According to a recent article published in the Journal de Québec, the pandemic has made Quebecers gain weight. 2 out of 5 Quebecers have gained weight in the last 14 months. Indeed, the pandemic and the sanitary measures have drastically changed our lifestyle and, for some, our eating habits. However, is there any reason to be concerned?
Although extreme weight gain can increase the risk of chronic diseases, a circumstantial weight gain does not necessarily mean a poorer health. For most Quebecers, there is no reason to worry about their health despite weight gain, especially if their diet consists mostly of healthy and nutritious foods. Such a difference in weight could even be normal under the current circumstances, given the anxiety, sedentary lifestyle and even sleep problems, which can cause a change in appetite.
What are the solutions? First of all, it is important to learn to listen to your hunger and satiety signals. Some of our dietitians may be able to help you with intuitive eating, an approach that teaches you to respect your body while leading you to your natural weight over the long term. There are some scales that allow you to measure your hunger before grabbing a second plate or a snack, such as this example.
Also, don't try to restrict yourself and cut out a particular food or nutrient category unless your dietitian tells you to do so because of a medical condition. This will only make the problem worse, because depriving yourself of a food will increase your attraction to it. The food will then be eaten later, and often in higher quantities than if you had not deprived yourself of it in the first place.
If you wish to embark on a more specific weight loss process, it would be ideal to talk about it with your nutritionist who will make you a personalized plan to reach your goals. Don't start a diet without a professional's approval, as diets are restrictive and weight loss will not be effective in the long term. Some people are also more at risk of developing eating disorders when they are deprived of food for a long time. This is not to be taken lightly, especially since the prevalence of eating disorders may be exacerbated by the isolation created by the pandemic.
So be careful in your nutrition process and also accept your body for supporting you during these uncertain times. If you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to make an appointment with one of our nutritionists - dietitians.