Pandemic snacking helps pack on the 'Quarantine 15′

Losing the 'Quarantine 15'

JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - If you’ve been trapped inside, staying on the couch and not being active, you may have gained what’s being called the “Quarantine 15.”

A nutrition expert shares what you can do if you've packed on the pounds.

"I was definitely snacking more than I should have been," said Daniel Thomas while working out at Fondren Fitness.

The University of Mississippi Medical Center student didn’t gain any weight over the past several weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic, but he admits to nibbling more than usual.

That's why he was happy to get back into his exercise routine when the doors opened at the gym.

“Mostly just like boredom eating, because if you don’t have a routine you just kinda get bored of sitting there all day. So you just kind of start snacking,” said Thomas.

And he is not alone.

"This is probably my third day back and definitely feel a lot better than just sitting at home," said Ursella Cavalcanti.

The UMMC grad could see how the boredom could pack on the pounds if you let it.

“It’s been hard to be in the house and be snacking all the time, but I think it’s important to stay active,” said Cavalcanti. “Especially when everyone is so bored and everything. You have to have some sort of release and do something physical during the day.”

University of Mississippi Medical Center dietitian Paul Robertson recommends keeping track of what you’re eating and when and it’s a healthy quantity and using smaller plates.

He also suggests slowing down when you eat and eliminate distractions like cell phones and TV while you’re eating.

"If you're struggling with emotional eating have that list of two or three things you can do besides turning to food number one," suggested Robertson. "Number two have somebody hold you accountable to that particular plan that you have. It really needs to be somebody whose opinion that that particular individual cares about".

Exercise with a physician’s guidance is also a recommendation when dealing with weight gain.

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