Move over, Freshman 15.
The Quarantine 15 has likely started to creep on the minds of people social distancing during the coronavirus crisis. Sitting around all day likely has you bored with stress levels rising to new heights.
With stress usually comes calories. Research has shown that when you’re stressed, some outlets to gain control come through consuming comfort foods, which has people turning to carbohydrates and other fatty foods during times of need. Even for those seeking refuge by bingeing every show on streaming services, you’d be surprised to know that those show marathons can have a negative impact on your health by way of creating more stress.
How do we measure what we eat during this tough time? Careers website Zippia created the Quarantine 15 calculator which predicts how much weight you will gain working from home and social distancing. The quiz asks participants to predict the number of days they expect to be quarantined, with supplement questions compiling data on exercise, snacking, and drinking.
If you’re worried about your weight during the COVID-19 pandemic, there are ways to control it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention encourages exercise regularly during the outbreak, whether that’s through in-home workouts from fitness experts or running around the neighborhood (but be sure to avoid crowds).
Dr. Bryan E. Robinson wrote a column for Psychology Today outlining the steps to take to avoid the Quarantine 15. He said the keys are to eat nutritious foods, which means avoid drinking sugary drinks and greasy comfort foods for healthier options. His second piece of advice was portioning meals, so be sure to set up smaller plates instead of grabbing a bag of chips and consuming it in one sitting.
Mindful eating also can be helpful, according to Robinson. Instead of eating on the run or in front of a TV, sit down and eat slowly to appreciate what you’re eating.
Surrounding yourself with better options is also another recommendation. Rid yourself of the cabinets full of chips and the freezer stocked with ice cream. Find healthier options for you and your family.
Robinson also advised changing your routine and to exercise self-care.