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  • Writer's pictureMackenzie Martin

Avoid Quarantine 15 Without Being an A hole to Yourself

I've seen a lot of post & tweet about weight-gain fear during quarantine, all the memes (that some find hilarious, and others find offensive), and the frantic weight-gain comments that are covered up in sarcasm or cynical self-deprecation—like "due to coronavirus my summer body will be postponed until 2021", etc.

Regardless of however you're feeling in terms of weight gain fear or the pressures of society, I think it's super important to point out that the number you see on the scale right now, should not be the thing that defines your happiness or sense of achievement. Definitely not now, but not ever.

A lot of people default to burying their insecurities by making funny/sarcastic comments about themselves—especially when they're secretly super insecure with their body.

While it can be a form of coping for a lot of people, talking to yourself like saying "Will the producers of My 600-Pound Life just find me or..." isn't healthy. You're depleting yourself of any self-confidence and that will take a toll on your mental health.

So before I get into the mistakes that you may be making that could cause you to gain weight during quarantine, I feel it's super important to establish that there's so many other priorities right now that should be above your weight and that this is a weird, uncertain time where you HAVE to be kind and gentle with yourself, as well as with others.

All that said, your health and the health of your loved ones is crucial right now.

Weight does factor into our health, and those that are at risk of obesity NEED to take it so seriously right now, as that puts you at higher risk for coronavirus.

So, whether you're someone that's more at risk due to being 'overweight' or if you just really don't want to gain weight (because you're still allowed to care about 'trivial' things like such...we are human), here's some of the mistakes you could be making that will cause weight gain while in quarantine, and tips for how to avoid them:


You're becoming a victim of the SNACK ATTACK

This is definitely number 1 on the list because we have so much more idle time at home and is there really anyone out there who’s never ate out of boredom? And it’s not to say that all snacking is bad…there’s plenty of healthy snack options, but it’s not unlikely for most people to reach for the not-so-healthy options that are highly processed and full of sugar and salt. And if that’s becoming a common theme, switch up your snacking habits to avoid the ‘quarantine 15’. Try to limit your snacking to 2-3 snacks a day at most, and when you do snack, whole, real foods are always superior and will nourish you & satisfy much more than processed junk food will. Try an apple with cinnamon, maybe some almond butter or PB Fit to go along with it. Or veggie sticks with humus or guacamole. Or check out these healthy snack recipes that will totally satisfy you!

Overdoing the delivery

I think it’s great that so many areas are encouraging their residents to continue supporting their favorite local restaurants, but keep in mind that the chefs cooking the food that’s being delivered to you don’t have your waistline’s best interest in mind. More often than not restaurant food is full of unnecessary oils, fats, butter, salt, sugar, etc. so it tastes good *unnecessary because you CAN make food taste amazing without those ingredients* and the portion sizes are much greater than what one should truly be eating in one sitting. So, continue to support your favorite spots…I’m all for that! But be mindful of WHAT you’re ordering, HOW you’re ordering it (make little tweaks like no butter, dressing on the side, easy on the oil, etc.), and HOW MUCH of it you’re eating.

Booze overload

The liquor industry is booming right now…which is kind of hilarious in a way, but if you’re a contributor to that, you definitely want to monitor your consumption. If you’re binge drinking pretty regularly or having virtual happy hours consistently, that’s gonna have an effect not only on your weight, but your health in general. It effects your sleep cycles, your energy levels, your food choices (because who doesn’t love greasy drunk snacks), etc. Again, think in terms of moderation, and enjoy it when you do have it, but just be mindful of how much and WHAT you choose for your adult drink of choice. Go for a liquor like vodka or tequila with sparkling water or club soda and lime instead of a cocktail full of simple syrup, soda, and/or sour mix.

Eating too much 'comfort carbs'

First, let’s be clear that complex carbs are NOT THE ENEMY. Complex carbs are great, especially for the very active folk. HOWEVER, if you’re over consuming foods like pasta or bread *even if they’re whole wheat or whole grain*, and you’re not super active, those carbs can quickly catch up with you and how your pants are fittin. You can totally enjoy your favorite pasta or bread, but just like everything else…in m o d e r a t i o n.

If this is a common struggle for you, try having a cut off time on your carbs. For example, make a rule of “no heavy carbs after 2pm” (I’d recommend that because during the day is when our body is most active, so you’ll be able to burn more of the carbs off), but if you enjoy your pasta dinners, for example, make a rule where you limit carb-focused dinners to only once or twice a week. It’s totally doable, you just have to push the excuses aside and be clear on what’s important to you.

Over-isolating yourself

Humans need connection & interaction with other humans. I worry so much about people I know that live alone and I make sure to check in on them regularly to make sure they’re holding up okay and not just sitting inside alone all the time. Being isolated by yourself can 1000% lead to depression if you’re not mindful about making efforts to connect with others. And to bring this back to the ‘quarantine 15’ theme, your mental health will affect your physical health and well-being. So connect with others via FaceTime, Zoom, phone calls, social media, etc. I highly recommend using a platform, like FaceTime or Zoom to connect with people and actually SEE them, it truly does help you feel more normal and like you’re actually hanging out with them.

Disregarding your routine

Life is just weird right now. Whether you’re working from home, or aren’t currently working, try to stick to your normal routine as much as possible. Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day so you get adequate sleep…because we know sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy weight & a healthy mind. If you’ve always been a morning exerciser, stick to that and do at-home workouts or go outside for a jog, etc. OR, on the flip side, if your normal routine isn’t working for you anymore, switch it up! But whatever you make your new routine—be consistent with it! Maybe you now wake up at 8:00am instead of 6:00am and you workout at 2:00pm instead of 6:30am…you get the point.

Letting lockdown be an excuse to be lazy

If you're hanging out on the couch watching Netflix everyday, turn that sh*t off & go do something! If it’s nice out, go for a walk or a jog *just take all precautions & make sure you’re practicing social distancing, of course*, or do some bodyweight exercises like planks, burpees, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc. every so often to get yourself moving. And if you’re sitting for hours at a time because you’re working on your laptop…try standing for part of that time. For example, this is what I’ve been doing…I’ll put my laptop up on my kitchen island countertop, and I’ll stand while I’m typing or whatever it is that I’m doing on my laptop. I’ve even put a booty band on above my knees and did leg lifts while working. Might sound psychotic, but it’s all about getting creative and actually putting in the effort to not let yourself get lazy. Plus, we like efficiency.

Just remember to be kind to yourself and not to obsess over your weight. That’s such a toxic relationship, and that’s the last thing anyone needs right now. What’s most important is our health and the health of our friends, family, neighbors, etc.

Eating healthy and staying active is a great way to take care of our health, but once in a while, so is a doughnut or fresh chocolate chip cookies out of the oven. Sometimes we need that too, and that makes us happy AF, and that’s OKAY. Just like a whole rest day full of Netflix & chill is good for the soul too every once in a while.

Be realistic with yourself, but be gentle, too.

Sending you ALL the love

xo Mackenzie.

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