Member Tips: How to stay focused during COVID-19

Health tips during Covid

If you’re self-isolating or practicing social distancing, you might be finding that staying healthy and losing weight is harder than ever. But during a time like this, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including proper diet, exercise and sleep, is crucial.

To help with motivation and sanity tips, we reached out to a collection of our members to ask them how they're coping during this time, and what advice they have for you. 

Terry Munro

Diet tips from Terry

Terry has been a member of our online program for 93 weeks now and has lost an incredible 90kgs* in the process.

*Individual results may vary.

Terry's weight loss journey has been nothing short of amazing but staying on track for over 18 months hasn't been without challenge.  

An absolute guru when it comes to staying focused, Terry has these top tips to share.

Kick the black dog

Above all else, prioritise your mental health. If you need help, please reach out and speak to a medical professional. 
Beyond Blue - 1300 22 4636 
Lifeline Australia - 13 11 14

Stay Connected

It's important to hear other people's voices, especially if you are self-isolating. Phone a loved one if they don't have access to a device with a webcam, use online tools like Facetime, Skype and Zoom to chat face-to-face and keep in touch with friends and family. 

Keep the body active

Exercise if you can, even if it is just a walk around the block. Get some fresh air and sunshine, use the stairs more in the house if you have them or do some YouTube workouts.

Keep the brain active

Read a book, learn the guitar, do an online course, learn something new via YouTube or OpenLearn. 

Be flexible with the program

Read the Units in the Facebook Group for awesome tips, learn how to use meal swaps when you have trouble finding foods, be flexible and create your own menu plan, keep measuring your food as you prepare and keep tracking your food as you eat. 

Remember why you started

Don't stress if you go off track sometimes, we ALL go off track. The important part is to get back ON TRACK and refocus. Think about why you decided to start your health journey and look back at your day zero photo and think about how far you've come so far. 


Chill out when needed and don't feel guilty about signing up to Netflix, Stan or whatever your source is for movies or TV shows. We all need a break and there's nothing wrong with a little 'Netflix and Chill'!

Brenda Day

Diet tips from Brenda

Brenda lost 17kgs* with our online program back in 2018 (*in 6 months. Individual results may vary) and has been maintaining her weight ever since.  

But even Brenda has felt the challenge of staying focused right now. 

"Even though I lost my weight and have been on maintenance for coming up to two years, I found myself slipping back into old habits with too many wine indulgences recently," she admitted. 

"The scales have also registered this, and I have realised that I do have to continue to work at overcoming old habits even this far down the track! I've gone back to tracking and keeping my alcohol indulgences to the weekends". 

Here are Brenda's top tips for others who need to reset their focus.  

Use the online community and tools

I find checking in with the Facebook Community useful to see how others are faring – it's a great support tool. 

I use the online recipe finder regularly to search for recipes and to give variety to our menus and I also use the food trackers to calculate food units when I'm making a non-Total Wellbeing Diet recipe.

Plan your days and stick to a routine

I'm finding it useful to plan my days to help stay busy, occupied and purposeful. When I was working full time, I would use a to-do list and I find that same strategy works now in retirement and self-isolation. 

I plan our menu weekly using Total Wellbeing Diet recipes and my own adaptations, shop to a list and try to resist buying too many indulgences!

Find time for exercise

I commit to doing my exercise every day by walking along the local rail trail - usually 8 to 10 kms per day. Exercise is critical to physical and mental wellbeing, so I am ensuring I am walking 6 days out of 7 as a minimum. 

Adele Fienne

Diet tips from Adele

Mum of three Adele lost 20 kgs* in 22 weeks with our program last year (*individual results may vary) and she has had no trouble keeping the weight off. 

But with gym closures, school shutdowns and working from home the new norm, Adele has had to adapt her daily routine. 

Here are her top tips to staying on track during these tricky times.

Have healthy snacks on hand

I've indulged in a bit of overeating and snacking due to boredom and stress, so I keep a bottle of water near me along with healthy snacks. Stock up on things like carrot and celery sticks, cheese, popcorn and diet jelly so there is always something to turn too when you get the munchies. 

Keep busy

Keeping busy with other things like craft with the kids or even cleaning the house can be great diversions from boredom eating. 

Mix up your normal exercise

I can't go to the gym like I used too, so exercising is getting in the backyard with the kids to play. I even got on the trampoline with them and played tag. I have been trying to take a walk every day and on the weekend we got out for a family bike ride which was great. Find ways to exercise that are fun and that you can do at home and with your family. 

Try mediation

I always use meditation if I have had a stressful day. Our work has given us access to a great app that has guided meditation on it!   

Be kind to yourself 

I pack my lunch and snacks everyday like I used too and keep to the plan as best as I can. But I also allow myself my favourite indulgences to treat myself to a job well done, drink lots of water and use that nice hand or face cream to make myself feel good.

Glenda Solway

Diet tips from Glenda

Glenda lost 23 kg* on our 12 week program last year (*in 6 months. Individual results may vary) and significantly improved her blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Since then she has maintained her weight and continues to enjoy the benefits of the CSIRO Total Wellbeing Diet.

A casual school teacher by day, Glenda is now entering new territory due to COVID-19. But she is staying positive and focused on her goals and she believes you can too. Here are her top tips.

Workout at home

As I cannot go to the gym or swim anymore, I have set up a home gym with exercise bike, some weights, mini tramp, swiss ball and gym mat. I have some exercise DVDs and I am walking the dog as per usual.   

Make use of the extra time

I am looking forward to having more time to organise and prepare my meals in this time. Time to prepare overnight Bircher muesli in jars, set up bags of sliced veggies and I'm going to learn to make my own Kombucha.  

When completing my first 24 weeks of losing weight the advanced preparation was crucial, otherwise I know I would have ended up bingeing. 

Take up meditation

I have started doing a 15 minute beginner meditation from my phone on my gym mat first thing in the morning to relieve added stress simply brought on by watching the news these days. 

Use the Facebook Group

Even though I don’t make many comments on the group Facebook page I find it invaluable just skimming through it on a daily basis as there is often someone else going through similar issues or someone with a good suggestion to help keep you on track. When I think no one else is giving someone the advice they need then I will say something if I can help. Empathy goes a long way.

Never give up

There is no better time to get back on track than now. For the first 12-24 weeks stick religiously to the menu and you cannot fail. 

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

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