It’s not a secret that many Americans are noticing an alarming amount of weight gain as they remain indoors to adhere to social distancing and stay at home orders. While some are still attempting to maintain their workout routines, many are beginning to complain about the number on the scale creeping up or their clothes fitting uncomfortably tight.
Why People are Gaining Weight Even with Good Diets and Exercise
A certain demographic never seems to let anything interrupt their fitness regimen. They’re still food prepping, finding ways to maintain their exercise, and sticking to overall healthy lifestyles. Yet, these same individuals are struggling with weight gain right alongside their less active peers. There are two major culprits behind this unexplained weight gain: boredom and stress.
While many people may think their diet hasn’t changed while working from home, boredom can lead to unnecessary snacking. It helps pass the time and gives idle hands something to do besides scrolling absentmindedly through social media. Even if the snack options are healthy, calories add up no matter the source. If a person is eating more, the scale and the way their clothes fit will reflect.
Stress is also a common source of weight gain. When under stress, the body produces excess cortisol. High levels of cortisol can lead to stubborn fat that refuses to budge, particularly in the belly zone. Combine boredom eating with high levels of stress hormones, and even the best-intentioned fitness gurus are struggling to maintain their physique.
How to Implement Better Weight Loss and Nutrition Habits
Stick to a Schedule
The single biggest thing people can control to reduce the likelihood of weight gain during COVID-19 is to stay on their typical schedule. While it may be tempting to sleep in since many people are working from home and have no commute, it can derail the entire day including when they eat. Eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner at the same times as usual can cut down on excessive snacking. Going to bed and waking up at the same time each day can also ensure individuals are getting enough rest, which is critical for weight loss.
Log Foods to Avoid Mindless Snacking
Another great way to keep food intake under control is to keep a food log. Fitness apps often let people scan barcodes on food for simple tracking. Scanning or logging in meals and snacks allows people to remain aware of what they’re eating. This helps them be more mindful about their snack choices or reconsider munching on junk food altogether.
Find Creative and Healthy Food Options
Trips to the grocery store aren’t as simple as they used to be. Many grocery stores are limiting the number of people allowed in at once, which makes grocery shopping a much bigger hassle than it used to be. Most people are reducing how often they make trips to the store as well to avoid coming into contact with other people. This can make keeping fresh fruits and veggies on hand a challenge.
The following are some ideas for keeping well stocked in healthy snack options:
- Canned or frozen fruits
- Canned or frozen vegetables
- Canned chicken or tuna
- Greek yogurt
- Light string cheese
Finding snacks that are high in fiber and protein can help people feel fuller for longer, which can reduce snacking in general.
Cut Out Caloric Beverages
Many people fail to realize just how many calories they’re consuming from their drink choices. Loading coffee up with sugar and cream can add up to hundreds of calories before individuals are even fully awake. Juices and sports drinks are usually loaded with sugar as well. Switching to black coffee or using lighter flavoring options in the morning and opting for water instead of juice throughout the day can shave off a significant number of calories from any given day.
Keeping up with fitness routines during COVID-19 requires a certain degree of planning and creativity. If you find yourself struggling to lose weight, contact us to learn how we can help you achieve your health and fitness goals.