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fighting off quarantine 15

Fighting off Quarantine 15

You’ve surely received the memes on Quarantine 15, which is the weight some are expecting to gain during the COVID-19 pandemic, from fear that self-isolation will be harmful to an active lifestyle since gyms and leisure centers are closed. However, that shouldn’t be the case, with several types of home workouts being available. It is important to know that the body isn’t made or broken in a few weeks or a few months. So just like building muscle takes years and years, atrophy in muscle isn’t going to happen overnight. In fact, your body may welcome the change of speed and the change of stimulus.

How to avoid overeating when working from home?
A major problem with self-isolation at home is the access to food at all times. Maintaining a healthy diet is essential to fighting off the Quarantine 15. It is fine to stock up on chips and frozen pizza, known as comfort foods, but moderation is key when trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle and why not switching to some healthy comfort foods.

Tips to maintain a healthy relationship with food
It is difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with food at a time when there is limited access for fun and higher levels of stress. Here are some tips to follow:
– Connect with friends and family; you might be sharing photos of your meals, it’s a way to practice photography and exchange practical tips.
– Continue to celebrate milestones like birthdays and anniversaries with food. This could engage sharing photos of cake for people who can’t connect in person.
– Aim to wake up at set times and go to sleep at certain times. Organization is very important as a way of boosting wellbeing.
– Manage your triggers and try to find alternatives to emotional eating.

Alternatives to emotional eating
Finding alternatives to emotional eating involves writing down:

  •       Five people you can call when you feel down (ex. a friend)
  •       Five ways you can relax (ex. take a bath)
  •       Five places you can go to calm down (ex. to a cosy corner)
  •       Five things you can say to yourself (ex. “this sensation will pass”) 
  •       Five activities you can use for entertainment (ex. start a puzzle)

How to stay active while being at home?
Whether you’re exercising or not, if you’re being rational about your intake of calories, you’re not going to put on many amounts of weight. As a plus, you can still exercise by doing bodyweight training programs, you can look at virtual options, go online and there are a million options on YouTube. You can preserve your body fitness by body-weight exercise or light dumbbell work and just by keeping your stress low and managing your nutrition. You don’t need to be going hard every day. Physical activity helps ease quarantine stress at the best of times and when it is taken away in the form of facility closures, it may only add to nervousness.

Finally, don’t worry about losing or gaining at this point because why add extra stress to yourself? Just moderation of all foods, aim to focus on maintaining your fitness and your body weight and not worry so much about losing or gaining, just living in maintenance for a while.

Christelle Bedrossian
Dietitian-Nutritionist
Beirut, Lebanon

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Dietitian Christelle Bedrossian

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