Health & Wellness
8 Mar 2021 admin
PANDEMIC & WEIGHT GAIN
The effects of the lockdown spread across every aspect of our lives, including our bodies. Many people are struggling to deal with the reality of the unexpected pounds added during the lockdown. In a global survey involving 19,903 people from 140 countries, 35.82% (runrepeat)reported weight gain during the lockdown. In Canada, 30.48 % of the people who took the survey said they added weight.So, if you have been feeling slightly heavier and you dread getting on the scale, you’re not alone. Many people have added weight too. If you are unhappy with your weight gain, certain lifestyle modifications can help you shed the excess weight and get your body back.
Causes of Quarantine Weight Gain
Adding a few pounds during quarantine was almost inevitable due to different factors that encouraged weight gain, some of which are:
Reduced Physical Activities
With the pandemic and enforced lockdown restrictions, there was a general decline in physical activities. As a result, most people burned fewer calories than they used to and gained weight even when they didn’t eat considerably more than they used to. This led to an imbalance between the number of calories they took and the amount they burned, which caused an unhealthy shift that might have contributed to weight gain. The lockdown restrictions meant that you couldn’t just decide to visit a friend or go to the park as you usually would. For many people who relied on the gym to keep fit, the gyms being closed meant they didn’t get their required hours of exercise to burn the extra calories.
Unhealthy Eating Habits
The mental effects of the Coronavirus pandemic were heavy on everyone, and most people found comfort in eating. Many times, junk food was the preference. With routines disrupted and having to spend most of the day indoors, many filled that void with junk. Giving in to the temptation to snack on potato chips or chocolate could’ve resulted in weight gain. Coupled with the fact that physical activities were reduced. The stress associated with the pandemic may have also initiated “stress-eating,” where people cope with stress by eating more. Also, stress increases the level of cortisol in our body. When this happens, our cells do not use insulin as they should, leading to high glucose levels in our bodies and eventual weight gain. So, even if you’re not stress-eating, stress may still make it difficult for your body to metabolize glucose properly, leading to extra pounds.
Change in lifestyle pattern
The lockdown changed the lifestyle of many around the world. Despite the lift of the lockdown, many people still work from home. There has been a significant adjustment from an active lifestyle to a sedentary one, which might have been challenging and difficult for most people. This change may have included a change in eating habits, less sleep, and an abandoned interest in keeping fit, all of which can lead to weight gain.
Where to put the excess pounds?
reversing quarantine weight gain
Healthy Eating Habits
The first step to reversing the quarantine weight you gained is by adjusting your eating habits. Make a conscious effort to adopt eating healthy. Deliberately substitute junk food with healthy snacks and soda for smoothies and water. Make it a habit to try out new healthy recipes also. No matter the temptation, try not to overeat or eat late. Also, it might help to learn to differentiate hunger from boredom. Sometimes you’re not hungry; you’re just bored. So before you go to the fridge for the 10th time in twenty minutes, it would help to take a break and find other interesting ways to kill boredom. Don’t Stress-eat. When you are stressed out, your body releases cortisol- the stress hormone- which causes you to crave sugary and salty foods. Don’t let stress get the better of your eating habits. Make a conscious effort not to stress-eat. When feeling stressed, try to relax. Take a break and drink more water. Less processed sugar, more water, and fruit and veggies. You can start eating healthy by setting weekly goals. For instance, you can decide to eat clean for at least five days a week.
Try to incorporate physical activities into your daily routines. There are easy workout plans that you can do at home. There are also many routines and fitness clubs you can access online to workout from home. Many exercises like jumping jacks and sit-ups do not require equipment, so you won’t have to spend a ton to keep fit. The goal is to get a routine that works for you and not give up. It would also help if you walked more. Despite working from home, you can still develop a routine that allows you to have time for a walk. Walking is an effective way to lose weight and keep fit. A twenty-minute walk would get your body to burn calories and contribute to your overall fitness journey. Take frequent walks, clear your head and burn those calories.
Yoga is an effective way to keep fit, and you may want to give it a try. If you are new to yoga, you can get a personal trainer online to help with the most suitable routine for your needs. Yoga is also very relaxing and might be a great way to de-stress and prevent stress eating. Some relaxation techniques in yoga might further help you manage your mental health better for overall wellness.
Do you worry about your weight and possible related health conditions? We can connect you to a physician who can provide advice and guidance along your weight loss journey. Book a virtual consultation at MD Connected by visiting MD Connected.
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