by Matt Weik
While weight gain is no joke, people always make fun of those on their way to college and say they will fall prey to the “Freshman 15”. Well, this pandemic has sent many of us back to school, and we’ve seen the scale rise pretty steadily.
Did you gain weight during the pandemic? Here are five possible reasons why this could have occurred.
1. Emotional eating
Emotional eating is prevalent and a reason some people gain weight (whether or not pandemic). When people feel sad, angry, upset, depressed, or whatever you think they are in the dump, it can trigger emotional eating – it has happened to all of us before.
Such an emotion seems to turn off leptin levels, which normally convey a feeling of satiety. Without leptin telling you to stop eating, ghrelin (a hunger hormone) continues to rise, and food seems to constantly find its way into your mouth until you finally decide to put your fork down.
Much of this is due to an increase in levels of cortisol (a stress hormone). When cortisol levels rise, there is a domino effect. Increasing cortisol levels increases ghrelin levels, which increases hunger, increases food intake, which increases your daily caloric intake, which increases weight … you got the picture right? It’s an uncomfortable cycle that can make you gain weight easily – FAST!
2. Gyms were closed
Without a doubt, this has ruined the goals of many people who lead active lifestyles. While some still found a way to exercise at home, others fell completely off the cart and put on weight a lot. Those who refused to gain weight used their own body weight, did cardio outdoors, or flooded the internet to buy as much home fitness equipment as they could afford.
But with no gyms open, many had no idea how to improve their health, fitness and stay on track – let alone weight management.
3. Sedentary lifestyle
Piggybacking from # 2 is a lack of exercise. Many people who did not want to gain weight were busy and on the move while others took a 365-day vacation from their active lifestyle.
With instructions to stay home, not go out in crowds, stay away from people, and basically self-isolate in a bubble, many people took this as “don’t go outside and exercise”. Obviously, a lack of exercise can cause people to gain weight. Refusing to walk, run, bike, jog, or swim outdoors absolutely caused the numbers on the scales to go up. If people had pushed themselves forward and kept moving all day, they would have been able to handle their weight better.
4. Eating out of boredom
Many people were stuck in their homes during the pandemic, which ticks the boxes why many of the reasons listed in this article occurred. However, one thing that comes with being stuck around the house is boredom.
It’s easy to see why many people were insane during the pandemic when they were used to leading an active lifestyle. Not being able to be around other people, not living a normal life, and essentially being a prisoner in your own home can make you sit around and twist your thumbs.
What do many people do when they are bored? They grab something to eat. This leads us straight to our next reason many people experienced weight gain during the pandemic.
5. Snacking while watching TV
An easy way to gain weight is to sit in front of the TV with a bag of snacks. If you don’t portion what you’re going to eat, don’t expect to stop until your hand hits the bottom of the bag. It is a common problem that plagues many people.
With nothing to do other than sit in front of the idiot box all day during the pandemic, those who weren’t working, unemployed or working from home may have been more in front of the TV than they were before the pandemic.
It is common to sit in front of the TV with a snack. But if it is done day after day or even several times a day, it can quite well lead to weight gain.
Prepare for the future
Now that we have all seen and been through the pandemic, you should know what to expect should anything ever happen in the future that will force you to stay indoors for an extended period of time.
Now is the time to prepare and prepare everything to keep you from being inactive and eventually gaining weight. That means you need to buy some resistance bands, dumbbells, or a barbell set and have a small gym ready to use at home. As they say: “Fool me once, be ashamed. Fool me twice, be ashamed. ”With home fitness equipment finally back in stock, now is the time to get the equipment you need to workout no matter what happens outside of your home.