How to not gain weight in quarantine

Posted at 4:24 PM, Apr 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 14:46:15-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — In quarantine, many people base their day around food which could contribute to weight gain.

Some people joke on social media about gaining the ‘quarantine-15’ or ‘COVID-15’ while in isolation due to COVID-19.

Kelsey Higgins is a clinical dietitian at TriStar Skyline Medical Center. She said it’s going to be easy for folks to gain weight right now as boredom eating is a real thing.

“Just try to prevent that ‘COVID-15,’ that initial weight gain from sitting at home, and maybe eyeing more snacks than we normally would if we were out and about on our normal day, so try to make a schedule each day,” Higgins said, “Empty calories are going to come from things like fruit juice, soda, anything like extra desserts and sweets, that you might not usually be eating.”

A lot of people are passing the time by baking yummy treats. If you can’t help yourself, Higgins recommends portion control.

“Grab a handful, don't take the bag with you, portion it out in a bowl, and walk away from the situation,” Higgins said.

In addition, some people are doing virtual happy hours where they grab a glass of wine, or make a cocktail. But a good alternative to cut calories could be making a mocktail with flavored water. “Try to alternate an alcoholic beverage with a glass of water.”

Lastly, Higgins tells her patients to cook dinner with low-fat spray, instead of high fat ingredients like butter.

“Try to get half your plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with protein, and a quarter with some type of carbohydrate,” Higgins said.

It might be tempting to get seconds, but the best thing you can do is resist.

“Everything in moderation is the most important takeaway," Higgins said.