You might have seen a lot of memes about before and after the coronavirus lockdown. The after pictures show characters with excessive weight gain. The reasons are clear—lack of physical activity, working late at night, skipping important meals, not getting enough sleep, etc.

Obesity can cause a wide range of health issues, such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and some cancers. According to the CDC, severe obesity (as defined as a BMI of 40 or above) can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), which is linked to COVID-19.

Thus, if you have noticed weight gain in the past few weeks, it’s important to control it as soon as possible. In today’s post, we are going to talk about some simple tips to prevent weight gain during the coronavirus outbreak.

Make an Eating Plan

There’s no doubt that being home-bound results in easy access to snacks and foods. However, this provides you with an advantage, which most people avoid. Guess what? Preparing healthy meals for your family and yourself. This is the best way to prevent excessive weight gain.

When making an eating plan, you should consider your daily activity level. If you aren’t exercising much, you should reduce your daily food intake this time. Talk to a professional dietitian to design a perfect diet plan

Additionally, you should adopt some healthy habits. Don’t eat right before going to bed. In fact, you should completely avoid carbohydrates at dinner. Practice slow eating and don’t turn your bedroom into a dining room. Prefer leafy greens and fresh fruits over oily and unhealthy foods.

Do Indoor Exercises

Regular exercise can help prevent weight gain. It’s also beneficial in reducing the risks of many chronic illnesses that are linked to obesity. Thus, in addition to eating healthy foods, you should choose an active lifestyle. 

Staying indoors doesn’t mean that you can’t stay active. Try home workouts. There’s a wide range of exercises you can do in the comfort of your home. Many exercises can be performed without any fitness equipment.

Some of the best exercises for small spaces & restricted areas are static running, skipping, and walking. However, you should add all forms in your exercising plan, such as stretching, muscle building, cardio, etc.

Exercising also helps in boosting mental health. Medical researchers have found that when you exercise, your body releases endorphins—the natural chemicals that are linked to happiness and pleasure.

Manage Stress

You might have heard the term “stress eating or emotional eating.” It is eating foods in accordance with your emotions or feelings. Research says that cortisol, a stress hormone, can increase food cravings. This results in overeating, thus unhealthy weight gain.

However, managing your stress levels can help you control stress eating. The best way is to address stressful situations and learn how to deal with them. 

Researchers have found that meditation, yoga, and other mindfulness-based exercises can provide calming effects on the body & mind. This helps in managing stress & stress eating.

Want to learn more about stopping stress eating? Check out our previous post on how to avoid emotional eating during COVID-19.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

According to the Sleep Foundation, there’s a strong connection between inadequate sleep & weight gain. The less you sleep, the more likely you put on extra pounds over time.

According to the CDC, the coronavirus outbreak may be stressful. However, it may lead to trouble sleeping or concentrating.

Here are some of the best ways to boost sleep during the COVID-19 pandemic-

  • Set your daily sleep schedule including wake-up time, bedtime, etc., and stick to it
  • Stay active by doing regular physical exercises
  • Practice deep breathing, mindfulness meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques
  • Avoid drinking alcohol or caffeine, especially before going to bed
  • Limit your screen time as blue light from smartphones may interfere with your sleep processes

Focus on Fiber

In addition to protein, fiber is another great nutrient that promotes fullness, thus helping in weight maintenance. It works by reducing your calorie intake.

According to a study published in the National Institute of Health, there’s strong evidence that dietary fiber intake prevents weight gain.

There are many ways to include fiber in your daily diet. For example, you can replace dessert with fruit. You can add fruit to breakfast. Or, you can add fresh or frozen veggies to soups and salads.

Some of the best high-fiber foods to prevent obesity are—green beans, broccoli, carrots, brussels sprouts, oatmeal, bran flakes, whole-wheat bread, rice cakes, kidney beans, lima beans, lentils, green peas, brown rice, apple, banana, orange, strawberry, and pear.

Regular Monitoring

Weighing yourself on a regular basis can help you prevent weight gain. Imagine starting a new diet plan and seeing results in a few weeks. What will happen? It will generate a ray of hope in you, making you feel happy and work harder to achieve your goal.

There are many ways to monitor your progress. You can use this physical activity diary to note down the type of physical activity, duration, time of day, etc. Additionally, you can use the food diary to note down details about your breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner.

Self-monitoring will help you learn what strategies work for you the best. Thus, you can easily catch small weight gains, and control them quickly.

Seek Professional Help For Weight Loss

If you are unable to lose excessive body weight, talk to our licensed doctors. They will evaluate your condition, make customized eating and physical activity plans that will surely help you lose those extra pounds.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we appeal to you to follow all the social distancing rules set by the government. Prefer talking to a doctor online over visiting a clinic. Here’s our complete process for seeing a doctor through the telemedicine technology-

  • Sign up an account
  • See a doctor through HIPAA-compliant platform
  • Receive your prescription letter in PDF format via email

Also, Read- Why Should You Switch to Telehealth Amid COVID-19

The Takeaway

Weight gain is one of the most common health issues among people staying in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The common reasons involve overeating, sedentary behavior, lack of sleep, increased stress levels.

If you want to prevent weight gain or lose those extra pounds during the coronavirus lockdown, you need to follow some healthy habits. Stop eating high-carbs, oily, and processed foods. Add high-fiber foods, leafy greens, and fruits in your daily diet. Get plenty of sleep to relax your body & mind, and lower your stress levels. Other strategies that can help you maintain a healthy weight are—regular exercise, self-monitoring, limiting dessert & liquid calorie intake.

Need professional help for weight loss? Talk to our licensed doctors today!