How to prevent weight gain during Covid19 Circuit Breaker
It is an unusual and disruptive event that the world is going through and experiencing unprecedented changes of our lifestyle due to the Coronavirus AKA Covid19 pandemic.
Inevitably, most of us are confined to our home during the pandemic, it is no surprise that in this lockdown period we have the tendency to pile up our refrigerator with more food than the usual time. And since most eatery and restaurant are not open for dinning in, Grab food are conveniently delivered right to your comfort home, all these accessibility to our daily meal maybe overwhelmed and detrimental to our balance diet hence, increases our chances of gaining excessive weight.
Majority of the work force now are working out from home therefore, our daily routine commuting to work practically come to a stand-still. As a result we have lesser number of physical movements and traveling and we ended up with sitting more at home be it working or watching our favorite Netflix movies.
Most of our exercise regime like cross training, yoga, dance class and gym work out has abruptly disrupted and lower the frequency of our physical activities hence, increases the risks of excessive weight gain.
It is a difficult and challenging time on both of our physical and emotional wellness during the covid 19 and the adversity on our health is far greater than combating the pandemic virus.
Here are some simple tips and suggestions to manage our weight during the pandemic
- Buy lesser groceries than you need: To begin with the shopping of your groceries it is importance to understand what you need instead of buying more than you need. Consider the quality than quantity, rather than to stock up more than the usual amount of food we need for days, we ended up compromising on the quality and ended buying more than we can consume fresh produce. Plan simple easy cooked meal rather than to try cooking delicacy meal, which most of us ended up stocking left over groceries. Eg: Green Salad can be a simple yet nutritional healthy meal with grill salmon. Fresh Chicken ginseng soup cook in electrical slow pot is not too much a trouble to prepare for a meal. Try not to buy snack or canned food which are of poor nutrition, such processed food basically are high in sodium and preservative that have high risk of health adversity and snacking is a big attribution to weight gain. When you buy lesser groceries than you need, this give you a valid good reason to be physically active to move when your food shelves run low.
- Movement: In a confined space during the covid19 lockdown where most of us are seated in front of the laptop working, zoom meeting, socializing or gaming there are almost no physical movement. It is definitely impossible to make that 10,000 steps at home nevertheless, we should not restrict altogether our repetitive movement within our space, ideally incorporate a simple movement exercise like sit and stand every 30mins in between the time while at work. Maintain certain flexibility on your joints by stretching your neck, shoulder, lower back and knee squatting for about 10mins . Getting up from your stagnant position from time to time for a cup of tea, coffee or water in between. Perhaps spread out your house chores simply in between the work hours like vacuuming the floor, mopping, laundry etc; Using a fitness device like fitbit to keep count on your calories burn throughout the day and keeping track of your steps of the day. Some simple static exercises like push up, sit up and squatting increases the calories uptake.
- Quality Sleep: To many this maybe an extra time for more computer gaming, Netflix movies or drama for most of us, it is also a time where you deprive quality sleep if extensive time are spend on it. Poor quality or excessive sleep during this lockdown period increased the risk of weight gain and other health risks like diabetes II, it stimulated various hormone in the body craving for more food which spiked sugar in the blood.
- Simply lesser sleep = lesser energy, inadequate of sleep <7 hours are likely to gain weight. Reasons being not having enough sleep require more energy to stay up, resulted consuming more than enough food to sustain the energy to stay awake thus, weight gain.
- Researchers found that lack of sleep trigger two hunger hormones ghrelin and leptin. Studies have shown that when we have lesser sleep our body releases more ghrelin which increases your appetite and leptin releases from our fat cell suppresses the signal fullness to your brain, resulted in over eating.
- Sleep deprivation also releases more cortisol hormone which is a stress hormone that will increases appetitie.
- During sleep our muscle burn more calories, poor sleep leads to less calories burn and loss of muscle mass which resulted in lowering our body metabolism.
Most people find it a struggle to exercise when we do not have enough sleep reason simply is because of the lower body metabolism that is the ultimate trigger factor for releasing energy. Having adequate and quality sleep is the reverse of all the above weight gain and lower the risks of other health diseases.
- Exercise: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends every individual to at least exercise 150 to 180 mins per week to maintain our fitness health. During this pandemic we certainly have the luxury of time if we have good quality sleep and waking up early for exercise out in the park. Obesity individual requires 250 to 300 mins of exercise per week with at least one high intensity exercise of 45 to 60 mins of cardio respiratory exercise. My recommendation is to maintain at least 3 – 5 days outdoor exercise for 30 to 45 mins and indoor(home gym) for another 30 to 45 mins to increase calories burn.
Basically, we can simply light jog for 8mins and walk for 2 mins repeating 3 sessions to clock 30mins daily(for non runners). Or same jog and walk exercise for a block of 60 mins in a block of 6 sessions. Continue with indoor various type of exercises like light weight, circuit training, yoga, cross fit etc; to enhance body strengthening and maintain a balance conditioned muscle mass.