Depending on where you live, it’s been about two months since North America virtually shut down. For me in northern New Jersey this is week nine. Many people who are not considered “essential” workers have been directed to work from home and their routine may look very different lately. Some of my clients and friends have told me they are noticing weight gain because they aren’t moving as much, are eating larger portions due to the gourmet masterpieces they are preparing in the kitchen, or they are binge eating out of boredom and stress.
To compound the drop in movement, you might be eating the same way you did prior to the lockdown but you don’t have the walks around the office to meetings or to the bathroom at the other end of the building so calories you’d typically burn are hanging around as unwanted fat.
So, what can you do?·
§ Look at how your activity may have changed. If you’re no longer working out or running the errands you normally did, you’ve probably entered a caloric surplus.
§ Combat a caloric surplus by adjusting food intake. Eat one egg instead of two, load up on low-calorie, high nutrient dense vegetables like arugula, cabbage, kale, carrots, and beets, just to name a few (ask me for suggestions about my favorites!)
§ Are you hungry? Tune in to your body and make sure it’s not thirsty.
§ Don’t drink your calories. Drink fresh water flavored with fresh lemon juice or seltzer water on occasion. Stay away from sodas (even zero-calorie soda, more on that another day), alcoholic beverages as well as sweetened teas and coffees since those all have various types of sugars and empty calories.
Don’t worry – major adjustments may not be necessary to mitigate COVID quarantine related weight gain. Do not delay; it is important to start now. Your risk for conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol or sleep apnea are higher and it gets more difficult to lose as time lapses.