Grappling with Weight Gain in a Covid 19 Pandemic

It’s been over a year since the pandemic started and case figures still continue to grow. We now have over 800,000 recorded cases in the Philippines and around 134 million recorded cases worldwide. As such, we can’t be complacent in observing health protocols and quarantine measures. Unfortunately, the negative health impact of covid-19 goes beyond the viral infection itself. Reports have shown that the pandemic situation can affect both the physical and mental well-being of people. One of the concerns mentioned is the weight gain in a Covid 19 pandemic, something that I had to deal with myself.

How weight gain snuck up on me

As the primary provider for the family, my utmost concern is to sustain and augment our income for financial security. Thus, I wasn’t really paying attention to what I was eating or how much physical activity I was getting. The anxiety brought by the pandemic led to some stress eating which is something that I didn’t notice until my waistband got tighter. Aside from that, my physical activities were also reduced due to work from home arrangements. Most of the time I am just sitting on my desk and working. Even grocery runs with my wife were reduced because we opted for online groceries to limit our exposure. In effect, I was getting more food intake and getting less exercise. A perfect recipe for weight gain in a Covid 19 pandemic.

Why is it a concern?

Weight gain per se isn’t a concern as long as your BMI is still within normal limits. It becomes a concern when you step over the red line or be classified as overweight or worse, obese. “BMI or Body Mass Index is a measurement of body fat based on height and weight”. Too much fat in the body can lead to illnesses like diabetes 2 and hypertension or have negative effects on your quality of life and mortality rate. You can use a BMI calculator to determine if your weight gain is already a concern or if it’s still within normal limits.

How to deal with weight gain.

Given the health risks of being overweight or obese, weight gain is something that we shouldn’t take lightly. The first step that I took in dealing with gained weight is to check my numbers. Aside from the BMI, I also checked for my ideal weight and the amount of daily physical activity recommended by experts. If you are classified as overweight and obese then it’s a must to have your calorie intake checked also. Then you can start planning a weight loss program to help you shed the excess pounds and get you back within normal BMI levels. There are also fitness apps and gadgets that you can use to help you monitor and manage your diet and daily physical activity requirements. For those who have desk jobs, you can set alarms once in a while for stand and stretch breaks or better yet 5-minute exercise breaks.

A lot of people have experienced weight gain in a Covid 19 pandemic. If no action is taken to address it, then you are putting yourself at risk for lifestyle illnesses and even severe Covid 19 infection. Remember that obesity is also comorbidity in Covid 19.

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