During the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have shut down all non-essential outings and completely shifted the way that we work, socialize, plan, and shop. With so many changes and adjustments, it’s become a running joke online that weigh gain is imminent, especially for those who are home from work and find themselves with more time to snack.
Another culprit is comfort food: during stressful times, it’s easier to turn toward foods that make us feel better. Hindered access to fresh produce is also affecting many families. For some, it is hard to source foods that are nutritious and not heavily processed.
Many also have trouble sleeping due to stress, and typical options for exercise (like gyms and pools, for example) are not currently an option.
Here’s what you can do while you wait for things to return to what is normal for your schedule:
• Avoid attempting a challenging diet right now to combat any weight fluctuations. Heavily restricting food is an added stress on your body during a time that is already stressful. Opt for healthier alternatives to foods, when possible, and eat mindfully, but keep it reasonable.
• Practice intuitive eating. This is a great skill that you can use for the rest of your life. Chew food slowly and savor any food that you are able to enjoy right now. Eat only when you are hungry. By eating slowly and mindfully, you can realize when you are full more quickly.
• Find other outlets for stress or boredom. Rather than consuming more food for comfort or eating out of boredom, look for other outlets like drawing, journaling, listening to podcasts, going for walks, and video chatting with loved ones. If you are finding this time to be especially stressful, talk to your doctor.
• Get some physical activity. While your typical activities for exercise may not be an option, you can still find an activity that you love to reduce stress and benefit your body. Go for walks, hikes, or bike ride, or find free workout videos online.
• Be kind to yourself. The scale and your measurements may not be trending the way that you would like during this time. The stress of a global pandemic and its related schedule adjustments will not last forever, and you’ll need to be flexible and adjust as needed. Talk to yourself the way that you would a friend.
Above all, resist the feelings of guilt that are associated with any weight fluctuations during these times. There is a lot of potential worry out there right now, and you need to give yourself some grace in the process for your own mental health.
How to Avoid Weight Gain During a Shut-Down
Posted On: 04-17-2020
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