Why “The COVID-19” weight gain and what to do about it?
COVID 19 Weight Loss. What a roller coaster COVID-19 has been so far: Social-Distancing, Cloth and Medical Face Masks, N-95 shortages, everyone dreaming of Toilet Paper and Sanitizers, Furloughing and Layoffs, PPE, distance learning, fear, prayer, Easter over TV and more home and solitude or family time than we ever could have imagined (for better, for worse).
The Freshman 15 is now The COVID 19
I’m not sure about you but this is more than most of us bargained for. I cannot tell you the number of friends I’ve Zoomed with or have heard on Facebook saying they are going to need a serious COVID 19 Weight Loss plan when this is all over with. Instead of gaining the “Freshman 15” as many do when they go to college, many have gained many pounds, perhaps which will be called the “COVID 19.” Even reputable health organizations, like the American Heart Association, are recognizing the challenge of gaining weight during this isolating time. You can find an article they’ve submitted here.
Gaining 5 to 20 pounds in a short amount of time can be challenging and even daunting to reverse. Imagine doing nothing between now and June 23rd, that’s two months from today. That’s around 60 days of either moving more and eating health-fully or 60 days moving away from your eventual goal of losing weight and getting healthier.
The 60 Day Difference – Covid 19 Weight Loss is Possible
60 days? So what? Why start now instead of later?
Let’s do some elementary math:
1-12oz beer + 3oz pretzels + modest dessert (1 brownie) = 700 calories and 38g fat
If you have this combo 5 of 7 nights, that’s an extra 3500 calories PER WEEK. It only takes an excess of 3500 calories to gain 1 pound. So in the next 8 weeks, you could gain 8 pounds simply by adding in that extra beer, salty and sugary treat each day.
Stop the COVID 19 Weight Gain Trend NOW!
Now is the best time to stop this trend.
It’s a great time to focus on what you can control and to set small goals that will help you move forward instead of backwards. But HOW? Here are a few strategies to help you move in a positive direction. If you find these aren’t enough, or maybe that you feel you would do better with some 1-on-1 accountability and guidance, I’d like to ask you to consider hiring me to help you. I have worked virtually with clients for over a decade.
Stop the Gain & COVID 19 Weight Loss Strategies
1. Stress Reduction
Our worlds have been turned upside down and there is no consistency or normalcy about our lives right now. Not only that but jobs are being lost and salaries reduced and kids are home – this leads to high levels of stress. Instead of turning to food and alcohol for coping, consider meditation, prayer, exercise, deep breathing and even something simple like coloring. Apps like Calm and Headspace are wonderful for guided relaxation and meditation.
2. Meal Planning
Grocery store trips are few and far in between. Meal planning ahead can make all the difference. Sit down and write down what meals you will prepare for dinner. Do you like leftovers for lunch? If so plan on making extra dinner so lunch is done the next day. When planning a meal, write down what the protein and the vegetable will be – this is a great starting point. From there if you need to fill in recipe ingredients do so. Remember that fried, cheesy, creamy and buttery meals are much higher in calories than those that are baked, steamed or grilled. If you need help organizing your thoughts and identifying which of your “go to” meals are great fits for your weight loss goals, reach out to me and we can set up a session to help you make a few modifications to what you already love to eat/drink so you can plan and even see weight losses!
3. Move More – Exercise
Who can help you move more? Ask others to hold you accountable and to help you build a new habit of exercise. Movement helps you burn calories, but more importantly reduces stress levels and releases endorphins!
Many races are beginning to reschedule for mid-late August. Look for a 5K or a bike ride you can train for! Strava & Garmin connect have some challenges and you can win gift cards and discounts through participation. Peloton offers a free 90-day trial right now and has “in your ear” coached runs, strength, yoga, and bike online led classes.
Small Bouts of Exercise
When you are getting started with moving, know that science tells us that small bouts of exercise are useful and meaningful in our journey towards health and weight loss. What does this mean? It means taking three 10 minute walks is just as good as taking one 30 minute one! Yipee!
5. Triggered Exercise
Small changes can lead to big results. What if you chose one or two “triggers” that happen daily and followed those triggers with a positive exercise. For example, each time you go to the bathroom, after you wash your hands for 20 seconds, do 5 pushups or 5 squats or 5 jumping jacks. Perhaps each time you answer the phone, go fill your water glass up again. When you go out to pick up the mail each day, tack on a 10 minute walk. Try to find everyday, consistent actions that you “always do” and then pair them with exercise!
6. Track Your Food – Write It Down
Increase your awareness and record what you eat and drink before you consume it to accelerate COVID 19 weight loss. Knowledge is power in this case and when you know before you chew, you have choice. Consider MyFitnessPal or MyNetDiary as two of the top tracking tools.
There are so so many behavior shifts we can make during this time that can be helpful instead of detrimental. I hope this blog gives you a few ideas and encourage you to team up with a fitness and nutrition coach, such as myself. To contact me, send me an email at email@example.com.