to lose weight, while 29% say they want to eat more healthfully. Studies have also shown that people with pre-existing medical conditions such as hypertension, obesity or diabetes had a greater chance of being hospitalized with COVID-19. And all of these conditions can be improved with good nutrition. Now more than ever, it’s important to put your health first by making sure you’re getting a balance of optimal protein, healthy fats and fiber-rich carbs, which keep your blood sugar levels steady. It’s encouraging to see that people are motivated to choose unprocessed foods that are lower in sugar and carbs. Oh, and yes, a lot of you are definitely looking forward to eating out again.
Here are some quick tips for re-embracing your low carb lifestyle:
- Do the numbers. If you stopped counting carbs and “guesstimating” what your daily intake is or should be instead, it might be time to start being honest with yourself. Dust off your food journal and get back into the habit of writing everything down so you have a realistic idea of what you are actually eating. It might surprise you!
- Drop 10. While you’re at it, decrease your daily intake of Net Carbs by 10 grams. That can be as simple as swapping out French fries for a side salad or sipping on sparkling water with lemon instead of soda.
- Add a little fat. Add a little more fat to your meals or snacks or change the type of fat you are eating. Focus on filling, healthy fats—add slices of avocado to your salads or eggs, whip up a chicken or tuna salad with rotisserie chicken or canned tuna in olive oil with some mayo, salt and pepper and fresh herbs. Add a handful of olives or almonds to your snacks. Continue to add sources of fat to your meals and snacks to help control your hunger and cravings.
- Stay hydrated. With the hot summer months upon us, water is essential. It helps ease your hunger, and it is good for your skin and overall wellness. Drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.
- Watch out for hidden carbs. You could be unknowingly contributing to your carb intake with the starches and sugars lurking in sauces, beverages and processed foods.
- Get moving. Take advantage of the good weather to get outside for a walk or run. If you boost your exercise intensity, you may see the pounds start to drop. This is also a great opportunity to focus on low carb energy-boosting foods to put a pep in your step.
- Boost your veggie game. Lighten up your meals with fresh vegetables in season. It’s a nice change from all that pizza and ice cream of the previous months.
- Be smart about eating out. You might be tired of cooking and eating at home. Do a quick review of my low carb and keto-friendly tips for eating out before you go.