Over 50 percent of women and 20 percent of men have gained weight over the last few months. This nationwide pandemic weight gain is being coined the “COVID 15”. Inspired by the “Freshman 15” but many who have gained weight have surpassed 15 pounds. If you are one of the many to rapidly gain weight these tips will help you get your health back on track.
Focus On Your Whole-Body Health
Your recent weight gain isn’t as simple as caloric intake. Yes, you may be consuming a bit more than usual, but there is much more to consider. For example, why are you eating more? Many of us are stress and comfort eating to self-soothe. Stress and anxiety may be keeping you up at night, and even with a balanced diet—low quality sleep can lead to weight gain. You may be more sedentary at home, which can negatively impact your weight, circulation, and mental health. Both loneliness and the anxiety of our ongoing uncertainty can lead to depression, which increases your stress hormone cortisol—which can contribute to inflammation and weight gain.
So, your weight loss plan must include more than diet and exercise, but a whole-body approach to health and wellness.
Once you have identified your areas of opportunity, gradually introduce healthier alternatives into your routine. It typically takes 3 weeks for a new behavior to become a habit, but since your recent unhealthy habits are only a few months old you can introduce one or two healthy changes a week. You can introduce more if you are currently lacking a structured routine.
For example, this week you may purge all the unhealthy snacks from your kitchen and start taking a 20-minute walk a day. Next week you might order a soothing CBD oil tincture and create a dedicated sleep routine. The week after that you might sign up for online talk therapy and start a gratitude journal.
Identify Social Distancing Activities
Maintaining a healthy and active social life is essential for whole-body health. While many of us video chatted and called our loved ones frequently in the first month or so, this has slowed down a bit. So, it’s time to start scheduling in daily chats with your nearest and dearest.
As your region of the country begins to open, search for both solo and group activities to mix things up. This might include heading to a park to hike, social distance dining, taking a long drive, and other activities that you feel safe participating in.
Diet and exercise aren’t going to be enough minimize your pandemic weight gain. Beyond your weight, the tips above will make you feel stronger, healthier, and more balanced.