Coronavirus: Worried about ‘quarantine 15’? Here are some tips

Emotional eating may be on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Su-Ling Goh/ Global News

With the kitchen now just steps away from many new home offices, some are worried about what’s being referred to as the “quarantine 15”, but experts say there’s no need to overreact.

“Quarantine 15” refers to gaining an extra few lbs while being stuck at home stress-eating, with no access to the local gym in an effort to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Winnipeg psychologist Dr. Syras Derksen told Global News it’s normal to overindulge while going through a change.

“We’re all going through this really big change in our lives,” Derksen said. “Part of it is just time and allowing yourself, giving yourself permission to adjust.”

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Derksen said relying on willpower alone isn’t the best way to stop the snacking.

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“What you want to do is realize how, in some ways, weak you are and how tempted you are and then do other things in order to structure your life so that you can manage that temptation,” he said.

Derksen suggests getting dressed as if you were going to work and give yourself problems to solve.

“Give yourself some goals, things that you can solve right now, maybe some things you always wanted to do,” he said.

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Jorie Janzen, the director of sports dietetics at the Canadian Sport Centre Manitoba, said there’s nothing wrong with cutting yourself some slack until you get in a routine.

“You will get what I like to call flavour fatigue, so that sweet … or that high amount of savoury options may not be something that you really look for,” Janzen said.

“It’s kind of like after the holidays. You’re looking for that meal that’s going to actually be healthy and make you feel good, even just emotionally.”

When it comes to exercise, Janzen suggests finding creative ways to keep yourself moving.

“If you have kids at home, what activities are they doing? Just join them,” she said. “It’s still movement and it’s getting away from some of the stress.”

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If you don’t have the energy to cook or exercise, Janzen said it’s important to remember you can get that energy by eating healthy.

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