• Serena Marie RD

"Quarantine 15" Tips

If I hear one more joke about the Quarantine 15, I may flip my lid!

I realized I had to write a blog post about it when I heard that stores were selling out of scales. You guys are obsessed with tracking your weight and avoiding the "Quarantine 15" (aka weight gain during lockdown), but those dang scales are NOT going to serve you.


Here's the thing - worrying about it is only going to make your relationship with your food and your body MORE damaged. Damaged body image = shame, guilt, frustration = more overeating.


Listen, its no secret that food is comforting. Warm brownies, bags of chips, pizza.. they're scrumptious and they make us feel good. Well, until they don't.


Here's the thing - you are totally normal if you've been looking to food for comfort more often than usual right now. THINGS ARE CRAZY. And it makes sense that our brain is looking for a little hit of comfort right now.


So instead of buying a scale and setting hard food rules, why don't we focus on the REAL problem here? We are using food to get us through a tough time...not to honor our hunger. Ya see the distinction? Your problem is not that you have no willpower or you are "a whale," (I'm quoting someone in my free Facebook community who always makes this joke!)


The problem is that you are bored. You're scared. You're tired. You're stressed.


Stop adding more stress to your plate by obsessing over your weight. Toss that scale in the garbage and let's talk about the REAL way to "manage" the Quarantine 15.


1. Eat REAL meals with all three food groups

And I mean it. One of the worst things you can do is skip breakfast because you "ate so much last night," and then wind up starving and overeating at lunch which will make you feel like you "failed" and just eat all the food and REPEAT the cycle.


Instead, make sure you eat breakfast, lunch and dinner - or however you structure your meals during "real life." Meals should contain a high quality protein (like edamame, tuna, veggie burgers, tofu, eggs), a fiber rich carb (think grapenuts, oats, beans, bean pasta), and veggies (yes frozen and canned are fine). Add a little fat from oil, nut butter/nuts, and call it a day.


2. Figure out when the "overeating" is happening and make a plan

If you notice you're up late every night snacking on the couch, then you prob need a new late night routine. Try switching up where you hang out when snacking usually occurs, since your brain probably associates that location with treats. Maybe you can figure out a new routine -instead of TV, try reading. Instead of a movie, take a long bath. Instead of wine and cheese, try playing a board game.


3. Remember, none of this will work if you do not address the underlying issue


This is going to look different for everyone. Some people are super bored, some are really stressed and some are scared, whatever.

You can't just take food away and expect your body to be like, "OK COOL NO BIG DEAL." Nah, instead the chips and ice cream will haunt you....

So what can you do to cope?

For ME (yuppp stress eating hit me hard in the beginning of lockdown), I had to delete the news app on my phone and stop watching the news. Yes, I am the least informed human ever when it comes to COVID, but now I'm sleeping better and I'm not stress eating ice cream. I'm cool with it.

Here are some ideas:


Stressed?

  • Now is a great time to start therapy! Get a virtual therapist at Betterhelp.com

  • Delete the news app and stop watching the news. It seriously helped me so much.

  • Journal it out. Just write down allll the feelings.

  • Avoid screens two hours before bed cause, homie, it is justtt gona keep you awake longer

  • Heat helps. Heating pads and heating blankets HELP. The heat is SO good for self-soothing! A hot bath or tea is another good option.


Bored?

  • Puzzles are supposed to be great for this! I have been saying I want a puzzle during quarantine, but am yet to buy one. I'm not sure I have the patience...

  • Board games are fun! When is the last time you played a board game?

  • Why not give yourself a masque? Do your nails?

  • Organize your home. Gahhh, my office is gettin' a makeover and I am EXCITED about it!!!


Lonely?

  • ZOOM - You knew I was going to say this. But Zoom Happy Hours, Zoom Disney Movie Sing-alongs, Zoom dates... there's so much possibility

  • You could join my free Sunday "Sweat n' Snack" Session with Coach Katie! A free virtual 30 minute workout followed by a snack-hack how-to where I teach you to make a healthy snack. This week we are making a healthy chocolate smoothie. SIGN UP HERE!

  • Sign up for a virtual race and then use the Peloton App (its free right now) to train for it! The workouts are interactive and you feel like you have a running buddy with you!


Need support?

Listen, I am not pretending if you follow these tips you'll be cool as a cucumber. I get it. Body image issues, food issues - this stuff runs deep. If you have struggled with over exercising and now are using it to help with self-soothing, that can make you hungrier, which can lead to bingeing and negative self-talk. I get it. It's a crazy cycle.


I have two spots open in my nutrition coaching program right now so if you think having a personalized action plan and some accountability would help... I'm the gal for you! You can apply here and I'll let you know if I think you would be a good fit!


Okay homie. I'm here for you. Join my free Facebook community if you're looking for some friends and fun during this nutso time!


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©2017 by Serena Marie RD. Images by Ralf Graebner