Getting Back on Track with Diet and Exercise Despite the COVID-19 Lifestyle Changes
The other day, while preparing dinner, I found my thoughts turning to the unprecedented experiences we are all having throughout the world. We have never lived through times like these with the fear of contracting the dreaded COVID-19 virus or spreading it to our loved ones, friends, and neighbors. Given the worry of actually venturing out to a grocery store, the difficulty of keeping fresh food in the house, and the many items that are hard to find locally, it is no wonder that some of us may be “falling off the wagon” with our diet and exercise and wondering “How to get back on track with diet and exercise?”.
Additionally, stress can make some people want to indulge in common comfort foods like creamy pastas, dreamy mashed potatoes, or sugary desserts. While none of these foods are part of a low sugar, high good fat diet recommended by A Mind For All Seasons®, we understand the lure of a good mac and cheese!
The worst thing to do in these situations is to be a black and white thinker. A client of mine called me in a panic and said, “Christine, I have been so good with my food choices for so long but now that I have cheated so much, I have ruined it all!” Whoa, whoa, whoa, not so fast!
“First,” I said, “you have done a fabulous job for three solid months and you are to be congratulated! I wish everyone had such determination and loved themselves so much to do what you have done with your diet overhaul.”
I went on to point out that this is just a bump in the road and kind of a reminder about how rotten it feels to put junk in your body. I let her know that this happens to everyone, myself included! Especially when we are home all day and that darn refrigerator or snack drawer seems as if to call to us saying, “You’re bored! Come see what little goodies I have inside!”
So, today is a new day. You are not a bad person with bad habits, but you just made a couple of bad choices. Start anew!
- “If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail.” Make a list of foods that are recommended for your brain health. Make sure it is heavy on the lower carb veggies and good fats like avocados, olives, olive oil. Ask your Memory Coach for a sample grocery list or our Dietary Tracking Tool if you need a reminder of what your cart should look like.
- Put on your mask and venture safely out to the grocery store. While some canned goods and of course, good old toilet paper, can be in short supply, the stores where I shop seem to have a really good supply of produce!
- Take advantage of your extra time at home and learn to cook a new recipe that sounds good to you. A great website for ideas and recipes is alldayidreamaboutfood.com. Give it a try and get some inspiration.
- Be sure you are getting at least 30 minutes of exercise each day to boost not only your metabolism, but your spirits! If you can walk outside safely, go for a big walk and a change of scenery. Local gyms and YMCAs are doing online classes. Dance around the house or walk your stairs. Quarantine does not have to equal couch potato!
- Keep a daily log of what you are eating. It will keep you accountable and if you like, share it with your Memory Coach so he or she can help you tweak it with improvements and encouragement.
- Stay hydrated. Set a goal to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day – more if you are exercising vigorously or using a sauna. This will make you feel fuller, help flush toxins out of your body, and boost the functioning of all your cells and organs. If you are not a lover of water, add some yummy flavors such as cucumber slices, lemon and lime wedges or assorted berries (frozen berries make good ice cubes!).
- Pat yourself on the back for getting back on track.
Remember that you are not technically on a diet at all. You have made some incredibly important lifestyle changes that support the health of your brain and body. Now, more than ever, our health is an important priority for ourselves and those around us.
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
~ Jim Rohn