For a lot of us, quarantine has meant being cozy. We folded up our vintage denim and tucked it in the very back of the drawer, relying on our sweats and yoga pants to take center stage in our daily apparel choice—if we even wore pants that day, that is.
If you’re like us, you may be slowly, timidly coming out of this forced hibernation to find that your favorite butt-hugging, unyielding denim won’t button. Some of us have noticed that our high-waisted trousers leave us breathless. Or that our fave top is a little snug in unfamiliar places. Or maybe, we’re just feeling a little slower, more sluggish, and in need a refresher. One of our go-to holistic nutritionists, Shauna Faulisi, says the best way to get back into a routine? Don’t overthink it. Just start.
“I know it seems daunting to get out of habits that helped you feel safe and comfortable during one of the most uncomfortable and unknown times in our lifetime. But try to shift your perspective and realize that putting on weight when your cortisol is high is your body’s natural way of protecting itself. Eating can be a way to self-soothe, while also being a way to connect and interact with others—in person, or on Zoom.”
Stop telling yourself that you've F*#%d up.
First, don’t think of it as a setback. It was a necessary phase. Shauna explains, “Whenever it’s time for me to take off a few pounds after a stressful or unhappy period in my life, I often bid farewell to the weight and thank it for keeping me safe. I tell my body I no longer need the extra weight because I am safe and happy and ready to step into a new phase. This kind, silly, yet powerful act immediately shifts the experience of rigid weight loss to a kind and centered routine that will lead me to be more intuitive with my eating habits. It acknowledges that I am human with ups and downs and makes room for growth and new beginnings. It completely takes the pressure off, and recalibrates the entire experience.”
Eat whole foods that you enjoy.
Something we always love about Shauna is that she doesn’t believe in sacrificing pleasure for optimal wellness. In fact, she doesn’t think wellness can exist without deriving pleasure from our acts of self-care, which we would love to echo here. “The overall goal for getting back into a routine and detoxing is to focus on eating for health and pleasure. Focus on whole, clean ingredients, and stay away from packaged foods as much as possible,” she urges. She also iterates that mindset is the first step, but there is science to her program, Soul Wellness Method.
“We lose approximately a liter of water when we sleep through sweat and breathing, so the first thing I recommend is drinking a liter of water upon waking. This will help to not only keep hunger and cravings at bay, but also keeps our energy up and our skin clear.”
“Gone are the days of eating small meals all day long. The goal is to eat smart, not less. Focus on filling up your plate with the right foods to feel full for longer periods of time. That way, you can focus on all the other amazing things going on in your life.”
And don’t worry, she’s got a formula to keep things tight. It’s essentially above-ground greens (think broccoli, cauliflower, and lettuce, and save your more starchy, underground veggies for more active days), protein, and fat. The fiber and satiating nutrients that are found in carefully considered meals containing above-ground greens, fats, and proteins will help you feel satiated, while regulating digestion, building muscle, and protecting your hormones. The perfect formula for healthy, controlled weight management.
“It’s a big misconception that working out needs to be intense and sweaty every time. Sure, that feels good sometimes, but when engaging in high-stress, cortisol-inducing workouts on the regular, you could be defeating the purpose. High levels of cortisol hold onto fat in the body. Like I mentioned before, the body holds onto fat for safety, so your stress-inducing workout could be working against you. Instead, focus on cycle-syncing your workouts to your menstrual cycle (a term coined by Alisa Vitti, author of WomanCode) and listening to your body and what it needs.”
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