In the world today, health is fast becoming everyone’s top priority. We know that having an unbalanced diet and making poor food choices affect our overall health. The foods we put in our bodies directly impact how we feel, our weight, and our risk of developing chronic disease.
Is making healthy changes to your current diet and losing a moderate amount of weight one of your top priorities?
There are many reasons why we put on weight, and many are directly connected to this period of quarantine. And because there is more than just one cause, there needs to be more than one solution, or a wholistic solution, applied to your problem of the “quarantine 15”.
Really, more than one cause? Well let’s explore what I see as the different causes of weight gain:
Boredom often leads to binge eating. Boredom is a discrete emotion that associates with feeling dissatisfied, restless, and unchallenged because things seem purposeless. When we get bored, we give little attention to situations around us, and nothing seems to catch our interest. We really feel boredom when we lack a purpose. In this state of boredom, eating gives us a purpose with a sense of satisfaction, even though the satisfaction is very short-lived. Binge eating is defined as eating big quantities of food every couple of hours. Stopping the boredom by re-establishing a sense of purpose in Life is key! But how? Dr. Emma helps you with getting your mindset straight.
Constant access to food. When there is unlimited access to food, there are unlimited opportunities to gain weight. Diet and overeating of course are key factors in weight gain. Frustratingly, it’s much easier to gain weight than it is to lose weight. As with anything related to the body, the amount of food we need to eat before it ends up as body weight depends on the individual’s metabolism. Our body is constantly working and using energy to complete tasks automatically without thinking, such as breathing, digesting, moving… Be conscious of the foods that you have in your house because those are the foods that you will end up eating.
Weight gain happens when the calorie intake goes up and calorie burning goes down.
Lack of activity. A quarantine really forces it upon you. There is also evidence to support the notion that individuals who are less physically active are more likely to gain weight over time than those who exercise between 2 1/2 and 5 hours/week. But even before we walked less to and from work or even around work when we are there. With our regular activities, we would take our cars everywhere. And now it is harder because we don’t have access to our gym or just limited access to our favorite outdoor spots. Exercise prevents and even reverses the effects of certain diseases, and it can lower blood pressure and cholesterol to decrease the likelihood of a heart attack. Exercise can also increase metabolism (the number of calories burned in a day) and help maintain and increase lean body mass.
Increased alcohol intake. Alcohol-related weight gain targets all age groups. Alcohol causes weight gain by giving you surplus calories, promoting appetite, increasing impulsivity, and redistributing fat. And we all know how easy the pounds go on when we sit around a lot and drinking alcohol is a part.
Fear – fight-flight-freeze mechanism. In this period of heightened stress, our already stressed out system will create even more inflammation, store more fat, and affect our metabolism. It is like you were hibernating. The major reason has to do with cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. When we’re under stress, the fight or flight response is triggered in our bodies, leading to an over-reactive immune system, a resistance to insulin (the hormone that gets glucose from the blood into the cells) that can lead to diabetes and weight gain.
You can be part of the problem or part of the solution, It’s your choice.
We can work on the weight you gained during this quarantine or on the health goals you always had but never fully committed to. There has never been a better time to chose health, a strong immune system, and losing weight to be fit at the San Clemente Vitality Center.