Gaining Weight During Lock down Do This

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 08/31/2023

With most of the world on lockdown, many of us are struggling to get enough activity, eat healthy, and fast. For some, this also means putting on extra pounds that you worked so hard to get rid of. This is known as the quarantine 15—since some are expected to put on up to fifteen pounds during self-isolation. If you are finding that you’re gaining too much weight on lock-down, then this article is for you.

In the article, we’re going to cover:

A close-up of a person’s feet standing on a scale | Gaining Weight During Lockdown? Do This!


Why You’re Gaining Weight

The primary cause of gaining weight on lockdown is consuming too much food. It’s easy to snack when you are home all day every day. There are 6 reasons why people eat:

1. Stress

When you’re stressed out, your body produces excessive amounts of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone.” As cortisol is released, it increases your hunger for sugary, salty, and fatty (especially unhealthy forms of fat) foods.

The reason this happens is because cortisol tells your brain that you need more energy (food) to fight off the “threat” that’s causing the stress. Unfortunately, your body can’t tell the difference between every-day life stressors, a global pandemic, and being chased by a tiger. Each of these triggers the release of the same stress hormones. Keep this in mind when you feel stressed and hungry for seemingly no reason.

Additionally, many people consume extra food when they are stressed to distract themselves. Food can produce short-term pleasure that takes your mind off of the things stressing you out. Of course, this wears off quickly, leaving you wanting another fix. In turn, you develop an overeating problem. The stress-eating cycle often continues because many people also stress about gaining weight. This leads to a vicious cycle of stress, stress-eating, and stressing over stress-eating.

2. Fatigue

When you feel fatigued, you tend to consume more food to give you more energy. Fatigue is a result of many different things. It can be caused by the mental strain from lifestyle changes, excessive amounts of physical exertion, and illness.

However, there’s another reason for fatigue that few people consider: a lack of exercise. When you don’t get enough exercise, your body can develop fatigue. This is particularly common now that many of us are stuck in side.

If you are fatigued from not getting exercise, and you are consuming more food, this can result in even more fatigue. Over time, a lack of exercise causes deconditioning, which makes performing a physical task tiring.

3. Boredom

It’s easy to see why many people who are stuck at home are bored. Many people are used to working, going out in the evening, and socializing. All of these activities are stimulating. They can trigger chemicals in the brain that are associated with accomplishment, happiness, and award. In particular, dopamine is released, which is known as the “feel good” hormone.

Staying at home can seem uninteresting and boring. In turn, your mind isn’t stimulated, and you get far fewer releases of dopamine. This leads to searching out ways to boost your dopamine levels. Food happens to be one of the easiest ways. Of course, when you’ve got more time on your hands, you’re also more likely to snack—especially late at night or while watching TV.

A close-up of a person binging on junk food | Gaining Weight During Lockdown? Do This!

4. Happiness

When you have strong emotions of happiness—like when you finally get to go out and have social interactions after months of quarantine—you’re more likely to eat badly to celebrate.

Emotional eaters are likely to splurge on unhealthy foods when they are especially happy. This can be a big problem for those who have strong emotional fluctuations and a habit of emotional eating.

5. Depression

Many people who struggle with depression have a tendency to binge eat. If you’re stuck inside, it’s very common to start to feel down and depressed—especially if you don’t get enough sunlight, exercise, and social interactions. To add to your problems, eating unhealthy foods can lower your mood further, leading to a cycle of eating and depression.

6. Hunger

If you’re eating only when you’re hungry, you’re doing it right. As we talked about in the last 5 points, many people eat for pleasure and boredom. This is a huge problem. Eating when you’re not actually hungry is a significant contributor to weight gain, obesity, and disease. If you want to fight off the “quarantine 15,” you have to stick to eating only when you’re hungry.

If you’re finding that you’re eating too much and putting on weight, use the following 11 tips.

A healthy smiling woman going for a long walk outside in nature | Gaining Weight During Lockdown? Do This!


How to Keep From Gaining Weight During Lockdown

1. Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the absolute best thing you can start doing today to keep off quarantine weight and boost your immune system. Fasting can significantly improve your mood and immune system. You can learn more about intermittent fasting here.

2. Do Not Buy Junk Food

Junk food is anything that isn’t nutritious and healthy. If you stop buying things like bread, pasta, cereal, crackers, pancakes, alcohol, cookies, and other products with refined sugar and carbs, then you don’t have the option to consume them when you’re at home.

If you already have these foods in your home, it’s time to get rid of them. Instead, load your pantry and refrigerator up with fresh vegetables and healthy fats.

3. Get the Whole Family on Board

When you get the whole family on board with healthy eating habits, it makes it far easier to follow through. The people closest to you are your support. If you support each other during this crisis, you are all going to be much healthier and happier.

4. Go on Long Walks

Going on long walks is one of the best ways to increase your physical activity, calm your mind, and reduce stress. Go on at least one 30-minute walk every day. Being outdoors will help you feel connected with nature and happier. Walks are great for losing weight and keeping off weight.

5. Stay Productive

The last thing you want to do while on lockdown is to wake up late, stay in your pajamas, and do nothing. While it may seem nice for a day or so, after a while, you’ll start to feel down as your productivity decreases.

As you stop your daily routine, your stress levels will increase, your happiness will decrease, and your weight will skyrocket. Wake up at a good time, go to bed at a good time, get dressed in nice clothes, exercise, and act as if it’s life as normal. Trust me—you’ll feel much better physically and mentally.

A pretty glass bottle of apple cider vinegar sitting on a wooden surface in front of a basket of apples | Gaining Weight During Lockdown? Do This!

6. Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) acts as a powerful boost for your digestive health. When you aren’t able to fully digest food, you miss out on important vitamins and minerals that help keep you happy and healthy as well as keep the weight off.

7. Get Plenty of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Zinc

Vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc are vital to a healthy immune system and healthy body weight. Make sure you consume plenty of nutritious nuts, seeds, eggs, meat, and vegetables. For vitamin D, it’s also important that you get lots of sunlight. Walking will help with this. If you find it difficult to get all of these nutrients in your diet, you can also try a supplement.

8. Take Vitamin B1

Vitamin B1 is really important for managing stress. As I’ve talked about before, stress causes weight gain by increasing cortisol levels. Vitamin B1 is a nutrient that can actually help reduce your stress levels. The absolute best source of vitamin B1 is nutritional yeast. You can add this to your food, or you can also find nutritional yeast capsules or tablets.

9. Get More Potassium

Leafy green vegetables and avocado are fantastic sources of potassium. You want to get plenty of these foods in your diet. Why? Because potassium increases your energy and lowers your stress. If you’re having a hard time feeling motivated and losing weight while on lockdown, potassium can give you the help you need. Potassium also helps you feel satisfied, which can help with overeating problems.

10. Don’t Snack

Snacking causes frequent blood sugar spikes. This makes gaining weight far more likely and losing weight far more difficult. Avoid snacking when you get bored or stressed. If you feel like you really need a snack, try having a full glass of water with lemon instead.

11. Plan Healthy Meals

Plan out healthy meals before you go on your shopping trip. Make sure you know what you need to get from the store beforehand so you don’t end up buying junk food. You can find plenty of healthy keto-friendly recipes on my website here. Healthy fats like olives, avocado, MCT oil, and nuts are great for staying full and satisfied. These will help you avoid snacking on junk food.

A healthy smiling woman sitting on the floor in exercise clothes eating a bowl of fresh salad | Gaining Weight During Lockdown? Do This!


Key Takeaways

The global lockdown has put a lot of stress on us all. However, this doesn’t mean we have to give in to stress eating and gain weight. If you find that you’re gaining weight during lockdown, there are 11 things you can do to stop weight gain and start burning fat again.

  1. Intermittent fasting
  2. Do not buy junk food
  3. Get the whole family on board
  4. Go on long walks
  5. Stay productive
  6. Use apple cider vinegar
  7. Get plenty of vitamin D, vitamin C, and zinc
  8. Take vitamin B1
  9. Get more potassium
  10. Don’t snack
  11. Plan healthy meals

If you can do these 11 things, chances are you’ll feel far happier and healthier. Give these tips a try and see if they help you stop gaining weight on lock-down.

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Disclaimer: Our educational content is not meant or intended for medical advice or treatment.

Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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