Let’s go over a few lessons learned during self-isolation: how to bake banana bread five different ways, which household objects can double as makeshift dumbbells and the fact that being cooped up at home can equal unwanted weight gain.
While you’ve been busy adapting to this new home-centered reality, you may have learned that it’s hard to stay motivated to stick with a healthy routine when your new office is the living room and your daily walk is to the refrigerator. And if you’ve gained a little extra weight, you’re definitely not the only person looking for a reset.
So, how do you lose weight if you still can’t quite return to life as you knew it? According to Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN and head of nutrition and wellness, restricting your food intake is not the answer. While that might seem like the logical thing to do based on Instagram trends, London reiterates that “restriction for life is honestly just antithetical to actually living.” Preach.
“Attempting to restrict or eliminate foods or food groups can result in temporary, short-lived weight loss,” London says. “It’s that cycle of losing and gaining weight that keeps us beholden to any trend or fad and makes it seem as though in order to lose weight or become healthier, you have to change your entire life — and that’s not realistic for most people.”
That’s why she’s an advocate for a holistic approach to weight loss, which favors small, attainable steps and behavior adjustments over dramatic life changes. “We’re far more interested in cultivating progress — not some unrealistic, unattainable standard of perfection,” London says. “That’s why we focus on controlling what you actually can control, which cultivates a more sustainable approach to making any type of change in your life.”
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