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    7 ways to stay focused on your weight loss goals during self-isolation

    woman cooking healthy meal in a modern kitchen

    With the outbreak of Covid-19 many people are understandably feeling anxious. The situation in Australia is changing rapidly which can leave people feeling stressed and emotional.

    If you’re self-isolating or practicing social distancing, the thought of staying healthy and losing weight might not be at the forefront of your mind. But during a time like this, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, exercise and sleep, is crucial.

    To help you achieve the 2020 goals you made only months ago, we’ve put together 7 ways to stay focused on your weight loss goals during self-isolation.

    1. Eat fresh veggies and fruit to help build your immunity

    Make sure you fill your plate with as many fresh vegetables and fruit as you have available. This will ensure you get all the different vitamins and minerals that your body and immune system requires to work well, and it will also fill you up.

    If you have a lot of fresh food that you are worried might go off before you can get to it, simply chop everything up and pop in the freezer to ensure you have an endless supply of nutritious food!

    RELATED: Can I boost my immune system through diet?

    2. Get creative with your cooking

    You may not have all the ingredients that you want or are used to cooking with, but that’s okay. Now is the time to get creative. Do you have pasta sauce, but no pasta? Maybe you have a zucchini and could make zoodles, or maybe you have canned beans to make a chilli. Do you have wraps, cheese and a load of random vegetables sitting in the crisper? Perfect, pizza is now on the menu!

    Think outside the box and consider challenging your friends and family to help you think of creative ways to use up your ingredients. There are even websites where you can enter what ingredients you have, and they will return a recipe suggestion.

    RELATED: Get ideas from our free recipe collection

    3. Keep moving your body

    Exercising has many amazing health benefits for the body and mind. If you're self-isolating or just hesitant to visit the gym right now, consider trying out one of our online exercise programs.

    We have nine different exercise programs available, with three different levels available for each. At the beginner level you will do resistance exercise twice per week and a walking session on the other days of the week.

    RELATED: Learn more about our exercise programs here

    4. Avoid temptations by planning your week

    Being isolated in your home and worrying about the health of yourself and your loved ones can be very stressful. During these times it can be easy to turn to alcohol or your old snacking habits to deal with the stress. However, right now it is more important than ever to stay healthy.

    Sit down and plan out what you have in your cupboards and what you are going to cook for the week. Write down your meals for each day and continue as usual. Also make sure you also factor in what healthy snacks you want to eat, as this will help you stay in control and focused on your goals.

    If you do feel like a sweet treat, make sure you check out our free Healthy Indulgences eBook.

    RELATED: 10 quick afternoon snack ideas

    5. Manage your stress

    Often when we’re feeling stressed or anxious we resort to habits that distract us from the feeling we're experiencing. For example, we might look to food to give us comfort, or alcohol to relax. We spoke to Pennie McCoy, the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet's Head Dietitian, for advice on how to handle this.

    "To avoid emotional eating, you need to learn ways to be comfortable with your emotions – this is where mindfulness can be super helpful, but it does take time and practise," she explained.

    "Create a list of strategies that you can use to avoid reaching for the chocolate bar or the glass of wine. For example, when you’re feeling anxious try calling a friend for a chat, do a crossword puzzle, put on your joggers and do a 10 minute workout at home, play a game of scramble, pick up a pen and write down your feelings, or download a mediation app like HeadSpace".

    "Put in place “buffers” each day to take time to check in with yourself about how you are feeling, rather than letting emotions build up. If you notice you are feeling stressed or anxious put into action one of your strategies to reduce those stress hormones from taking over".

    "Remember, emotions are feelings and they will pass".

    RELATED: We will be talking more about emotional eating strategies in an upcoming Facebook Live session on 24 March at 12pm. To follow along on Facebook and be notified our live videos, Like our page here

    6. Stay connected with your support systems

    If you’ve been undertaking your weight loss journey with a personal trainer, friend or colleague, being at home by yourself can be intimidating. Thankfully, these people are only a phone call away!

    Facebook groups are another great way to stay motivated and focussed as you will be able to connect with other members who are experiencing and feeling the same things as you. Lean on each other during this time and motivate each other to keep going.

    If you’re doing the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet and need weight loss support, we have online Accredited Practising Dietitians who can provide specialised advice to help you overcome barriers to weight loss. They will also be able to talk to you via a video call about coping mechanisms and how best to make this program work for you.

    RELATED: If you haven’t already, join our 12,000+ Facebook community

    7. Stay calm

    The things that are happening now are stressful for all. So be kind to yourself and don't beat yourself up if you fall off the wagon. If you mess up one day, pick yourself up and start again.

    Likewise, if you are sick, just do the best you can. Eat healthy foods, drink plenty of water and rest. We’re thinking of all of you right now so stay inside and let us know if there is anything we can do to help.