Health Advocate Blog

Eat right to counter the “Quarantine 15”

The “Quarantine 15” is a buzzword for weight gained from spending these many months stuck inside, filling up on high-calorie comfort foods. Fortunately, making a few tweaks to your habits can start you on the road to a healthier weight. Here are some ideas:

Get on the scale, then check in with your doctor (via telehealth or in-person). Excess weight can be a risk factor for serious illness from COVID-19 and for developing diabetes, heart disease and other high-risk conditions. You may be advised to have your blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose checked.

Stock up on nutrient-rich fruits and veggies. Keep an apple, banana, or orange in plain sight on your desk or countertop and a container of cut-up carrots, zucchini and other veggies handy for snacking.  Keep a stash of fresh or frozen berries to top your cereal, waffles, yogurt and more. 

Look for simple recipes to sneak veggies into your favorite dishes. Craving mac and cheese? Slip in pureed sweet potatoes, squash, carrots or white beans.

Reach for protein to feel fuller. High-carb snack foods like cookies and chips can spike, then crash, your blood sugar, leaving you feeling hungry. Nuts, eggs, milk products, lean meats and other high-protein choices can help you feel full longer, curbing your appetite.

Flavor foods minus the fat! Trade creamy salad dressings for a drizzle of oil and vinegar. When cooking meats, experiment with tasty spice “rubs” instead of frying or breading. When baking, substitute butter for applesauce. For more ideas, click here.

Reminder: don’t forget the other weight control pillars: exercise and stress management!

Do you have a chronic condition? Seek guidance from your doctor about shedding excess weight.