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5 steps you can take to avoid gaining the 'quarantine 15'

Here’s a few tips to avoid weight gain during isolation.

DENVER — We've been hunkering down in our homes now for weeks.

During this time, you could either fall victim to the quarantine 15 or, you can take this time to empower yourself to make changes you perhaps have been meaning to for years. 

Here’s a few tips to avoid weight gain during isolation.

Keep moving

If you are an avid exerciser, keep it up. If you have not engaged in exercise, now might be a good time to start slow, but START. Walk in your neighborhood, find a free online fitness class, prop your computer during your work day on something high so you can stand, not sit. Just MOVE. Despite the jokes on all the tv binging we can do, the real key to getting out of this with our weight in tact is to get OFF the couch and if possible, outdoors within the confines of your neighborhood.

Incorporate a fasting regimen 

We have all been asked to step up, and make a major change in routine. What a wonderful opportunity we now have to change the way in how we eat. That means, it’s time to start eating as our body prefers – within an 8 – 10-hour time frame. This method is a type of intermittent fasting called time restricted eating (TRE). Time restricted eating has been found in multiple studies to help reduce overall fat mass, curb cravings and hunger, regulate blood sugar, and reduce the risk for several chronic conditions. You can read more about TRE here.  

Watch the alcohol

Not only does excess alcohol contribute excess empty calories (that can translate into extra belly fat at the end of all of this), alcohol also disrupts sleep (sleep deprivation is tied to weight gain by inhibiting normal digestive enzyme activity) and lowers your inhibitions, meaning you’re more likely to grab that candy you hid and binge on it when you are a few glasses or cans in.

Be mindful when eating

It’s hard to see it now, but there are many activities that we are doing that can lead to better health once we all come out of our homes again. One of these activities is the family meal. Whether by choice or by force, families are sitting down again to eat. When we do this, we engage in more mindful eating, which, in turn, slows down our rate of consumption. Other opportunities to slow down eating is to avoid meals and snacks in front of the phone, TV, or newspaper – essentially anything that can distract you with negative and worrisome information. You can also just a take a few breaths and really assess whether you are actually hungry, or simply bored. If you truly are experiencing hunger, eat until you are no longer hungry, not till you’re full.

Move the office

Setting up office in the kitchen may be a recipe for disaster. If possible, make your work setting as reflective as what it was before you had to stay home. Getting away from the food and the view of the fridge can help you with avoiding excess munching.

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