8 Reasons For Your Lockdown Weight Gain
The current quarantine restrictions and lockdowns around the world are creating havoc with our lifestyles. Things that we used to take for granted are now out of bounds which means we are all trying to find a new normal. The problem is that this new normal for many is lockdown weight gain.
When the whole world goes a little crazy it isn’t that shocking that people are turning to food as a coping mechanism. Remember only a few weeks ago where people were turning up at the supermarket and stripping the shelves in a frenzy. The fear of not having enough food or the need to stockpile is a throwback to our ancestors. The worry about food being scare means that we try and pile as much of it as we can into our homes just in case we can’t get what we want in the future.
The only problem with our stockpiling is that most houses in the Western world now have cupboards and fridges groaning under the weight of the goodies we have bought. Add to equation people being unable to leave the house and suddenly you have a worldwide lockdown weight gain situation.
Overeating and Self Isolation
Self-isolation quarantine restrictions are creating a wave of overeating problems across the globe. This is a relatively unusual phenomenon as the speed at which our world has changed is unheard of in modern times. Learning to understand why millions of people are suddenly eating too much will no doubt be studied in years to come but here are ten reasons why you might be piling on the pounds whilst you are stuck at home.
Lack of Eating Routines
For most of us only a few months ago we have relatively strict routines automatically built into our day. We would get up at a certain time, commute to work, have lunch, travel back home and cook dinner. Yes, this would have varied slightly but for the most part, we would have in built mechanisms telling us when it was time to eat, work, play or sleep. Now all these routines are going out of the window.
You only have to look at social media to hear thousands of people saying they hardly know what day of the week it is. Everything is up in the air and for many people (unless they are keyworkers) there is a new normal only not everyone has figured out what that is yet.
Now as you aren’t in the office it is so much easier to reach into the fridge and grab yourself a little snack (or two). The lockdown weight gain is occurring in part due to people picking at food which normally they wouldn’t have bothered with. Boredom also needs to be considered as a factor as people use the food as a way of occupying their days which now seem ten times longer than normal.
Learn to eat more mindfully with our intuitive eating worksheets to help you pay attention to what you are eating and how your emotions can impact your food intake.
Alcohol and Weight Gain
During this stressful time more and more people are turning to alcohol as a way of coping. People are drinking earlier in the day and for longer in part to cope with stress and also for something to do. In fact in the UK since the lockdown began alcohol sales have risen by 22% in March alone.
People are also buying more alcohol to keep at home because of worries about getting to the supermarket. This means that instead of buying a bottle of wine on a Friday night on the way home from work they are bulk buying cases. When the temptation is there it is so much easier to open a bottle and start drinking.
If you are drinking more regularly it won’t be a surprise to find that you are going to put on weight. A typical bottle of wine contains around 600 calories. Drink one of those every day and the pounds will begin to pile on very quickly.
No wonder our Drink Less Alcohol Program is so popular at the moment as people have started to realise how important it is to take back control of their drinking habits.
Exercise and Self-Isolating
Although the new government restrictions allow exercise many people relied on a gym to get fit. As these are now closed all their regular classes have stopped and people no longer have access to treadmills, bikes and so on. Yes personal trainers have tried to replicate classes online but for many it simply isn’t the same. This is especially the case for people living in crowded cities. If they do leave the house to exercise in the park they are shamed for not socially isolating so it becomes easier to sit inside and do nothing. Do nothing and of course the dial on the scales starts to rise.
Coronavirus Stress and Anxiety
One of the major causes of overeating at the best of times is stress and anxiety. People are often completely unaware that their need for snacks, or to binge on chocolate is also about comfort eating or switching off from what is going on around them. As the lockdown has sent most people’s anxiety levels through the roof the need to self soothe has also increased.
On a video call to one of my clients yesterday we spoke about why she had felt the need to eat one whole Easter egg, crisps, cake polished off with a whole bottle of wine. It wasn’t hard to trace. Her children had been playing up all weekend and she had felt that she had no peace and was unable to go anywhere to take time out. Her method of escape from the stress was to zone out on a food binge. She will not have been alone with this. In fact one of my most popular pages on my website at the moment relates to self-help for binge eating.
Availability of Food
Quarantine has also impacted the availability of food that is on our shelves. Plus people are more reluctant to leave the house regularly which means that fresh food is in shorter supply in the home so people are relying on more processed frozen food. So once upon a time where you might pop into that trendy cafe near work for a super healthy salad we are now reaching for the carbs and junk.
Even though availability of fresh food has reduced or is harder to get people are noticeably baking more. On my Instagram feed there hardly seems to be a person who isn’t baking banana bread or cooking cakes to fill the time.
Yes it is lovely that people have time more time to experiment with food that they would never normally get a chance to cook but it isn’t helping their waistlines. If you have more cakes around the house of course you are going to eat them.
Self-isolating with family may have its ups and downs but spare a thought for those people who are having to cope with the current lockdown by themselves. Living on your own and being unable to meet up with friends and family is difficult and makes you lonely no matter how much you try and fill the void with Netflix or House Party and Zoom calls. When people are lonely and bored food becomes a comfort and so they eat more.
Binge Eating and Bulimia
Over dieting and restriction play a large part in these eating disorders as well as stress, anxiety and low self-esteem. Now the food restriction is much more serious with supermarkets making you queue and food availability changing day by day. To a person with these food disorders this can fuel negative eating patterns and increase weight gain. Of course the more the weight goes on the more self-critical they become which fuels more overeating. It is a vicious cycle that can be hard to break out of.
If you have a problem with Binge Eating Disorder or Bulimia why not get a copy of my Free Cheat Sheet to help you begin to change your attitude to food.
How to Stop Overeating
If you are one of the many that is overeating and experiencing lockdown weight gain then how can you start to take back control? Well firstly you need to acknowledge that you have the problem in the first place. Taking notice of your situation and understanding that this isn’t want you want for yourself is the first step to regaining some control.
Once you have understood that you have a problem I would suggest practicing mindful eating. This is a technique that helps you to really focus on what you are putting in your mouth. It also helps you to understand the difference between physical and emotional hunger. The Intuitive Eating guide by Evelyn Tribole is a perfect place to start if you want to explore how this way of eating can help.
As well as using mindful eating to help with your lockdown weight gain it is important to recognise your overeating triggers. This enables you to start finding ways alternative ways of responding when something or someone “pushes your buttons”.
Self-Hypnosis for Weight Loss
Positive suggestion, visualisation and motivation boosting is all part of my self-hypnosis for weight loss download program. Four hypnosis downloads/guided meditations to help you change the way you eat. The audios include:
- Building a Weight Loss Mindset
- Emotional Eating Help
- Managing Portion Control
- Killing cravings for food
Grab your copy in my online store to download today.
Weight Loss Therapy
Self help for weight loss and intuitive eating can help but sometimes we need a helping hand and accountability to create positive change. I run a five-session weight loss program to help clients with emotional and binge eating. Each session is designed to help you get in touch with the real triggers for your overeating.
Weight loss therapy works brilliantly online and usually sessions take place on Facetime, Skype or Facebook video messenger. If you are interested in finding out more about weight loss coaching just fill out the contact form below to tackle your lockdown weight gain.
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