Pandemic Pounds

30 Jun, 2021 | Dr. Malik | No Comments

Pandemic Pounds

If you feel like you’ve gained a few extra pounds over the course of the pandemic, you’re not alone. I will admit, I have gained a few pounds myself. The shutdown of gyms, sport leagues, recreational facilities and some park amenities has put a dent in the fitness plans for many Ontarians. This decrease in fitness and activity has caused an increase in the size of the waistline. 

A recent study in the March 2021 edition of JAMA found that the average weight gain was about 1.5 pounds per month across participants of the study. This gradual increase resulted in an almost 25 lbs increase in weight since the beginning of the pandemic!

Twenty-five pounds is a substantial amount of weight. To give you an idea, 25 pounds is almost equal to:

  • 3 gallons of water
  • 5 bottles of laundry detergent
  • A two-year old toddler
  • 5 two-liter bottles of soda
  • 1 car tire
  • 5 bags of sugar!

Looking at the BMI chart below, you can see that an extra 25lbs increase in weight would now classify a ‘normal weighted’ person as either overweight or obese.  

And it’s no surprise that this increase in weight can become a substantial problem for future health. Increases in weight can cause all sorts of problems, from back pain to knee pain, diabetes and even cardiovascular disease. This is why taking action to help manage the weight is more important than ever. 

So where do you start? The answer is: start simple! Small steps done consistently can lead to substantial progress over time. First, let us calculate some numbers to determine how we plan to lose the excess weight:

1 lb of weight requires the utilization of about 3500 calories 

The average required daily caloric intake is about 2500 calories. 

25 lbs of weight will require 25×3500 = 87,500 calories

To help lose this weight, two actions must be taken:

  • We need to ensure we stay close to our daily required intake of 2500 calories per day, without going over. Creating a caloric deficit (eating less calories than what’s required), can help us achieve our goal faster. This app is great to help track your daily caloric intake.
  • We add about 250 calories of exercise a day to help burn off the excess weight

What does 250 calories of exercise look like:

  • 1.5 hours of house cleaning
  • 30 minutes of zumba
  • 45 minutes of gardening
  • 45 minutes of walking
  • 25 minutes of running
  • 25 minutes of biking

If you keep this up 7 days per week, it would take:

87,500/250 = 350 days to loose the pandemic weight, which is almost one year. 

So the question arises, is it time to take back better health? If the answer is yes, it’s time to start today! Start with simple steps, focus on the your ultimate health goal, and be consistent! You’ll get there sooner than you think!

Please note, every individual’s health is unique. Before making any lifestyle modifications, always consult with an appropriate health practitioner. 

To help you on your weight loss goals, book a free Dietitian consultation today by clicking here.

We wish you the best of health!

Dr Malik

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