Did COVID-19 Make You Gain Weight? Two Ways to Reduce the Extra Pounds

A room full of people discussing about the pandemic and mentioning that they have gained about 15 pounds is not an unusual story! You must have heard this one umpteen time. The question is – did people actually gain weight? The question has intrigued several researchers. Hence, they assessed the patient data from the electronic health records.

More specifically, they focused on 15 million patients who underwent who witnessed weight fluctuations one year before the pandemic. There were also other patients who witnessed weight changes during the pandemic. The outcome shows that close to 39% of patients gained weight at the time of the pandemic and have witnessed weight fluctuations of 2.5 pounds. Close to 27% of people had gained much less than 12.5 pounds, and close to 10% of people had gained over 12.5 pounds. In fact, according to a recent poll by MyBiosource 28% of people in Alabama and 34% in New Hampshire think that the government should come up with initiatives to bring down the obesity index in America.

Stress has a role in weight gain

The pandemic brought about enormous stress, leading to high cortisol. The maximized cortisol is linked with a maximized consumption of hyperpalatable foods that are high in fat, salt, or both. Today, there is proof that humans can metabolize food very slowly when under stress. Additionally, high cortisol and stress levels are often linked with maximized belly fat, making people vulnerable to type 2 diabetes and heart ailments. And adding to the count of all the negative impacts of stress on the body, increased cortisol levels can bring down the lean muscle mass. It can also affect the metabolic rate. It means if you have reduced lean muscle mass, your metabolic rate will be less, and you will burn very few calories. And it all leads to weight gain and incorrect health with maximized stress.

Not all gained weight during the quarantine

There are people who respond to stress by eating less or not eating. All these people avert the hunger cues, and a few lose weight during extreme stress. That aside, the electronic health record assessment revealed that close to 35% of the patients had lost weight during the first half of the pandemic. Very few people started to complain about losing weight, and there was less news about it. All reasons for this are slightly multifaceted. There is a chance for people to move less and sit more. As a result, they gained fat and lost out on muscle mass.

Managing the weight increase and losing the pounds

  • You should add increased number of vegetables to your plate

It is known that vegetables are loaded with minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, and various other secure bioactive compounds. It is also filling and has fewer calories. That aside, according to data from CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) there are 9% of Americans who consume about two or three vegetables daily.

Just by adding an increased number of vegetables in every meal might displace various other high-calorie foods. Also, the fluid and fiber in the veggies are highly filling. It is true when you compare this with refined carbs, that will make you feel good instantly but not lead to much good. The other way here is to consciously replace a certain part of the carb using veggies and not to remove it, but to do away with the excess amount.

  • You need to increase your fiber intake

Additionally, fiber-rich foods are highly filling. It is possible that it supports correct digestive health and can ensure that there are the good gut bacteria tied to both anti-inflammation and immune function. However, when you consume very less fiber it has some weight loss advantages. According to a study in 2019 that got published in The Journal of Nutrition, when you consume a diet that is independent of the caloric and micronutrient intake, it can lead to weight loss in adults that are obese and overweight and who eat a reduced calorie diet. Another study found that the fiber which gets bound to a few calories you consume stops the calories from getting absorbed.

Only 5% of Americans could cater to the suggested target for the fibers. Additionally, the fruits and the vegetables, which comprise apple, cucumber, beans, chickpeas, peas, lentils, seeds, beans, nuts, and whole grains, benefit the health. Therefore, it is necessary to opt for fiber-rich food for every meal and ensure that you consume ample water to enable the digestive system to manage an increased fiber intake.

Gaining weight during the pandemic has been common. However, when you get conscious about it and try to follow these two guidelines, you can cut down on the weight to a vast extent and maintain the correct Body Mass Index.

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