Ways to stay healthy during quarantine

Ways to stay healthy during quarantine

Healthline

Heather Chow, Staff Writer

During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, one may gain weight while stuck at home, seeing as most gyms and training facilities are still closed. We are all living in a tough and challenging time right now and some may be experiencing stress, with loneliness, depression, anxiety and lack of exercise being some of the causes of quarantine weight gain. While gaining weight does not determine someone’s health or worth, if one wants to begin a weight loss journey, here is some information as to why someone gains weight and ways you can lose it.   

 

Weight Gain by Cortisol

 

Gaining weight from stress is caused by a hormone that is released throughout the body called cortisol. 

 

“Cortisol has many actions in the body, and one ultimate goal of cortisol secretion is the provision of energy for the body,” Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD said on MedicineNet’s website. “Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, in addition to stimulating insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels.” 

 

If you have too much cortisol in your body, you could potentially become overweight. One of the main triggers of cortisol is from sugar as the stress hormone increases with more sugar being prominent in one’s bloodstream.

 

Weight Gain by Loneliness

 

Loneliness can cause boredom or sadness because of lockdown. When being isolated in quarantine, some people may overeat. 

 

According to the Art and Healing website, “Moreover, loneliness may not just cause individuals to eat too much, but to eat foods known to cause weight gain and obesity: a different 2014 study indicated that loneliness and social isolation leads to increased levels of sugar intake.” 

 

People may eat too much junk food if they’re isolated for a long time. Too much junk food will cause obesity. If you don’t use the energy from the food you eat, the extra calories will get stored into your fat that could cause you to get overweight or obese. 

 

Some causes of gaining weight from unhealthy eating habits are eating too much junk food, drinking too much alcohol, eating out too much, eating larger portions than you needed to, drinking too many sugary drinks and comfort eating. When one lacks physical activity every day during the pandemic, one will gain weight and may get obese.

 

Some tips that can make you lose weight during lockdown are staying hydrated, eating a lot of healthy foods, like fruits and vegetables, cooking at home and sticking to your daily routine.

 

Weight Loss by Staying Hydrated

 

To stay hydrated, you have to drink plenty of water. Do not drink anything with added sugar or anything that lacks vitamins and minerals which are important, for example, sodas, sweet teas and sports drinks. They could increase your risk of quarantine weight gain and raising your calories. Water is the best, it’s good for you. Water decreases your risk of gaining weight. Water can tell you whether you need to eat more.

 

Weight Loss by Diet Changes

 

As for groceries, it is recommended to buy fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean meats. Avoid eating junk foods like chips, cakes and cookies. Fruits and vegetables are healthy because they have a lot of vitamins and minerals, folate, vitamin C and potassium. Try to eat at least five fruits and veggies each day. They can increase weight loss and reduce diseases like heart disease and cancer. Even if fruits and veggies are healthy foods, do not fry them in oil, because too much oil is unhealthy. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the best!

 

You can plan your meal like using a salad plate instead of a dinner plate if you want to eat less. Proteins are filling and should be eaten first. Too many carbohydrates may cause blood sugar swings. Try taking advantage of cooking during quarantine because it allows for the sampling of new foods.  

 

“A large study in 11,396 people associated eating home-cooked meals more often with better overall diet quality.” Rachel Link, MS said in Healthline’s website. “What’s more, those who ate more than 5 home-cooked meals per week were 28% less likely to have excess weight and 24% less likely to have excess body fat, compared with those who ate home-cooked meals fewer than 3 times per week.”

 

Weight Loss by Exercising

 

One could get some regular exercise by hiking or taking an online workout class instead of going to a gym or an exercise program since most gyms are closed due to COVID-19. However, some gyms are reopening with modifications, like making masks and social distancing mandatory while going inside. One could also take a jog around their neighborhood. 

 

So the Big Takeaway?

 

Whether one is stuck at home or not, there are ways to stay healthy and lose weight when isolated at home. These are very difficult and uncertain times, due to the pandemic, however, favorite places will reopen soon enough. 

 

Stay safe and healthy!