There are many wonderful benefits of spending more time at home: not having to commute to work, spending more time with loved ones and even saving money.
But the downside for many of us is putting on extra weight due to new stay-at-home habits we’ve developed over the past year. Here are some of the reasons staying at home led to additional pounds as well as what you can do to take them off. View slideshow.
Losing your pre-COVID schedule
Pre-COVID, most people had a daily routine. But the pandemic changed everything. People no longer needed to get up early to commute to work, gyms were closed and many found their eating habits changed. Routine was taken away and it ended up leading to less healthy decisions.
Moving less throughout the day
When working from home, people end up spending more time sitting in front of a computer and less time moving throughout the day. Coupled with gyms being closed or restricted, many people became more sedentary. Even when the gyms reopened, many people chose not to return. For some, it was out of fear or safety concerns. For others, it was less convenient because closed locker rooms meant they were no longer able to work out and go directly to work.
Eating different types of food
At the start of the pandemic, many of us were uncertain about what would happen, leading us to stock our pantries with less healthy, processed comfort foods that have a longer shelf life. In some cases, it wasn’t by choice – with grocery stores out of many items, people had to buy what they could find even if it wasn’t their usual healthy fare.
Comfort eating and mindless snacking
In times of uncertainty, many of us turn to food for comfort. For many of us that meant baking – bread, cookies and cakes. It was a way to pass the time and made people feel good, temporarily. But it wasn’t just comfort eating. For many, their work-from-home space was in or near their kitchen. Increased access to food led to more snacking throughout the day.
Drinking more alcohol
Everyone wanted to feel better or have a sense of normalcy during the pandemic, which led people to increase their beer and wine consumption.
Tips to get back to a healthier weight
Take a whole-person approach and treat each of the lifestyle pillars that can contribute to weight gain: nutrition, exercise, sleep and stress. This may mean focusing on eating a high-quality, whole-food, plant-rich diet. You might also choose to focus on getting adequate rest and sleep – for example, scheduling 7-9 hours of sleep per night. It could also include practicing stress reduction techniques like deep breathing or meditation, along with strengthening connections with others to lessen the socially isolating impact the pandemic has had on many people.
Jump start weight loss with Edward-Elmhurst Health
Edward-Elmhurst Health offers Jump Start Your Health – a year-long healthy lifestyle program open to community members. Participants work with dietitians and personal trainers to improve their nutrition, lower stress and add more activity into their days. To learn more, visit us online or call 630-527-6363.