With the current lockdown caused by the pandemic “COVID-19,” you might have heard of the common phrase “The quarantine 15” which is popping up on most social media platforms. Yea, it simply means “15 pounds of unwanted weight,” but you don’t have to worry! You can actually stay healthy and learn how to prevent weight gain while stuck at home.
No doubt you may not be burning as many calories as you would if you were moving about your daily work. But you can avoid the unintentional weight gain during this COVID-19 lockdown.
Dieticians and health experts advise that it is about making conscious efforts to make smart choices in the kitchen and at grocery stores, as well as get regular exercise.
Useful Tips on How to Prevent Weight Gain When Stuck at Home
Never say weight gain is inevitable during this lockdown period. You only need to decide and be determined to stick to the tips listed below and you will never suffer from the “Quarantine 15.”
Maintain your Routine
During this period, you may find it easy to binge-watch Netflix and sleep very late. You may even lounge around in pajamas and be tempted to try out different junk foods.
But experts say it is important to maintain a similar routine to the one you had before the outbreak of the COVID-19.
You may not need to rush to the office or drop your kids off at school, but you can set your alarm to follow the regular morning routine.
There is a need to watch your meal and schedule what you’re going to eat. If you’re used to waking up by 6:30 am, eating breakfast by 7 am, and waiting until 12 noon to have your next meal, you need to stick to that same schedule.
Otherwise, you stand the risk of weight gain when you eat indiscriminately during this lockdown period.
Avoid mindless snacking
Yeah, it can be tough keeping snacks away while being stuck inside. But think about your personal goals to maintain weight, and ask yourself before stepping towards the fridge “Am I really hungry or just bored?”
If you’re not hungry, it is best to just look away from the fridge. But if you’re truly hungry, here are some guidelines to help you prevent weight gain while snacking:
- Make sure the snack contains less than or equal to 150 calories.
- Keep the sugar content less than 6 grams
- Ensure there is at least 5 grams or more of protein and fiber combined.
Also, note the following:
- Avoid eating the chips, nuts, or popcorns from the bag. Doing this will make it hard to monitor portion control. So, ensure you portion out your serving and keep the remaining away.
- Stay away from your computer or TV while taking snacks to ensure you’re not distracted while eating.
Plan out your meal to prevent weight gain
You can try writing down meals for the day the moment you wake or the night before. This planning helps you have some directions. And if you’re going to make grocery store trips, having a list of what you need helps you save time.
However, make sure you only healthy ingredients you need and avoid going to the store hungry.
Avoid liquid calories
You need to avoid liquid calories like juice, pop, and energy drinks during this “Quarantine 15” period to prevent weight gain. Aim to drink beverages containing only 0-5 calories. However, it is healthy to stick to water, sugar-free drinks, and diet drinks. You can try milk, but ensure it is 1% or the skim milk option.
Exercise, Exercise, Exercise!
You need to stay active to prevent weight gain when stuck at home. You can be creative and try workout videos on YouTube. An exercise app is also useful, or you can try dancing or some cool music to keep you going.
If you live in an environment that restricts movement completely, you can try exercise equipment in your home. But if it’s safe to be out, you can take a walk or run outside.
However, plan the number of times you want to stay active per day and remember this is a good time to meet those fitness goals you’ve been too busy to meet.
More so, exercise helps to reduce stress, which works to promote better sleep. This keeps your emotions balanced and makes it easier for you to cut down on mindless eating.
Be creative with healthy foods
To prevent weight gain when stuck at home, you need to eat a balanced diet including vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and grains. However, access to food can be limited during this period. But here are some healthy food ideas you can try:
- Low sodium beans
- Canned chicken or tuna
- Light string cheese
- Low-fat mayonnaise
- Canned or frozen vegetables/fruits
- Turkey/chicken lunchmeat
- Greek or light yogurt
- Light string cheese
You don’t have to belong to the “Quarantine 15” category during this lockdown period. It is very much possible to prevent weight gain when stuck at home. Just decide to stay fit and healthy and follow the tips outlined above. You will look at yourself at the end of this era and thank yourself. Say no to “Quarantine 15”!