It’s been a tough year, no doubt. The COVID-19 pandemic has kept us sheltered in place, unable to visit loved ones or do things like exercise at our favorite gyms, shop at our favorite stores, or eat as healthy as we’d like to. One unintended side effect of the past year’s quarantine has been weight gain. Some are calling it the “Quarantine 15,” but no matter how you put it, weight gain during the COVID-19 pandemic is not an uncommon phenomenon.

Pandemic Weight Gain Statistics and Causes

Weight gain throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has averaged out to be about two pounds per month per person. Food and drink are obviously among the biggest reasons we’ve been putting on a few pounds. Staying home all day has given us every opportunity to eat the things we are most fond of, and comfort foods tend to give our bodies more than they need as far as fats and sugars go.

We’re also pairing those delicious comfort foods with more glasses of wine or beer than we’re used to. In fact, pandemic weight gain statistics have shown that Americans have been drinking two to three times more during the pandemic than in the year before. These empty calories add up and have certainly contributed to the increase in our average weight.

Another obvious cause of COVID-19 weight gain is the closure of gyms. With no access to group classes, weight and cardio machines, or personal trainers, people are having trouble holding onto their fit figures. Working out at home is hard to begin with, and those who were trying to set up a good home routine found that weight sets were extremely difficult to come by in the first few months of quarantine.

Recovering From Quarantine Weight Gain

How do we break away from these negative pandemic patterns? Well, now that gyms and other public places are starting to open up again, you can get back into a healthy fitness routine. Making schedules and sticking to them is a great way to get the ball rolling again. Instead of saying “I’ll start this week,” give yourself an exact day and time to go to the gym and set an alarm. Tell a close friend or family member and ask them to hold you accountable. It may not seem like much, but just mentioning it to someone and saying it out loud can help you commit.

As far as the food and alcohol habits go, make a healthy grocery list at home and don’t stray from it! A wandering eye at a supermarket can lead to many impulse purchases, most of which involve sweets. Cut back on drinking by limiting the amount of alcohol you allow yourself to purchase. Give yourself a weekly budget to make it harder to indulge in a couple extra drinks per week. The road back to a healthy lifestyle isn’t always easy, but by adding more structure to your schedule and diet, you’ll be living healthy again in no time. The whole country will be back to normal before we know it, and you will too!

Wendy Townsend
Author: Wendy Townsend

Wendy has always had a passion for wellness and making a difference in people’s lives. Her lifelong interest in diet, exercise, and overall wellness led her to join Belle Medical in 2017, where she’s been able to combine her knowledge and experience with cutting-edge technology to help patients spot reduce stubborn areas of their bodies and bring their inner beauty outside too. Wendy strongly believes that if people feel good about themselves, they will go out and make a difference in the lives of others as well.

Wendy is a wife and the mother of six children. She also has two grandchildren. She attended school at BYU-Idaho and UVU. In addition to her medical experience, she has a natural talent for writing and public speaking. She authored a children’s book about the loss of a parent after experiencing the loss of her first husband to cancer. Before joining Belle Medical, she and her husband operated a successful home-based wellness company for three years, which involved mentoring, coaching, and personal development.