The Quarantine 15
Published on Sun Sep 27, 2020 - 4 min read
From flattening the curve to fattening the curve — how the coronavirus pandemic led to weight gain and what to do about it.
It appears that the “quarantine 15” has spread faster than coronavirus itself – and affected more people. Recent reports have suggested that 76% of Americans have gained weight during the global coronavirus pandemic.1 While we were quarantining to flatten the curve, an unfortunate side effect was that many of us were busy at home fattening the curve. The quarantine 15 wasn’t hard to predict. The coronavirus pandemic changed how we live, work, exercise – and eat. Right after toilet paper and Lysol wipes, nationwide shortages of flour and bakers’ yeast were ominous signs of what was to come.2
Jokes aside, pandemic weight gain is an important health topic to address as obesity is the number one predictor of coronavirus mortality.3 This fact is not lost on Americans struggling with their weight as 63% say that their main focus is weight loss as lockdown restrictions are beginning to ease.1 Fret not, we are here to help. Using our healthy techniques and supplements, you can take hold of your health again with these Healthy Weight Management Strategies.
- Creating a healthy daily sleep-wake routine can help you keep track of progress and keep your mind focused on weight goals. Waking up early makes room for early morning workouts which studies show boost metabolism more than nighttime workouts.4 Waking up on time is also an opportunity to get morning sun which lowers depression and increases motivation. Going to bed on time can help us break bad habits like late-night snacking and endless scrolling on social media both things that disrupt our circadian rhythms, raise stress levels, wreck hormones, and slow down our metabolism.5
- Focus on adequate sleep. One night of poor sleep can increase food intake by as much as 900 calories the following day!8 Predictably these calories aren’t from extra carrots and kale but foods highest in fat and sugar.8In one study, researchers found that poor sleep had a “remarkable” impact on our endocrine system, increasing our stress hormone cortisol and causing us to become insulin resistant, a precursor to obesity and diabetes.9
- Getting regular exercise is one of the best methods to reduce all risk factors associated with COVID19, especially obesity.6 The good news is that you need not spend hours at the gym every day as new research has found exercising just 7 minutes per day gives the same health benefits as exercising 45 minutes per day in a 6-week trial.7 Googling “7-minute workout” will bring up many routines you can do at home without equipment.
- Managing stress during the pandemic is vital to reversing the quarantine 15. Stress leads to bad habits that wreak havoc on our metabolism. Indeed, international surveys show that 70% of people attribute their quarantine weight gain to stress eating and drinking.10 Reports indicate that alcohol sales have gone up 55%11so remember that fat and sugar metabolism grinds to a halt until the body can burn off the alcohol.12 Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Studies show that the more “green space” one has, the lower their reported stress score. Just 5 minutes outdoors is enough to lower stress hormones.13 Meditating or deep breathing enhances the stress-reducing effects of spending time in nature.14
Targeted Weight Control Supplements
- Energy-boosting supplements help keep you energized, motivated, and focused throughout the day. Fatigue is the number one patient complaint in America and is certainly a hindrance to staying active and losing weight.15 Use our energy boosters to improve thyroid and adrenal function for a safer alternative than harsh energy drinks which worsens fatigue by stressing the body.16 As a bonus, many stimulants naturally reduce appetite.17
- Appetite reducing supplements work in a variety of ways, but you have to choose the right one for the situation for them to be effective. During the pandemic, we need to use suppressants that target stress eating specifically. Multiple studies now confirm 5-htp is the best at reducing carb cravings as well as emotional eating.18 You can take 5-htp by itself or as part of a formula with other synergistic herbs.
- Meal replacement shakes More protein, fewer carbs – adding more protein which contain important amino acids, (such as the aforementioned 5-htp) into your diet can aid in weigh control. Protein has been shown to offset energy dips and the dreaded blood sugar crash. Protein drinks and meal replacement shakes often combine many weight control enhancing ingredients such as greens, fiber, vitamins, minerals, probiotics and enzymes. These make for a convenient and easy way to help you stick to your diet.19 Just replacing one meal a day already takes care of 33% of your diet so you can focus on other things.
- Stressbusters One of the best anti-anxiety adaptogens is Ashwagandha, a natural balancer targeting the fight-or-flight response. It’s an effective, anti-anxiety herb, as it decreases adrenaline, mitigates stress and elevates mood all of which can lead to better sleep. Magnesium helps reduce stress and also aids weight control. A recent study showed that magnesium reduced water retention and bloating while also lowering blood sugar and insulin level, helping the body stay in fat-burning mode.22
We hope you can use our tips and supplements to help you flatten your own curve during the pandemic. These tips will become increasingly important as we come closer to the holiday season.