In the past two years, I've been one of those people who fell into the category of gaining covid weight. I was at least 15 pounds lighter than I am currently pre-pandemic, and while there are a number of factors that have contributed to the weight gain including not being as active because I'm working from home, not going out as much, and no longer wanting to go to the gym, because germs. I've noticed that there are some other factors that have contributed to me being unable to shed these pounds.
Now look, I'm realistic with myself. I know when I'm trying my hardest and when I'm not, and when it comes to losing this weight I haven't been going all-in. But, there are some things that are really holding me back including food. I find myself to be a relatively healthy person. I eat a lot of veggies and fruits throughout the day I drink tons of water, and I try to stay away from things that are fried or full of cholesterol. But despite those healthy eating habits, I'm still either gaining weight or not losing. I went to Europe for a couple of weeks and I ate about the same amount I do here, but surprisingly enough I came back lighter. I lost around 3 lb, and nothing changed aside from, I was in a different country. It really got me thinking, is it our food? I'm not an overly skeptical person, but I went down some Reddit threads and learned about a lot of unhealthy additives that are in our food, things that are not allowed in other countries. For example, a lot of our snacks have added dyes and flavors that wouldn't pass standards in the EU. I realize these are the things that are probably also contributing to weight gain. I started researching everything I was putting into my body. From the juice I would buy to the quote on quote healthy snacks I would buy. I was shocked to learn that a lot of these things are actually healthy. They were filled with artificial flavors and even some ingredients that were carcinogenic. So why is this allowed in their food? And what can we do as individuals to eat healthier?
1. Track your food
I don't mean this in a way where it can cause body harm or all to yourself esteem. What I mean is track what you buy and what you consume. Research what is actually in these foods and what is going into your body. Also, be aware of words that they don't explicitly put on labels. Sometimes, they'll find a workaround for listing harmful ingredients by calling it by another name. One thing that can help is getting an app that breaks down what's in your products and if they're harmful or not. I prefer the Yuka app.
2. Buy local
Also, buying local food can help. Buy from your local farmers market, those fruits and vegetables are bound to have healthier ingredients than what you buy at Big chain stores. Even if it's fruits and vegetables, sometimes they add harmful chemicals to them that aren't good for your body. Yes, buying locally can be more expensive, but the way I tried to look at it, if that means I have to cut back on my extravagant brunches with my friends once a month, then that's what I have to do.
3. Make your own things where you can
I get it, not all of us have time to be baking bread every single day. I'm one of those people who don't have the time to make everything from scratch. But I do try to make things from scratch where I can. Whether that's homemade desserts, or quick lunch recipes, it's better to learn to make your own than to trust whatever it is that they're putting out in the store. Also, look up fast recipes online. There are a ton of bloggers who are making things like jam, butter, juice right from their house and they'll let you know the tricks and tips to get it done faster