When COVID-19 started spreading around the world, countries, including the United States, ordered citizens to shelter in place. For months, as per the advice of public health experts, people stayed at home.
Many have noticed that, after several months of social distancing and breaking bread to manage the stress of living through a deadly pandemic, they started to gain weight. This phenomenon has been dubbed as the “Quarantine 15.” Those who have hibernated for months may see the scale go up by five, 10, 15, or even 30 pounds (13.61 kg).
If the buttons of your shirt have started to pop or you can no longer zip your favorite jeans shut, here are some tips that will help you return to your pre-pandemic size.
Watch What You Eat
If you want to shed pounds, you need to restrict the food you eat. However, it is important that you are getting enough vitamins and minerals to keep your body strong and healthy. After all, you are still living through a pandemic. Your immune system is your strongest defense against SARS-Cov-2.
Before you start counting calories, make sure that you are eating a balanced diet. Talk to a health coach training provider who can give you advice on food and nutrition. Cutting out certain products may deprive you of the macronutrients that keep your body working at optimal conditions. It may make you more vulnerable to infections.
Instead of restricting yourself of carbohydrates and meats, replace junk food with healthy snacks. The next time you go out for a grocery run, skip the potato chips and head to the produce section. When you find yourself hungry in the middle of the day, munch on mixed nuts or sliced fruits and vegetables. You would be surprised at how much weight you would lose by simply cutting off junk foods.
Ordering food would not help flatten your belly, either. Making your own meals at home allows you to control what goes into the dish. You can substitute ingredients and go for healthier alternatives. Moreover, you have the freedom to only cook the right amount of food for yourself. There is no pressure to finish what you ordered.
The gyms are closed, but that is no excuse to stop exercising. There are workouts that do not require special equipment. Walking, for example, is easy to do and completely free.
However, aside from morning workouts, you should incorporate walking throughout the day. While working at home or even when just chilling, take short but frequent breaks. Walk around the house for a few minutes. Being sedentary is, overall, bad for your health. It also makes you gain weight.
Stop Scrolling and Go to Sleep
Do you find yourself constantly refreshing your Twitter or Facebook timeline, waiting for new updates about COVID-19? Doomscrolling is a term that means reading content that affects you negatively. It is bad for your mental health and it disrupts your sleep.
Sleeplessness has been linked to weight gain. Basically, when your body does not get enough rest, your metabolism does not function properly. More importantly, at night, you are tempted to snack which will lead to weight gain.
So, during the pandemic, if you want to lose weight, you better put your phone down and get some quality sleep.
However, it is important to remember that weight should not be an issue. After all, you are living through an extremely stressful time. Gaining weight is hardly the worst thing that can happen to you. You should focus on taking good care of yourself and the people you love.