It’s lockdown period and there is a lot of tension and panic. Anxiety and boredom can cause you to binge eat and let go of all eating restrictions. Have you noticed any change in the tightness of your wears or recently stepped on a scale only to be confronted with a rude shock of weight gain? Here are a few reasons why you are adding weight during the Lock-down!

1. Your Food portion size is still the same

During this lock-down, your activity level is minimal and this means your food intake should also reduce! The total amount of the
energy you need is close to the basic; what you need to breathe, think, walk around and metabolize foods (this is referred to as the basal metabolic rate). Eating more than you need to sustain life will definitely result in weight gain. Reduce your normal eating size by about 20-30percent and you would have successfully cut out what you expend on
your usual physical activity level before period.


2. You are not taking enough veggies!

Vegetables are very low in calories and give a feeling of fullness, thereby reducing your meal intake. The more the vegetables on your plate, the less likely you will feel hungry. You can increase your vegetables through the intake of smoothie, salad, and soups.


3. You are still taking soft drinks

Soft drinks are empty calories; this means they contain almost no other nutrients aside sugar/calories which you cannot afford now that your physical activity is low. Replacing soft drinks with water or whole fruits will help align your calorie intake with your low physical activity


4. You are snacking on junk or baked foods

Baked foods such as white bread , cookies, pizza, and other pastries will increase your fat intake and are very high in calories. Snacking on such foods will make you exceed what you need daily which overtime will result in weight gain. This is just not the time! Limit such foods to occasional eating, maybe once a month! Also, refined carbs such as bread and cornflakes which are high in simple sugars get converted easily to blood glucose and get stored as fat. Eating such foods will make you get hungry easily and increase the number of times you eat. Take more of whole grains and other complex carbs such as yam, plantain, potatoes, cassava e.t.c


5. You are frying most of your foods

Deep frying especially increases the energy/caloric density of foods. For instance, an average grilled chicken thigh has 109kcal but when fried can be as high as 162kcal. Also, fried Akara with many balls intake will only lead to weight gain during this period. Limit your oil intake to the very minimal if you must!


6. You are doing little or no exercise

Diet remains King when it comes to weight loss while exercise is Queen..winks. Here is why it’s actually easier to reduce your food by 100kcal than to run for 10mins non-stop just to burn off the same amount. Engaging in exercise will increase your physical activity and help off the trim of little excesses during this period of lockdown and this cannot be overlooked.
If you can burn off up to 500kcal and not eat it all back, then it’s a great achievement!

Cheers to you being fit during this lockdown!

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Why is it so Hard to Lose Weight? by Osunsanya Olajumoke RDN, MPH