Just incase you are unaware, It’s 2020. We are in the middle of a pandemic, and many are stuck inside.
A week ago, “quarantine baking’ trended on twitter, and enthusiastic participants shared the desserts that they now have the time to bake. I salivated and hankered for only 99% of the treats – as the remaining 1% was not appealing. (Word to the wise, if you are going to post your baking on twitter, at least make it appetizing, and ensure to tag yours’s truly on twitter @_cookiesarelife).
A lack of, or limited amount of exercise, plus (+) an increased consumption of food, is the textbook formula for weight gain. Add quarantine baking to that formula, and you will quickly outgrow your lounge clothes. To be sure, increased stress from this event can lead to unprofitable actions like over feeding. I personally know this first hand:
In my first week of quarantine, I ate so many cookies it would cause the cookie monster to blush. But gluttonous acts have consequences. Beyond weight gain, overeating decreases the quality of your energy, and could also affect the fluidity of cognitive functions. Temptations also seem to be stronger when you are stuck indoors, so cookie lovers require an EXTRA dose of self-control. I do not intend to emerge out of quarantine as the next contestant for TLC’s my 600 pound life, so I determined ways to keep myself “in check”. Below are 10 tips to avoid unwelcome weight gain while in quarantine.
- You should be eating Macadamias
- What cookies would Trudeau choose?
- Turnover tales
- The trap of being thin
- Stuff about Bakers no one talks about
- Pistachio-less Oreos
- Get out the ingredients. The first thing to do is to put the flour, sugar, butter, yeast, vanilla, and every other ingredient you use for baking in a large box , and carry it outside to the curb. It seems dramatic, (it is) but unprecedented times calls for “unique” responses. To put it simply, eliminate the ingredients that have a potential to become a delicious cake or a cookie. (NOTE: those of you who buy ingredients in bulk will shed bitter tears, but better this pain than the weight gain)!
- Get a personal grocery manager -Yes, you read that correctly! Find a person to do your grocery shopping for you, or inspect your purchases before you get to the check out. Your manager will of course, only purchase nutritiously dense foods, which are whole foods that are not processed. If you accompany the manager, he /she will ensure that the items in your cart will not produce those high fat treats. Visit this website for a list of ideal foods.
- Find a buddy– Accountability is powerful. Find someone who has better will power than you, and ask them to be your buddy. Your buddy will check up on you daily, or weekly, and provide you with encouragement.
- Hire a tough nutrition coach– If you need a kick in the pants, hire a no-nonsense nutrition coach whose personality alone will frighten away sugar cravings. The ideal nutrition coach will offer personalized eating plans, weekly check ins, and accountability.
- Pay a heavy vegetable tax– The vegetable tax legislation stipulates that you must have vegetables with every meal. There are no exceptions. Some who pay it get the unpalatable taste of vegetables out of the way before attacking their entrée. To curb your appetite and ‘insure your belly’, pay your vegetable tax by eating 500g of vegetables BEFORE you eat anything else. It is boring but effective, because the taxes alone will fill you up!
- Turn off the news– Do yourself a favor, and minimize bad news and other stressors that spike your blood pressure, and induce binging. For those with high energetic children, you may have to consider moving to your housetop. (NOTE: If you follow just ONE tip on this list, make it #6)!
- Put $$ on it– To ensure that you do not gain weight, commit to losing weight. (For instance drop 5-10lbs, or the weight you put on in the last 2 weeks). There are websites where you can bet on your own weight loss. You will pay up front and can only recuperate your money IF you reach your goal. Alternatively, find a buddy you can trust (refer to #3), to give the money to. Money is a powerful motivator. Put down $150 and watch yourself lose the weight!
- Trying intermittent fasting (IT)- Intermittent fasting allows you to manage how much you eat in a day by delaying when you eat. 16 hours of fasting is the popular minimum, while 23 is the maximum. I suggest you try 20:4 which is 20 hours of fasting, with a four hour eating window.
- Give away your food– Volunteer to give away DOUBLE the food you eat to the less fortunate for a month. When you make such a noble pledge, you will quickly learn how not to overfeed. The donations should be non-perishables, and it is most effective if you engage a worker from the foodbank as your accountability partner.
- Reduce your plates, spoons, & cooking tools. Do you remember the box you packed from tip #1? Well, add your regular sized plates and cutlery to it. Purchase utensils intended for infants, as well a mini pot for cooking. (Ideal for singles). Reducing the size of your tools creates friction which will help you minimize your portions. Even if you do not start out by eating less , you will discover just how frustrating it is to eat potato salad with an infant’s fork!
BONUS: TAPE THE FRIDGE and bolt the cupboards!!!– YES, I saw a picture of a person who quite literally bolted access to their food. However, this person was following tip #8, and had planned an extended fast.
In conclusion, every cookie fanatic has a dream to one day, go to the scrumptious kingdom of cookies and pastries. In this kingdom, juicy gummy bears grow on trees, there is a chocolate sea, and giant cookies of every assortment are always fresh, and ready to eat. To add, the desserts have no calories, nor added fat; and everything is unbelievably delicious.
Now let’s wake up.
The reality is, we have to exercise moderation even while stuck at home. I sincerely hope that these tips have inspired you to curb you appetite. If you have other tips that you think I should know of, share them in the comments! WE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!