You may have heard jokes about the quarantine fifteen. For many adults, spending more time at home is making them gain weight. Almost 50% of women and 25% of men said they’ve put on pounds due to COVID-19 restrictions, according to a WebMD poll.
There are several reasons for this. Gyms are closed. Emotional eating is a convenient way to deal with boredom and anxiety. Plus, your refrigerator now remains within easy reach throughout the day and night.
Learn how to keep off the quarantine weight gain. Use these tips for eating healthy, staying active, and managing stress when you’re stuck at home.
- Plan your menu. Create new routines that encourage a balanced diet. Figure out what you’re going to eat for a day or a week in advance. Planning may also help you cut down on trips to the supermarket.
- Choose whole foods. It’s easier to resist junk food when you fill up on nutritious meals and snacks. Get most of your calories from vegetables, fruits, whole grains, healthy fats, and lean proteins.
- Drink water. Thirst can make you feel hungry. Cravings may disappear after you sip some water or herbal tea.
- Limit alcohol. COVID-19 has also caused an increase in alcohol consumption. Schedule liquor-free days each week to cut down on empty calories and other unwelcome side effects. When you drink, choose wine or a Bloody Mary instead of mixed drinks like a pina colada with more than 400 calories.
- Seek support. Invite family and friends to join you in eating healthier. Share updates on social media, so you’ll feel more accountable.
- Exercise outdoors. Go outside to work out. Maintain a safe distance while you run through the park or ride your bike.
- Create a home gym. You can exercise at home even with limited space and funds. Try yoga or buy a jump rope and resistance bands.
- Go online. Do you miss group fitness classes? Your favorite instructors may be streaming their sessions. Contact local fitness centers or browse online to see what’s available.
- Take active breaks. The hours can fly by when you’re working on a computer or streaming videos. Offset your sedentary habits by taking regular exercise breaks. Do a few push-ups or stretch your legs.
- Move more. Daily tasks count too. Burn calories and tone your muscles doing lunges while you vacuum. Work in your garden or clean out your attic.
- Sleep well. Your body and mind are more resilient when you’re well-rested. Go to bed and get up at the same times each day. Aim for a dark, quiet room to sleep in.
- Meditate daily. Even a few minutes of seated meditation can help you to live more mindfully. Sit down in a peaceful place. Scan your body and soften up any tight spots. Observe your thoughts without making judgments.
- Breathe deeply. If meditation makes you uncomfortable, maybe you’d prefer simple breathing exercises. Try alternate nostril breathing to fight anxiety. Use your thumb to close off one side of your nose at a time and inhale deeply. Repeat 3 times on each side.
- Listen to music. Symphonies and pop songs can help you deal with strong emotions. Create a soundtrack to lift your spirits or calm your fears.
- Try counseling. If daily stress is interfering with your diet and wellbeing, consider seeking professional help. Many counselors are using teletherapy to talk with patients online, so you can stay safe while you receive help.
You can manage your weight while you stay at home. Healthy eating and other lifestyle habits will strengthen your immune system and enhance the quality of your life.