Brighter days are on the horizon, as the global pandemic is slowly easing up as the population is being vaccinated. In the meantime, we’ve had over a year of Zooming from the neck up, while hiding our pandemic indiscretions under the camouflage of stretchy athleisure attire from the neck down. But now more than ever, working on your overall wellness is not just a matter of looking your best by the time the world fully reopens.
According to American Psychological Association’s latest Stress in AmericaTM poll conducted in late February 2021 by The Harris Poll, the majority of adults (61%) experienced undesirable weight changes—weight gain or loss—since the pandemic started, with 42% of those surveyed reporting they gained weight, and 29 pounds being the average. In other words, this poll shows that we ate more, drank more, stressed more, worked out less and slept terribly. This is further supported by a study in JAMA, which revealed that sheltering in place meant we swapped exercise for snacking and overeating. Unfortunately, these lockdown-induced habits make us even more vulnerable to a variety of health conditions.
This is the perfect time to start or become reacquainted with your low carb lifestyle. Here are five reasons why:
- Weight control. Fiber-rich vegetables, low-glycemic fruits and some whole-grain, unprocessed carbs, as well as optimal amounts of protein and healthy fats can help you keep your weight in check.
- Stable energy levels. Eating this way can help eliminate spikes and slumps in your blood sugar, which means stable energy levels throughout the day.
- Reduced hunger. Three low carb meals and two low carb snacks a day can help keep you satisfied and your hunger in check.
- Fewer cravings. Research suggests a drop in blood sugar stimulates hunger, leading to cravings for high carb foods, which are a quick energy source. When you manage your blood sugar with low carb meals and snacks, you can keep your sweet tooth under control, and you can say good-bye to afternoon slumps leading you to crave sugar and caffeine.
- Better health. More than 100 clinical studies show the efficacy and safety of a low carb diet like Atkins, and that a low carb lifestyle has the power to improve your health by reducing your risk factors for metabolic syndrome, heart disease, prediabetes and controlling or even reversing type-2 diabetes.
You can pick the Atkins low carb weight loss plan that works best for you so you can embrace a long-lasting and sustainable low carb lifestyle:
Atkins 20Ò: You start at 20 grams of Net Carbs a day. This is your best choice if you have over 40 pounds to lose, have a waist circumference of over 35 inches (women) or 40 inches (men).
Atkins 40Ò: You start at 40 grams of Net Carbs a day. This is your best choice if you have less than 40 pounds to lose and would like a wider variety of food choices.
Atkins 100Ô: You start at 100 grams of Net Carb a day. This is your best choice if you would like to maintain your current weight while enjoying the benefits of a low carb lifestyle and eating a wider variety of food.
If you’re ready to begin your journey to post-pandemic wellness just in time for summer, start with these tips:
- Write it down. Use a journal to help you understand what triggers and situations cause you to overeat, such as your energy levels, cravings and stress. You can also track your Net Carb intake, meals and snacks, as well as your progress, weight and measurements. You can write everything down or use the free Atkins Weight Loss App.
- Establish a starting point. Weigh yourself before you begin so you can establish your goals and track your progress. Also measure your chest, waist, hips and thighs. Enter these numbers in your journal. Once you start, weigh and measure yourself once a week.
- Set your goal weight. Set a reasonable and realistic to goal to aim for and write it in your journal. Keep in mind that if you have a significant amount of weight to lose, it may be easier to break it into 10- to 15-pound increments.
- Get moving. Exercise can help preserve and build lean muscle mass, boost your energy and mood, maintain weight loss and sleep better. Try these 10 exercise tips.
Be patient as you work on your post-pandemic body. Keep in mind that success is not just measured in pounds and inches. Ask yourself if your energy levels have improved. How do your clothes fit? Are you sleeping better and feeling less stressed? Are you enjoying the food you are eating? Has this new focus on your overall wellness contributed to the quality of your life? Then you are already succeeding!
*Always consult a physician before making any significant changes to your diet or exercise routine. Nothing contained in this article is intended to be medical advice.