How I Am Maintaining My Body During COVID | Tanvii.com - Indian Fashion, Lifestyle and Travel Blog

How I Am Maintaining My Body During COVID

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One thing I realized in the past decade is that I can't diet. I have mentioned it on the blog before, and I will say it again, I had tried it all in my 20s and gave it all up in my 30s and embraced working out and eating as clean and nutritious as my lifestyle will allow. Here's the catch though, I fall somewhere between - 'life is too short to spend your whole day worry about calories" AND "I value the health of my body way too much to treat it like crap". And between these two statements is where I try and find a balance in my lifestyle where I am not wasting away my life worrying about the number on the scale but also not completely letting go. For in case I end up living for 'X' number of years, I do want to live them being self efficient and active. 

Being in self-isolation for past four months has brought about its own challenges and I have tried my best to do what I can so stay active and moving. Below are some of my tried and tested ways I can suggest to help manage your health (and weight, if you may) long term:
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Watch Your Fluids

1. Drink water. Drinking water helps boost your metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant. Also, drinking more water helps your body stop retaining water, leading you to drop those extra pounds of water weight.

How do you know if you’re getting enough water? A general rule is to check the toilet after you’ve gone to the bathroom. You’ll know you’re well-hydrated if your urine is clear or very light yellow in color. The darker your urine, the more water you need to drink, especially if weight loss is your goal.

2. Avoid calories in a glass. Scientists now know that the body does not register liquid calories in the same way it does solid calories. Drinking a grande caffe mocha, for instance, won't make you feel satiated the way eating a bowl of pasta will. Which means that although the caffe mocha actually has a greater number of calories than the pasta, you're still more likely to want a second cup from Starbucks than another plate of linguine. So monitor your intake of juice, soda, coffee drinks and wine. If you consume one of each of those beverages during the day, you'll have taken in at least 800 extra calories by nighttime — and you'll still be hungry. Incidentally, alcohol may suppress the metabolism of fat, making it tougher for you to burn those calories.

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Start Lifting

3. Strength training builds lean muscle tissue. I know that weights are not readily available at the moment but whenever you can - grab them. In the mean time you can do bodyweight exercises OR get creative (use canned foods, milk cartons, heavy books). Here's why: Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories — at work or at rest — 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The more lean muscle you have, the more calories you burn in a day. How do you start strength training? Try some push-ups or a few squats or lunges. Use your free weights to perform simple biceps curls or triceps pulls right in your home or office. Do these exercises three to four times per week, and you'll soon see a rapid improvement in your physique. I am so thankful for the great resource available on YouTube. Just search for 'body weight workouts (with no equipment)'. 

4. Lose the salt. Sodium contributes to water retention, making you look and feel bloated. Do you eat too much salt? Probably — the daily value suggests no more than 2,400 milligrams of sodium each day (or about one teaspoon), but most of us are getting more than twice that amount. So keep an eye on your sodium intake. Hidden sources include soups, canned foods and drinks (did you know a serving of regular V8 juice has 800 mg of sodium?), salty snacks such as chips and pretzels and many prepackaged foods. One change I have made in 2020 is to reduce ALL processed foods / pre-packaged food by 80%. If it comes in a bag or a can ready-to-eat 9/10 times I am making pass and moving on to fresh foods.
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Heat Things Up

5. Spice it up. Researchers have found that capsaicin, a compound found in jalapeno and cayenne peppers, may increase your body's release of stress hormones such as adrenaline, which can speed up your metabolism and your ability to burn calories. What's more, eating hot peppers may reduce your appetite. Lucky for me I love spicy food. And I am Indian so I don't have to 'try' and spice it up, my food is always spicy. You can find your comfort spice level one pepper at a time. 

6. D
on't skimp on your zzz'sGet this: Women who get less than four hours of sleep per night have a slower metabolism than those who snooze for a full eight hours, according to research. As funny as it sounds, sleep deprivation may make you store fat — and not just because you're susceptible to cases of the late-night munchies (although there's that too). Sleep is non-negotiable for me. You can click here for 'how I prioritize my day' and make sure I make time for at least seven hours of sleep.

Move Around

7. Plan your meals. Listen to your body and fuel it with fresh, nutritious foods. You can read here about how I plan my meals. Incorporate what you enjoy eating with what you 'must' eat in your meals to feel satisfied as well as get nourished. For example, I am not a big fan of cucumbers and tomatoes as salad but they are good to eat in their raw state so I eat them as a side while I have a bowl of lentils and stuffed okra (ladyfinger). That's my idea of a balanced meal. Eat according to your lifestyle and body's needs but never skip meals (or diet!). That strategy backfires because your body thinks food is in short supply, so it slows your metabolism in order to conserve energy. Over time, the result is that when you do eat — even if you consume the same foods as always — your body will be slower to use the calories as fuel, thus creating a backlog of unwanted pounds.

8. Add (at least) 20 minutes of exercise per day. The notion that physical activity helps keep us healthy is very old news indeed. Hippocrates wrote about the dangers of too little activity (and too much food). Tai chi, an exercise system of graceful movements that originated in China, dates from the 12th century B.C. Yoga's roots in India go back much further. Making a case for exercising in 2020 is like showing light to the sun. But I will try nonetheless ... for the sake of my post. :) 

No matter what your age, exercise can help you achieve greater physical and mental fulfillment. Exercise helps you maintain your weight, reduces your risk of heart diseases, helps your body manage blood sugar and insulin levels, improves your mental health and mood, strengthen your bones and muscles, and more. Bottomline: It is the path to an overall improved health. 

More resources: 

Don't go for the gimmicks. At any given time, there are dozens of weight-loss hypes in the market that claim to have the ability to take off 10 pounds in 10 days, or whatever. Desperation can tempt us to try anything, but you and I both know these schemes don't work. Save your time and money, but more importantly, save yourself from the emotional pain when these gimmicks fail. 

Be realistic. Kickstart your journey of healthy living with lifestyle changes that make sense and are sustainable long term. 

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38 comments

  1. Kristine Nicole AlessandraJune 29, 2020 at 5:13 AM

    My daily exercise is walking. But lately, I have been riding my bike more frequently. It gives me a good workout! We must always make sure that we care for ourselves and make ourselves a priority. Health is wealth! Thanks for your tips!

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  2. Great post. I do dance and that is how I stayed fit during the lock down

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  3. So much awesome info in this post!! I need to remember to stay hydrated and drink water!

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  4. Well done to you! I must agree ecercise has been my lifeline during the covid mmonths too.

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  5. These are great tips! I haven't felt motivated to work out lately but this helps! So true about the liquid calories!

    Lizzie
    www.lizzieinlace.com

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  6. I've been doing the same! Exercising is what has kept me sane during this.

    www.rdsobsessions.com

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  7. Sound advice. I follow all of it. Dieting is a poor choice; better to strengthen our bodies and stay fit.

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  8. You are doing great. Some fab tips here. I am no good at diets so I keep trying to exercise more. I need to up my exercise a bit more this week.

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  9. Those are great tips! I wasted 2 gym years doing mainly cardio and barely lifting weights. This year I experienced with them (before Corona, at home I can only do bodyweight exercises) and the have made such a difference in my appearance! I look way more fit and tonned doing half of the work I used to do in the past. Enjoy your summer!
    M | fleetinggyal.blogspot.com

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  10. Covid 19 has really taken a hard toll on many of us, but exericse really helps.

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  11. For me it's been about daily exercise I force myself even if I don't feel like it. It's been really hard not to put on weight during lockdown.

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  12. I used to make sure to get my 10,000 steps a day before I got sick a few years ago.

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  13. Amazing tips, from now onwards I am going to cut down my salt and sugar! Didnt realize the importance of salt.

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  14. I find it difficult to remember to do things for myself. You've reminded me how important it is.

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  15. I have been such a lump since quarantine, minus two daily walks with our pup, but I need to get moving. Love these tips!

    Rachel
    www.hello-her.com

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  16. I wish I had done things differently. We've been snacking and baking and eating non-stop.

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  17. This is so many great resources! I need to cut out my salt!! And not drink my calories. Such good tips.

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  18. Exercise is so important. Especially in times like this :)

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  19. Excercise is really good for health. It always helps.

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  20. Great tips. Exercise helps with stress as well.

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  21. It's not been as easy as I'd hope to exercise especially with all 3 kids at home. I have been working on taking in minimal amounts of salt which is good though.

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  22. Great ideas because most of these tips can be accomplished with special equipment or facilities. Keeping fit is crucial to a healthy outlook when things seem grim.

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  23. This is a really great post! The one thing I definitely try and do is lower the sodium intake, because of water retention. I have been wanting to work out again.

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  24. Thank you for these tips. I have really been enjoying exercising nowadays.

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  25. Awesome tips and many I have implemented myself during this lockdown and through this pandemic. I've started drinking more water, lifting at least 3 times a week and ensuring I get enough sleep! I've also spent time relaxing, doing yoga and meditating because a strong mind brings a strong body too.

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  26. Great tips! Staying active is key to keeping a healthy mental outlook I believe especially these days!

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  27. So interesting in regards to the jalapeno and cayenne pepper mention. I've never heard that it helps with stress hormones, but I do love spicy foods for the taste so I'll have to make sure to continue on with that. Thanks for the insight! x Ada

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  28. Great tips! Have to remember to drink more water. But I do love very spicy food!!!

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  29. The gym has never benen my favorite but these are some great tips to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Thanks for sharing! xoxo, Sarah

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  30. these are all really interesting & helpful tips! Thanks for sharing

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  31. okay i TOTALLLLY feel the same about dieting, so this was a SUPER helpful post. thank you so much for sharing this.

    xx rebecca // www.rebeccapiersol.me

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  32. These are great tips! I can't diet to save my life so I just exercise and do the best I can!

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  33. I absolutely LOVE these tips. They are perfect go together perfectly with my at-home workout post!

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  34. I'm about to go workout right after this: 20 minutes of cardio followed by weight training -- that's my go-to. The toughest thing for me is that I love snacks and tend to go overboard with them.

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  35. Wow I didn't know alcohol can suppress your metabolism! These are great tips!

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  36. so many good tips! i've been trying to get in better shape and lose some of those covid pounds!

    kileen
    cute & little

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  37. Such good tips! I’ve probably gained a few pounds and that needs to change ASAP!

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  38. These are all great tips! It's been a new challenge to stay fit while in quarantine

    http://honeycombee.com/

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