If you are looking to focus more on healthy eating and exercise now as the COVID-19 pandemic eases, you’re not alone. Many people are working to form new habits or re-form habits that may have been lost during the pandemic.
“I think that nutrition and exercise are ultimately habits that people are working to try to form,” said Stephen Hitt of Crossfit Industrious. “They’re both intense habits because it’s uncomfortable, and it’s behavior change.”
Hitt says many clients often start off focused on exercise, but as that becomes more ingrained, they focus on nutrition too. Working on both together can lead to positive results.
“There’s an old saying we try to go by that you can’t out-train a poor diet,” Hitt said. “I think, oftentimes, people try to do that, but it’s not sustainable. So really the two do have to go hand in hand.”
Staying on track with healthy eating has been challenging for many throughout the pandemic.
“Everyone is kind of bored with food,” said Erica Mouch, registered dietitian. “No one really knows what they want to be cooking anymore. Everyone is tired of eating at the same place. Food is kind of feeling a little more monotonous.”
Mouch says to try to mix up the variety of foods you’re eating, making sure they’re satisfying and nutritious. Emotional eating is another issue many people have faced. Mouch says it’s okay to eat foods you enjoy, but make sure to develop other ways to cope with emotions.
After feeling isolated and forming bad habits, many people are looking to take steps in the right direction.
“They’re coming in looking for help,” Hitt said. “They’re looking for that sort of catalyst to pick up some of the good habits that they had before the pandemic that they may have lost during the pandemic.”
Focusing on these key mindsets can help you hone in on nutritious eating and forming good habits:
- Stay away from popular “fad” diets. They’re often not sustainable and can lead to a scarcity mindset.
- Focus on an abundance mindset and remember consistency is key. Add in fruits and vegetables to your diet, and avoid skipping meals.
- The abundance mindset and gradual changes can help you get started without immediately putting you in a restriction or scarcity mindset.
As for fitness, Hitt says the key is to start small. Everyone is coming into their fitness journey at a different place, so take into account where you are and don’t do too much too soon.
“I do recommend choosing an environment that you feel is going to both motivate you and keep you safe,” Hitt said. “And an environment that you feel you can connect with.”