Weight gain during lockdown (and how to kick the monster)

Weight gain during lockdown (and how to kick the monster)
  • PublishedAugust 7, 2020

This pandemic has affected almost everything globally, from finance, freedom to fun. And people are gaining more weight than before lockdown. Obviously, staying home with nothing else to do rather than eat the food you stocked, scroll through your phone, watch Netflix, or work at home will affect your weight. 

Some people have been taking weight loss more seriously, but what I have seen most are home workout fail videos.  Guess what? I follow hilarious channels. Back to weight loss, some people nailed working out at home with innovative ideas.  As some people were losing weight, others have had a rapid weight gain during this lockdown

But what have been the major causes of weight gain this pandemic lockdown? 

Major causes of weight gain during the pandemic lockdown. 

  Let’s break them down

1. Stress

Stress affects people in different ways where some people gain weight and others go through a rapid weight loss. The majority of people gain weight. It happens when the increased levels of cortisol which is the ”stress hormone ” causes an increase in insulin levels making you crave sugary and fatty foods. 

There is also increased hunger caused by high levels of cortisol. 

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused stress to almost everybody young and old. This makes people resort to eating as part of stress calming measures. However, the cravings of sugary and fatty foods can cause weight gain most especially when sugary and fatty foods are eaten. 

2. Availability of unhealthy foods. 

Apart from stocking toilet tissues, people stocked all kinds of foods. The availability of food tempts one to grab a bite now and then. In the end, people consume uncountable calories that will lead to weight gain. And if they are weight loss unfriendly foods, you will gain weight rapidly. 

3. Regular drinking of alcohol. 

Apart from stocking food and toilet tissues, people emptied the liquor. I was surprised by the news feed where somebody was asking for a procedure for extracting alcohol from hand sanitizers. People have been taking alcohol and I guess that you have heard that alcohol can cause weight gain. 

According to old research done from 2003 to 2012 by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,  drinking alcohol can get you up to about 384 extra calories per day. 

Most alcoholic drinks are high in calories and people take them without putting that into considerations. An article from Medicine Plus will give insights into how many calories many popular alcoholic beverages contain. You will be amazed and if you have been taking a full bottle of wine, then you shouldn’t ask why you are gaining weight rapidly. 

4. Not getting enough sleep. 

While some of us have been sleeping nearly 18 hours a day, some people haven’t been getting enough sleep. Stress, games, Netflix, work, and others have been major reasons for people not get enough sleep. 

When you don’t get enough sleep, the body will be losing energy and will call for measures to boost energy levels which measures are eating and eating again. People who stay awake late in the night often snack a lot in order to keep themselves awake. This exposes them to uncountable calories and of which the body can’t burn fully and storing them as fat instead. 

Getting less time in the sheets also causes an increase in the hunger hormone ghrelin which is responsible for making you feel hungry. The result will be constant hunger which will make you overeat and which calories you can’t fully burn. 

Read also: Lose weight by sleeping rightly (Includes tips) 

5. The sedentary lifestyle. 

weight gain in lockdown

Inactivity has been the song of this pandemic. We are being enclosed in our homes with limited mobility, not working but watching Tv, eating, and sleeping. Though sleeping is healthy for weight loss, too much of it actually will cause weight gain. 

Being sedentary actually means that you are not involved in weight losing activities. Activities such as sitting down or being on a computer will burn very few calories. For instance, if you want to lose calories by clicking a computer mouse, it will take you 10 million clicks to burn just one calorie.  

With a sedentary lifestyle, you will burn a few calories and the rest will be stored as fat thus weight gain. 

Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle not only burns fewer calories but also leads to snacking as a distraction for boredom. Read this article from It will open your eyes to how weight gain is caused by being less active as it is the case with this lockdown.

6. Loss of morale to work out. 

Am I the only one who gets bored with home workouts? Gone are the days when I would go to the gym and the big guys would encourage me to work out, the fitness trainer gives me some basics and be surrounded by weight loss motivated people.  

But due to the pandemic, gyms are closed and we only have the option of home workouts. People who aren’t used to home, workouts will find a hard time doing home workouts (some just use it as an excuse). This has been a major cause of weight gain. 

It may even be hard to work out at home due to the many distractions such as kids, tv, and others. This has made it hard for many people to work out, so they can’t burn enough calories required to lose weight. 

7. You may be eating highly processed foods and foods with too much-added sugars. 

A poor diet is a sure-fire for weight gain. Highly processed foods are usually high in calories and added sugars. Added sugars increase hunger rather than satisfying you and this increases your calorie intake. unfortunately, the calories you the body cannot burn are stored as fat.  

8. Poor eating habits. 

Are you a person who sits down with family at a designated time and eat a meal or you just serve yourself food whenever you feel hungry? If the latter is your way of eating, then you are most likely to gain weight since that type of eating can make you lose count of your food intake. 

If you have ever heard of binge eating, it is a typical eating disorder where one may eat a lot of food in a very short period of time even when not feeling hungry. 

It can be caused by stress, boredom, and the availability of food. And people in this lockdown have eaten food under the influence of 2 or all of those causes of binge eating. 

With this type of eating, you definitely eat without counting calories, consume more calories than what the body can burn, and finally weight gain.  

Read also: Binge eating discussed and its health risks, symptoms, and solutions. 

Can you do something about the rapid weight gain? 

You can still lose weight while in lockdown. Although it may be hard at first, consistency will give you results. 

1. Do home workouts. 

Have faith in-home workouts as they will help you achieve your weight loss goals. Burpees, jumping jacks, squats, and many others can help you burn calories and stay fit at the same time. Start out slow and gradually increase as you get stronger.  

Distractions will always be there but they shouldn’t stop you. If you have to lock yourself in a room, do it. 

2. Invest in home work out equipment. 

Exercises can be boring without the use of equipment. Reach online and buy some equipment that will help to keep you motivated and to achieve your weight loss goals. 

3. Practice mindful eating. 

Mindful eating involves eating while putting all emphasis on food. Here, you take away all distractions, put away the phone, turn off the tv and eat while all your focus is on the food. It can help you consume less food thus weight loss. Mindful eating will help you overcome weight gain during the lockdown.

Read also: Can mindful eating help you lose weight? 

4. Reduce your alcohol intake. 

If you have been taking too much alcohol, reduce to a few shots, or get rid of drinking. This will help you avoid those extra calories and have control over your life and weight loss. 

Raed also: Alcohol and Weight Loss: What to Consider 

5. Adapt to eating healthy and weight loss-friendly foods. 

Cut out processed and foods high in sugars from your diet. Resort to eating whole foods, fruits, and vegetables. These foods are usually low in calories and highly nutritious compared to highly processed foods. 

6. Follow a weight loss diet plan. 

There are many weight loss diet plans that you can follow. Depending on what foods you want to adopt and trash, you will get a diet that can accommodate you. Read an article I wrote about 6 Popular weight-loss diets reviewed 

7. Avoid a sedentary lifestyle. 

You will never lose weight while watching tv. So, stand up from the couch and do something. Try home workouts, do chores, yoga, or have sex. Do you know that you can lose weight while having sex? 

8. Get quality sleep. 

Spend up to about 8 hours in bed. Avoid staying up late at night. It is better to go to bed early and to wake up early.  With 8 hours of sleep, you will wake up refreshed and energized. 

9. Engage in stress killing activities. 

Since stress has been a  major weight gain cause during this lockdown, doing activities that make you happy can help you lose weight. Activities such as yoga, exercises, your favorite tv show, time with family, and many others will help you stay happy and lose weight. 

The bottom line 

Your health is very important and it will be a wise decision to dump all the excuses and set your mind to losing weight. Maybe you have been doing all the above, dieting and exercising but not losing weight. Find out why by reading the article about Why you may be dieting and exercising but not losing weight 

Share this article with friends and family. #We are in this together 


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