Quarantine 15: Causes of Weight Gain & How to Lose the Weight
By: Carrie Walco-Bowman
If you haven’t already heard, the “Quarantine 15” is the new “Freshman 15.” Instead of going away to college and gaining an extra 15 pounds a lot of us have gained the weight during COVID quarantine and lockdowns. During this stressful pandemic, people have turned to stress snacking, emotional eating, and poor eating habits without even realizing it. Then BOOM!, you’ve joined the Quarantine 15 club without even applying. But just like college, you can escape from this unhealthy lifestyle and make healthy changes to shed weight.
WHAT CAUSES THE QUARANTINE 15?
The reasons why people gain weight are always going to differ from person to person. However, many of us experienced common unhealthy lifestyle changes during COVID-19 and shelter-at-home restrictions that can cause weight gain.
Emotional Eating & Overeating
Many people experienced negative emotions during COVID and self-isolation, like stress, boredom, and loneliness. These are some of the most common reasons people turn to emotional eating. Our bodies crave something to fill our empty emotional plate and make us forget about the stress in our lives, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Our bodies also release more cortisol after prolonged stress, which increases our appetite for sugary-laden snacks and foods loaded with bad carbs and salt.
Lack of Exercise
During COVID, the shutdown of gyms and not knowing if it was safe to go outside for a jog or run stopped many of our usual exercise routines in their tracks. And even if you didn’t regularly exercise, not being able to do things that seemed simple before (like running to the store or going out to eat) made our lives even more sedentary. Then add all the time we had to spend sitting, waiting, and watching for the next round of COVID-19 news.
Increased and Excessive Alcohol Consumption
According to the Harvard Medical School Health Blog, “Excessive alcohol use is a common response to coping with stress. Alcohol use increased following the September 11th terrorist attacks and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The COVID-19 pandemic is following this same path.”
And according to Forbes, “The research led by scientists at the University of Southern California (USC) and published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, found that between April and June last year, sales of alcoholic beverages increased by 34% compared to the same period of time in 2019, with tobacco sales increasing by 13%.”
Need we say more? Some of us have been drinking a LOT due to COVID-related stress.
HOW TO LOSE THE WEIGHT
Portion and Plan Your Meals and Snacks
Create a plan to help limit your chances of overeating or unconsciously eating too much. It’s much easier to lose weight when you have a healthy meal plan loaded with foods and nutritious snacks you love to eat, personalized just for you. Having a meal plan will greatly lower your chances of going off track and eating, unhealthy foods that cause weight gain. Be sure that your plan includes meals that are nutritionally balanced and proportioned for YOUR personal weight goals, not someone else’s. Many “diets” don’t allow personalization or modifications, and, therefore, end up not working because they were not created for you.
All of our MightyMeals are perfectly proportioned, made fresh with locally-sourced ingredients, and (to make it even easier) delivered right to your door! You can find restaurant-worthy meals for your plans to lose weight by using our meal and macro filters. They will help you locate the right amount of calories, protein, carbs, and fat for your meal plan. We also carry healthier versions of your favorite cravings! Like buffalo hot wings, chicken parmesan, and lasagna!
Change Your Workout Routine
You can still be physically active even if you have to stick around home during self-isolation. Your exercise routine does not need to stop, it just needs to change and adapt. If you normally do group classes at a gym, try joining an online exercise class for when you can’t make it to the gym. Consider getting in-home fitness equipment if your space allows. Yoga is also great for in-home exercises. It’s relaxing while also increasing strength and flexibility.
Consult a Nutrition Expert
We all need help sometimes. Some people get support to lose weight through friends, groups, or weight loss challenges. But sometimes, you need to call-in the experts. Nutrition consultants and experts are your cheerleaders on the side, there to support you when you’re down, and there to praise you for your weight loss wins.
If you are struggling with finding the best weight loss meal plan or need motivation and guidance, contact one of our expert nutrition coaches for a free meal planning session. They are trained and experienced in helping people lose weight and will guide you and support you on every step of your weight loss journey.