You took the positive pro-active step. You started your TLC – Program! Well done!
Now you have caught a virus, and you feel ill and miserable. What should you do? Can you or should you stay on your diet while you battle the virus and recover?
This question is especially relevant now during the Covid-19 pandemic. But it can also apply to you catching any other bug or illness while you are on your TLC journey.
The answer is not straightforward.
For the best and quickest results on your TLC-Program you have to do it 100%. And we all know doing it properly also brings with it added benefits ito other chronic illness markers such as blood sugar and cholesterol and high blood pressure. And all these improvements reduce your risk of poor outcomes with Covid-19 and other illnesses.
In fact, it may be more important now than ever to maintain a healthy lifestyle. That means eating to provide essential nutrition and also keep your blood sugar and weight in check.
As has been apparent during the pandemic, individuals with type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19. And the evidence is clear that a low-carb diets can be an effective tool for treating and reversing these metabolic conditions.
However, your TLC-Program must never prevent you from following your treating doctor’s instructions. And how committed you can be to your TLC Program during an illness is very much dependent on the severity of the illness.
If you are seriously ill and in hospital or on a lot of medication or under doctor’s prescribed treatment, being strict with your diet is not a priority. Your focus then should be on following your doctor’s treatment and in some cases, on providing your body with additional nutrients while it battles the illness or virus.
However, if you have only mild symptoms or a mild illness, you can try to stay within your TLC guidelines where possible, especially as the improved immunity and more stable bloodsugar on the TLC Program will assist your body in fighting off and reducing the impact of the virus.
Covid-19 symptoms vary greatly from person to person. The most common symptoms include fever, dry cough and shortness of breath. But some people may experience muscle pain, fatigue, headaches, sore throat and GI symptoms, like diarrhea. Just like with the flu, you may not be feeling as hungry.
Depending on your symptoms and their severity, plus what you like to eat and if anyone is around to help you cook, your diet is going to look different from someone else’s who has COVID-19. So if you are not able to stick to your TLC-Program 100% in this period, you should not worry about it too much. There is a time for you to get back to being strict once you have recovered.
What can you do to still have some progress?
You can follow some basic guidelines while you are ill to ensure that you are feeding your body what it needs while not sabotaging your Weightloss efforts totally. Remember, always keep it in perspective. If you are too ill to worry about what you are eating you should not be dieting.
- Drink water
Drinking water is important if you get sick, especially if you have a fever, which may cause you to sweat out water, or if you have diarrhea. Try to drink plenty of fluids. If you do have diarrhea you may need to also replace electrolytes. A good option here is to make your own electrolyte drink so you do not add unnecessary excess sugar to your diet.
- Keep your food choices to healthy and clean foods.
That means no processed quick meals and high carb comfort foods. Consume unsaturated fats (e.g. found in fish, avocado, nuts, olive oil, soy, canola, sunflower and corn oils) rather than saturated fats (e.g. found in fatty meat, butter, coconut oil, cream, cheese, ghee and lard).
Choose white meat (e.g. poultry) and fish, which are generally low in fat, rather than red meat. Avoid processed meats because they are high in fat and salt.
Where possible, opt for low-fat or reduced-fat versions of dairy products.
Avoid industrially produced trans fats. These are often found in processed food, fast food, snack food, fried food, frozen pizza, pies, cookies, margarine and spreads.
So in essence try to keep your meals to the foods allowed on your TLC-Program where possible.
- Add some superfoods to your meals.
This includes foods like berries, garlic, lemon, ginger, sunflower seeds.
- Vegetables and fruits high in Vitamins C should be selected first.
This includes: red bell peppers, broccoli, strawberries, mushrooms and spinach.
- Eat less salt
When cooking and preparing food, limit the amount of salt and high-sodium condiments (e.g. soy sauce and fish sauce). Limit your daily salt intake to less than 5 g (approximately 1 teaspoon), and use iodized salt.
- Avoid totally or at least limit your intake of soft drinks or sodas and other drinks that are high in sugar (e.g. fruit juices, fruit juice concentrates and syrups, flavoured milks and yogurt drinks).
- Where you have the option, especially with over the counter medication such as cough mixtures and throat lozenges, select the sugar-free options. These are available for most medications.
- If possible, try to get a daily dose of fresh air and sunlight.
- Supplement. Now more than ever, good supplements of essential vitamins are important. Your TLC-Turbo Boost will provide you with the essentials.
Finally, just use your common sense, and listen to your body!
If you are not seriously ill, it makes sense to continue with your TLC-Program as well as you can, as the health benefits will improve your recovery and outcome. But do not sweat the small stuff too much. As long as you keep these basic common sense guidelines in mind, your progress may be slower than it would have been following it 100%, but at least you will not gain more weight.