While we’re still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic that has been going on for almost a year, it’s easy to lose motivation for eating healthy or exercising. According to a study by biotech company Gelesis, at least 71 million Americans have gained weight during the pandemic.
Being home leads to easy snacking and cooking more. Routines have also drastically changed which as a result has caused stress levels to increase. These factors contribute to the perfect storm for gaining weight during this time.
You most likely heard the term “Freshman 15,” which is a term that applies to college freshman students who gain weight the first year of school while they’re away from home. Now according to Cover Video, people are coining that term and applying it to the current times calling it the “Pandemic 15.”
Before you’re too hard on yourself for eating one too many decadent foods recently, therapists advise you to stop worrying about a recent weight gain during this unprecedented time.
In a Huffington Post interview, therapist Jessica Sprengle said people should show themselves some self-compassion and love during this difficult time. “We are all living through collective trauma every day and coping with that in all of the most adaptive ways can be incredibly difficult,” Sprengle said in the interview.
Registered dietician Emmaline Rasmussen recommends removing specific words such as “good” or “bad” from your food vocabulary. Rasmussen said people should not make themselves feel guilty for indulging in food as that could further lead to unhealthy food choices, according to the Huffington Post.
It’s easy to indulge in decadent foods and be hard on yourself for it. But instead of shaming yourself, it’s important to retrain your brain and think about what caused you to eat those foods in the first place, according to psychotherapist, Andre Watcher.