Nutrition

Tips to prevent excessive weight gain during lockdown

May 12, 2020

We are all probably going to gain some weight during lockdown for several reasons. Firstly, we are doing less exercise and general running around and therefore burning less calories. Secondly some of us will be eating and drinking out of boredom, frustration, depression, etc. So how can you minimise your weight gain?

Avoid weight gain during the lockdown

  1. If you do comfort eat, know that you are normal and that during stressful times, most of us will eat the wrong foods or too much food for reasons other than real physical hunger. Since you were born, food has played two roles in your life, nourishment and a nurturing role. So some comfort eating during lockdown is normal. Try be forgiving and understanding towards yourself rather than feeling guilty and self recrimatory as this will help you to get back on track sooner.
  2. Try to find other more appropriate ways to nurture and sooth yourself. Even just distracting yourself with an activity can take your mind off the stressful situation or your overwhelming emotions. For example, gardening, Sudoko puzzles, word searches, reading, listening to music, photo editing, etc.
  3. Try to eat regular meals at regular times so that you don’t allow yourself to become starving hungry. If you are too hungry, you don’t care what you eat and often end up eating too quickly and too much. Food can only nurture us if we allow it to, by eating slowly and mindfully.
  4. Spend time if you can, making food that you feel like eating, that feels like nourishing and nurturing food for you. Soups can be very nurturing as well as filling. Eat your food slowly on the patio, in the garden or at your dining room table rather than eating it in front of the TV.
  5. Try keep up a certain level of activity. Now that we have an exercise window, many of us can return to a reasonably normal level of running. However if you’re unable to utilise the exercise window, try some strength training, these HIIT workouts or this Morning strength and stretch routine.

Karen Protheroe


Karen is a registered dietitian and author of numerous books on nutrition. She also runs a private practice in Stellenbosch. Read more about Karen here.

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