Life during the COVID-19 lockdown has become a point of concern because the coronavirus has disrupted life’s pattern as we know it. This has resulted in people gaining more weight than ever. The lockdown is making people obese.
A lot of people have tried to work out indoors in the comfort of their homes. However, some restaurants have been working in limited function and delivering comfort food to homes. It’s not a bad thing to eat, and it is important to eat.
Overeating and overeating junk food is a sign of concern and not a good thing to do. Let us read what researchers have to say.
What have researchers determined?
Researchers believe that it’s premature to state that the weight gain issue is widespread. With people staying indoors, it is known that they are consuming more processed foods with less exercise and more rest. It is concerning and that an entertainment binge also results in more comfort food eaten.
Coupling that with anxiety and a deadly pandemic, there comes an ideal situation for weight gain. Dr. William Dietz, chair of the Sumner M. Redstone Global Center for Prevention and Wellness at the George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health explains that lockdown induced weight gain is more concerning because of mental strain induced by the lockdown itself.
In the outcome of a poll conducted among numerous Americans, almost half of females and a quarter of males stated that they had gained weight in the lockdown and quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are doing their best to control their weight.
Also, a separate poll conducted among numerous international readers (from Europe, Asia, Oceania, Africa, and Latin America) found out that more than half of men and around a third of women have exhibited weight gain.
Similar polls were also conducted by students from a renowned Caribbean university medical school among residents of Caribbean island nations. Both men and women in the Caribbean had gained weight. Despite low cases of the virus being reported among the population, strict measures are still in place.
In the previous 30 days, more than half a million Facebook users engaged with posts surrounding quarantine weight gain, including #quarantineweightgain and Quarantine 15. Some find it humorous, but others find it concerning.
Those who have already struggled with obesity are finding the pandemic induced lockdown challenging. A lot of patients admitted to healthcare institutions due to obesity and related issues are having BMI above 35 with a lot of them quite young and from low-income backgrounds.
Can people regain control over their eating habits during the lockdown?
No one is sure when the lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic will end but some countries (like the USA and Canada have reopened). If this is becoming the new normal, then people will be looking to rebuild their previous healthy habits. Here are some things people can do to control their eating habits in the lockdown:
Changing their narrative
People should look at the lockdown as a way of losing weight instead of a binge eating time. No one has any reason to throw their arms up and give up on being healthy. This is the time to do consistent home workouts and develop a good exercise regimen.
They should also be spending less time in the kitchen. Keeping track of what and when to eat is imperative and they need to normalize this as well.
Creating easy meals
The lockdown does not seem to end, and it is quite exhaustive. The days are long, and everyone craves pizza, fries, burgers, and steaks. Creating easy home-made meals is no longer a problem.
A pot of whole-grain pasta with a home-made gravy or good-quality jarred sauce is easy to make and easy to bring to the table. Similarly, homemade beef, chicken or fish cakes mixed with veggies is easy, shepherd’s pie, vegetable pie, roasted vegetable medley, a wholesome veggie casserole, meatloaf with veggies, lentils soup with veggies and the like are scrumptious, tasty, healthy and weight friendly.
Smart shopping is a must
Buying inexpensive staples and edibles like veggies, canned peas, canned tomatoes, whole grains, organic cornmeal, raw meat, fruits, and spices help make good snacks, breakfast, and lunch. People shouldn’t forget the bread, cheese, milk, eggs, and other dairy & poultry stuff.
Planning meals for days ahead is a smart move. This will help prevent comfort food craving and will help induce healthy eating habits too.