Working Off COVID-19’s COVID-15

Weight gain brought about by pandemic conditions brings health risks
July 23, 2020 Updated: July 23, 2020

There’s no denying that the pandemic has changed how we do virtually everything. Eating habits and how our days are spent have undergone massive overhauls. Unfortunately, these changes might have put health on the back burner.

Being called the “COVID-15,” weight gain resulting from quarantine has the potential to cause further health problems. Weight gain caused by overeating and inactivity can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, high blood sugar, and low-grade inflammation.

Getting a handle on it before it turns into the COVID-20, -30, or more is the best way to protect yourself against added health risks.

One great way to use this strange time to your advantage is learning to cook—even if you already know how. Expanding your knowledge of healthier recipes that incorporate a larger variety of ingredients, spices, and foods can help improve health.

Home-cooked meals can also help you keep track of exactly what you’re eating, too.

Shopping can be a challenge during the pandemic, but shopping healthy is actually quite a bit easier than buying prepared or packaged foods. Fresh produce, meat, and dairy are generally around the perimeter of grocery stores and don’t require any meandering through aisles.

Further, produce stands are usually outdoors, making it a less-risky environment to contract COVID-19 (but keep your mask on).

Increasing physical activity also is a way to combat weight gain. It can improve metabolism, reduce blood pressure and blood sugar levels, and ultimately fight back against disease risk.

A couple of other things to keep in mind are starting small and avoiding fad diets. If it took you three months to put on 15 pounds, expect it to take roughly the same amount of time to lose it. Making small, incremental changes is a more effective strategy than trying to lose it all at once.

When it comes to shedding pounds for good, a slow and steady approach always wins the race.

Under these conditions, it’s essential to take control of the aspects of life you still can. What you eat and how you spend your time are two choices you always have, so think about how you can make them work for the best.

Devon Andre holds a bachelor’s degree in forensic science from the University of Windsor in Canada and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pittsburgh. Andre is a journalist for Bel Marra Health, which first published this article.