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Did You Gain the Quarantine 15? Here's What To Do!

by Amiee Aristotelous on June 18, 2020

There is a common and not surprising theme that I have been coming across with my nutrition consultations (you can book yours here--it’s free!). I would estimate that 95 percent of all of my clients are saying they have gained the dreaded “quarantine 15” or even more. Being cooped up inside has been tough on all of us and speaking for myself, I have also succumb to the “food as a hobby” form of relief. If you have been eating more due to stress or just plain boredom, you’re not alone, and I have some tips to get rid of the new unwanted weight.

Assess the situation.

I gained eight pounds in one week during the quarantine--yes, eight pounds! Once I asked myself ‘how’ and ‘why’, it was pretty simple to conclude that I was eating out of boredom and since I’m a food photo taker, a quick swipe through my phone reminded me that my sudden weight gain wasn’t a total mystery. Taking an honest look at a situation really helps to find solutions in order to remedy the problem. Try estimating how many calories you were taking in on a daily basis (during the weight gain period) so you can get an idea of how much is too much. Simply subtract 500 calories from that daily caloric average and you’ll steadily lose one pound per week.

Have your last hoorah!

Your kitchen may have some unlikely (and unhealthy) staples these days as many of us have been stockpiling some treats for a rainy or boring day. Now, if you have had enough and today is the day, get rid of them--give them to a friend or family member or if packaged, donate to a food bank. Or if you don’t want to give away food that obviously cost money, finish them up and don’t buy anymore--your nutrition plan can start next week when they’re out of the house.

Get your carbs sorted out.

Oh the carb controversy--so many sources have conflicting information and theories so what are we to do? I am a firm believer that the wrong types of carbohydrates and too many of them will most certainly lead to weight gain. It’s proven nutrition science that sugar turns in to fat if not burned and carbohydrates are part of this equation. Some carbohydrates are high-glycemic meaning they turn into sugar and some are far more lower-glycemic meaning less amounts of sugar are released into the blood stream and at slower rates. For effective weight loss, I advise that bread, pasta, cereals, potatoes, and rice need to be limited to one serving per day. Get your carbohydrates from lower-glycemic sources such as green vegetables, low-sugar fruits, some varieties of nuts, quinoa, and Greek yogurt. You’ll still get carbs for energy but the amount won’t be as excessive.

Ditch the sugary beverages.

Sodas and juices can be the culprit of all culprits when it comes to weight gain because it can be easy to ignore calories and sugars via drinks as it’s common to only recognize calories coming in from solid foods. I have some nutrition clients who speak about success with kicking a soda habit and I always ask them how they did it since it can be so difficult. The general consensus is they just had enough and they were ready to quit, and genuinely wanted to. Of course they used some tricks along the way such as choosing zero-sugar carbonated waters with flavor, or drinking coffee with cream for the caffeine. It’s easier said than done but making water and other non-sugary beverages your primary beverages will do wonders for weight loss and overall health.

Eat some fat.

This sounds counter-intuitive but yes, eat some fat to lose some fat! That is, healthy fats of course. Healthy fats have been proven to aid with weight loss, diabetes, and cholesterol improvements. They help to keep you satiated while stabilizing blood sugar levels. Examples of my most recommended healthy fats are avocado, extra-virgin olive oil, olives, nuts, seeds, wild salmon, grass-fed beef, and plain Greek yogurt.

The five above recommendations are some of my most popular tips I give to my nutrition clients, and I hope they have given you some insight. If you’re like many others, you may be unsure what to do with tidbits of nutrition information in terms of putting them together into a real-life eating plan. If you want the guesswork taken out and have a nutrition plan laid out for you from start to finish so you know exactly what to eat everyday to lose weight, check out our meal plans here!

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