It seems like the coronavirus is far from over. The past year has not been enough with the many drastic adjustments the world made, submitting our lives to the pandemic. Now, here’s the delta virus variant lurking around and threatening, more potent and sly than the former. While staying home has its advantages, such as a cleaner environment, massively reduced traffic, close-to-non-existent crowds, relationship realizations, learning a hobby or two, it also had a fair share of drawbacks. One of them is the undeniable, frequent, uncontrollable snacking related to the many recipes discovered and learned on TikTok or just about any website. The most prevalent consequence, at least for the opposite of those who managed to work out and be fit: weight gain.
Restless nights worried about becoming sick, anxiety over empty grocery store shelves, a new situation that has left you babysitting or working at the same time – if your jeans are feeling snug these days, understand that you aren’t alone. Being confined to your home without a routine or everyday schedule disrupts your healthy behaviors, and your weight may rise significantly. You are not alone if you are anxious about your weight during the pandemic. Even if while in isolation, you can perform many actions to stay within your ideal weight range. Eating healthy and physical activity benefits include better energy, improved mood, and increased resilience to face life’s obstacles.
Common Causes of Pandemic Weight Gain
As per healthline.com, below are some of the primary things that led to all the mindless snacking and extra pounds.
Changes in your everyday routine may also play a role in your gaining weight. Many people find it hard to make nutritious snacks and meals out of their own, and working remotely may raise your risk of overeating due to sheer boredom or tension. Furthermore, many parks, gyms, and fitness centers have been shuttered due to COVID-19, making it considerably more challenging to control a regular fitness program. Because incorporating physical activity into your daily routine is more difficult, it is all too simple to fall into a sedentary life.
Stress is anticipated to be exacerbated by financial difficulties, health worries, and overall unpredictability during the COVID-19 pandemic. This constant burden may affect eating habits and contribute to weight gain. People are much more likely to “stress eat,” which usually entails more food intake, including more junk food. People may feel less motivated to participate in the exercise as a result of their stress.
As per research, the COVID-19 outbreak is triggering an upsurge in post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, and depression. People struggling with their mental health may also “emotionally eat,” resulting in weight gain. Those who are dealing with their mental health may often struggle to sustain their commitment to regular exercise. According to one study, rather than just gaining weight, some people may mistakenly perceive their weight, leading them to believe they have acquired extra weight than they already have.
Obese people are at a higher risk of major illness from COVID-19. According to a 2020 report, metabolic abnormalities caused by obesity contribute to unfavorable results. Obesity, according to experts, causes a decrease in adiponectin, a protein that safeguards the lungs.
Obesity is also prevalent comorbidity for other prospective COVID-19 risk factors, such as lung disease, diabetes, and heart problems. In one study, people with a history of hypertension, chronic lung disease, obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease may have the worst COVID-19 prognosis.
Strategies on Keeping Healthy
People can try techniques to assist them to maintain a healthy weight when quarantined. In principle, the most efficient way to lose weight is to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Some of the following suggestions may aid with weight management.
Plan When to Eat
Eat regularly. Have breakfast at about the same time daily, and plan lunch and afternoon snacks. Maintaining a routine in your day will guarantee that you provide your body with the nutrients it needs, and you won’t have to think about snagging anything random during the day that will eventually be unsatisfying. It also teaches your body to crave food at regular times.
Decide What to Eat
Plan long in advance what you’ll have, and you’ll have higher-quality meals and a lower risk of being obese or overweight. If you’re short on time, prepare meals fast by leaning on healthier consumables. Plant-based diets like these are linked to a lower BMI.
Have a Routine
Set aside times to wake up and go to bed, dress even if you work remotely, and take regular breaks all through the day. You might also try planning your meals for the week and scheduling periods for meal preparation. Meal planning results in healthier eating, greater food diversity, and healthy body weight. Developing a regimen can also help you exercise consistently, which can aid in losing weight.
Keep Yourself Hydrated
Consuming extra water will help you feel fuller for longer, lowering your calorie consumption. A study of 24 overweight and obese older individuals found that drinking 500 mL of water before breakfast reduced the number of calories consumed at that meal by 13%.
Boredom might fool your mind into believing you are starving. It’s incredibly tempting to take a small snack each time you pass by your kitchen, but those regular nibbles can rapidly mount up. It is critical to keep oneself busy so that you can enjoy non-food pastimes.
Consider Portion Control
People frequently munch on items straight from the packaging in which they were delivered, contributing to overeating. To counteract this, use portion control by serving yourself a modest amount of food instead of eating bigger portions. You can help teach your brain to take a smaller quantity the next time you eat by reducing the food portions for one meal.
Poor sleep habits could have a detrimental impact on dietary patterns, disturb hormones that regulate appetite and satisfaction, and lower motivation for physical exercise. To gain complete control of your sleeping habits, you must first analyze them. Try a sleep monitoring app, which includes sleep aids to help you fall asleep, an alert to awaken you in the middle of a light sleep cycle, and sleep analysis to improve regularity in sleep and wake times.
Of Course, Keep Moving
You don’t need to overcomplicate exercise because YouTube has a plethora of exercise videos. Whether that’s stress-cleaning your bathroom and kitchen floors, racing back and forth with your dogs, or even being outside trimming your lawn, all of these activities, at varying levels, allow getting your heart pumping and burn more calories. The World Health Organization advises 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity weekly or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout each week, or a mix of the two. These instructions can still be performed out at home, with no specialist tools and in a little amount of space.
- Take short activity breaks. Short bursts of physical activity add to the weekly guidelines.
- Walking. Walking around or walking in place might help you stay energetic even in tight areas. If you have a phone call, stand or move across your house while you talk.
- Participate in a virtual fitness class. Take advantage of various online exercise classes available. Many of these are available for free on YouTube. Be cautious and conscious of your capabilities if you’ve no prior experience with these exercises.
- Stand up. Standing up anytime possible will help you manage your sitting time, which is considered lethal if done in prolonged periods every day. Essentially, every 30 minutes, break sitting and reclining time. To carry on working while standing, consider setting up a standing desk by using a bar table or stacking large, thick books or other items if you don’t already have one. Favor activities that stimulate the mind, such as board games, reading and writing, and puzzles and mysteries. To make them even healthier and more interesting? Play them while standing at a standing desk. Because these desks are height-adjustable, they serve well when it’s time to sit and vice versa. This will not only burn a few more calories than sitting, but it will also keep you sharp and awake. FlexiSpot is an excellent source of ergonomic products to assist you when working from home or do various activities involving extended sitting behind a desk. Learn more about these awesome height-adjustable standing desks here!
While changing your regular routine may be more challenging, taking a few basic measures might put you on the path to more excellent health. If you have more spare time, you may be able to study more about eating healthily – but committing to a diet fad or rigid eating plan is not advised. Making modest modifications to your food and lifestyle is far more beneficial for encouraging long-term health and loss of weight.