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What Is Quarantine 15? Common Causes Of Weight Gain During Lockdown And How To Manage It

Recent surveys show that 48 per cent of people say they have put on weight during the lockdown. In the recent months, weight gain and the ways to manage it has been one of the top searches in google, hinting at the reality, that is, the way the pandemic has caused a significant shift in everyone's lifestyle. Social media users refer to this weight gain during the lockdown as the 'Quarantine 15' or Quarantine weight gain.

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What Is Quarantine 15?

Gaining weight during the pandemic, especially if you are spending most of your time at home should be no news and there is n need whatsoever for you to feel guilty that you have gained some weight during these seven months.

And now that the lockdown and quarantine restrictions are easing up, the world is slowly preparing to the adapt the new normal, which in a way is no longer ‘new.' This, studies point out, are causing people to be concerned about ‘COVID curves' and the ‘Quarantine 15' [1].

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While there have been a significant ‘weight loss' around the world (more time in hand, more time to work out), Quarantine 15 or the weight gain during quarantine surpasses the weight loss numbers [2][3].

Life has been disrupted in a major way and this essentially poses a risk for people who struggle with weight [4]. There are multiple reasons why people have gained weight during the lockdown and today, Boldsky will help you understand the reasons behind the weight gain and help you figure out a way to manage it.

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Causes Of Quarantine Weight Gain

Several factors can contribute to quarantine weight gain or quarantine 15 and they are:

1. Sedentary Lifestyle

A sedentary lifestyle can cause the development of more than forty medically recognised and chronic diseases such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, obesity, mental illness, dementia and different types of cancer [5]. Studies point out that a sedentary lifestyle can also impact your mental health in several ways, reducing your quality of life and causing unhappiness.


2. Stress

The sudden global shift due to the pandemic has triggered health concerns, financial problems, and uncertainty can contribute to increased stress levels in many individuals [6]. And this stress, in turn, can lead to weight gain, as studies have pointed out that chronic stress and high levels of the stress hormone cortisol are linked to increased food cravings and weight gain [7].

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3. Mental Health Issues

Since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and loneliness have been on the rise [8]. Depression and anxiety are linked to unhealthy weight gain and studies further point out that social isolation and loneliness may be linked to a higher risk of weight gain in many individuals [9].


4. Food Habits

One of the major disruptions people faced in the first few months of the Covid-19 pandemic was the limited availability of food, which forced or resulted with everyone stocking up longer-lasting frozen and processed foods that are high in salt, sugar and saturated fat [10]. Also, spending all your time at home can cause you to binge on salty, fried and unhealthy snacks.


How To Deal With Quarantine Weight Gain?

First things first, you need to simply look at what has been your reason for weight gain through lockdown/quarantine and get to work from that point. Here are some tips or strategies that could help you manage that quarantine 15 and shed some extra (unnecessary pounds).

  • Create a daily routine and stick to it (set a wake-up/sleep time, plan your meals etc.)
  • Schedule time for regular exercise
  • Stock up on healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables and healthy pulses and nuts.
  • Skip the food delivery and cook at home.
  • Control food portions and try not to overeat.
  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated (try to avoid soda, sweet tea etc.)
  • Get a good night's sleep.
  • Manage stress through yoga, music, meditation, or mindfulness practice.
  • Limit alcohol consumption (including beer and wine).

On A Final Note…

Weight gain is not irreversible. You do not have to skip meals or workout excessively to get rid of the quarantine weight but focus on eating healthy, exercising regularly, and sleeping well. Remember, we are all in this together and help is out there.