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Weight gain during quarantine, affectionately known as the “COVID 15,” has caught up with many of us. We are out of our normal routines and are stuck at home with easy access to snacks and Netflix. Weight gain has creeped up on our tummies and thighs, and the desire to take it off is real.
As a registered dietitian, I generally recommend specific foods to focus on to help support weight loss goals. While every body is different and has different needs, there are a handful of foods that I find myself recommending to clients more frequently than others.
Here are six foods that I recommend keeping on-hand to help take the COVID weight off in a healthy way:
Wild Sockeye Salmon
Including seafood into your diet two times a week is associated with a slew of health benefits. But did you know that eating salmon and other foods rich in the fatty acids DHA and EPA can help improve body composition? Along with exercise, taking in DHA and EPA fatty acids found in salmon has been shown to lower body fat. The data suggests that in order to see these effects, around 500 mg of these fatty acids should be taken in. Since one 4 oz. serving of salmon contains over 1,000 mg of these healthy fats, keeping salmon on your rotation will fuel your body with the nutrient it needs to support weight goals.
Since many of us are continuing to social distance and avoid crowded grocery stores and fish markets, choosing a high-quality delivery service of wild salmon is key. Greensbury Wild Caught Sockeye Salmon is a sustainable fish that arrives pre-portioned and frozen to ensure freshness. Simply defrost your portion, marinate with light ingredients, and cook to your liking.
Organic Grass-Fed Flank Steak
Steak in general is rich in protein, a nutrient that has been shown to help keep people feeling full for longer and in turn, helping them to eat fewer calories in the long run. Flank steak in particular is a lean cut of meat that is high in protein and full of flavor. Just make sure to keep the portion size under control: 3-4 oz. servings are recommended.
Choosing organic grass-fed flank steak has a better nutrient profile than conventional options. It contains more conjugated linoleic acid, a fatty acid that may support lowering body fat. Greensbury Organic Grass-Fed Flank Steak is sourced from certified organic American family farms that never include hormones or antibiotics in their farming practices. The flank steaks are aged for a minimum of 21 days, cut it into 8oz portions and then flash frozen at the peak point of freshness to optimize taste and nutrients.
Walnuts are a versatile nut that has been linked to curbing appetite and therefore helping people eat fewer calories. While walnuts do contain natural fats, they are not the type of fat that contribute to weight gain. Sprinkling some walnuts on your steak salad or in your homemade chicken salad will give your dishes a nice crunch along with a boost of nutrition.
Enjoying a lower-calorie soup before a meal, like a bone broth, has been linked to eating fewer calories at mealtime. Makes sense, right? Enjoying a low-calorie appetizer that is also hydrating and nourishing can cut your appetite and allow you to enjoy your main meal more mindfully.
While there are many soups that qualify as “low calorie”, bone broth offers some unique benefits that others don’t. Bone broth may support healthy sleep, joint health, gut health, inflammation, and a slew of other benefits. Choosing a bone broth made from organic grass-fed beef bones like Lily’s Ladle Bone Broth helps ensure that you are getting a boost of nutrition in a satisfying and convenient way.
Enjoying some of the refreshingly tart/sweet goodness that is grapefruit can help keep your sweet tooth in check while also supporting your waistline. In fact, data suggests that consuming half of a grapefruit before meals is linked to weight loss in some cases.
Grapefruit can make a great dessert that is low in calories and high in protein. Sprinkle a teaspoon of brown sugar on top of a halved grapefruit and broil until the top is golden-brown. You can top it with ½ of a scoop of vanilla frozen yogurt or simply enjoy it on it’s own.
The combination of being out of our routines, seeking comfort food, and possibly stress eating has resulted in weight gain in many people. Roughly 22% of people have reported weight gain during quarantine and many are seeking solutions. In conjunction with incorporating healthy foods like lean beef, salmon, and bone broth, getting enough sleep, not snacking after dinner, not eating in response to stress, and increasing physical activity can help you with your weight goals.
Finding ways to include less processed foods into your diet without adding more stress to your day can be as simple as leaning on a meat delivery service like Greensbury Market, which ships high-quality meats and seafood directly to your door. Getting your pre-COVID body back has never been so simple!
Lauren Manaker is an award-winning registered dietitian based in Charleston, South Carolina. She earned a bachelor's degree and master's degree in human nutrition and is passionate about helping people achieve their nutrition goals. She currently acts as a consultant, food blogger, and freelance writer for outlets including Eating Well and POPSUGAR. When Lauren isn't working, she is enjoying the outdoor life with her daughter, husband, and rescue-pup.