Along with financial uncertainty of the lockdown, another issue really bothering people is weight gain. When every day is a Sunday, and the current craze is to show off your baking skills on Instagram, munching is becoming a serious consequence. So how do you keep those calories at bay?
Movie stars, our poster children for eating clean and otherwise unappealing food to stay in shape, have turned out to be turncoats. They are whipping up cakes, Thai cuisine, cookies and every other sinful treat, finally enjoying something tasty as there are no shoots around the corner.
If the stars are posting their delicacies, how can we not follow the trend? Everyone has become an Insta baker and nothing tastes more delicious than your own baking, so it’s time to polish off that cake and marvel at your hidden MasterChef talent while preparing for the next round of dessert.
We may claim to be more active around the house, upload pictures of doing a few household chores or tag people for the thirty-second squat challenge, but none of that is anything like a high-intensity gym workout. Also, binge-watching Netflix and hanging out virtually on Zoom and Houseparty are not helping.
Drawstring everything (pajamas, shorts, trousers, joggers, etc.) is in fashion, which is great comfort-wise but leaves the waistline with lots of room to grow.
Drinking all that good wine while doing date nights at home (or after home-schooling kids maybe?) is lovely, but even that encourages all those pesky calories to settle back in us.
Distancing of a different kind
So now we have some surprising issues to deal with, such as the buttons on our jeans social distancing themselves from the button hole, the weighing scale asking one person at a time to get on when you want to check your weight and that tight dress of yours coming out once a week just to make sure you haven’t gained too much .
Now, with talk of a lockdown extension doing the rounds and gyms not looking like they’ll open anytime soon, what do we do to not turn into unwilling sumo wrestlers?
Well-known nutritionists talk about how to balance your health during these unprecedented times.
Charmaine D'Souza, a Mumbai-based consultant nutritionist and author, says the good news is that this baking revolution is dying down. “Initially, there was a great euphoria and everyone was copying the stars and baking bread, cakes, cookies and cooking other delicacies to show off on Instagram. With ingredients beginning to run out, and seeing the gravity of the situation, people are not doing so much of this lately,” says Charmaine.
Suddenly, it’s all about healthy treats. Even the cakes and cookies are made with sugar-free or healthy ingredients. The latest recipe trending is an orange! Yes, peel it and it’s done!
“Many are posting small bowls of healthy soup with maybe a few pasta shells in them,” points out Charmaine.
Back to being fitter
There has also been a huge surge in clients signing up for online nutrition consultations. Another issue right now is lethargy, this is the brain’s way of coping with the lockdown, reveals Charmaine. “We have many people signing up to be healthy. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression and stress triggered owing to uncertainty are some of the issues they want help with,” she adds.
On a serious note, mental health issues are the underlying cause of all this binging. Delhi-based nutritionist Lovneet Batra says, “There is a lot of anxiety around COVID19. Food is an easy coping mechanism, which provides instant comfort.”
Lovneet admits seeing two categories of people these days: “One is a set of people who’re otherwise disciplined but currently stressed, worried about work, salary, financial obligations, etc. They think, ‘Now I am home. Let me enjoy what I can; I will eat,’” she points out. The problem here is a lack of fixed schedule. Sleeping at odd times, eating your meals at crazy hours and munching constantly. “This needs to be fixed. Once you correct your meal and sleep time, you can control the weight gain. Break the endless munching cycle. Also, eat healthier snacks such as vegetables with hung curd dip, mango yoghurt pudding,” advises Lovneet.
The other category of people Lovneet is getting is the social butterflies who are using this time to detox, eat clean and avoid junk food.
“The nice thing is the enquiries I am currently getting are centered around health and how to be strong,” she says.
All said and done, it is nice to know that people are waking up to the fact that social distancing from their fit self is no fun because all of us still want a summer body.