How to avoid the “Quarantine 15”

Snacks at computer

The costs of the COVID-19 pandemic can be measured in death, misery, and economic havoc. Even the fortunate individuals who can work from home risk a serious detriment to their wellness: the “Quarantine 15”. For the more than 70% of Americans who already are overweight or obese,[1] fifteen added pounds would further boost their Body Mass Index (BMI) concerns.

Where extra pounds come from

Working late at home

Adding one medium banana, or 4 ounces of wine, or 9 potato chips to daily caloric intake adds almost a pound per month.[2] So does fifteen fewer minutes of casual walking, indoors or outdoors. There’s no more rushing across the parking lot or to the next meeting. Other contributing factors happen before and after work. Gyms and recreational facilities have closed. Exercise is no longer a daily routine and now seems less convenient.

As the new normal leads us away from wellness best practices, stress propels us toward comfort food. As our mind replays recent headlines, we experience higher levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. That leads to food cravings, then to slowly accumulating weight gain.[3]

How they can be avoided

While the work-at-home lifestyle brings concerns, it also allows behaviors to not only avoid the 15 extra pounds but also create better long-term wellness habits.

  • Get creative with your routine

    What if you no longer had to get up at Dark:30, rush to the gym, merge into commuter traffic, power lunch, happy hour? What would you want to do with that time?

  • Find fitness in ways that are not routine

    Maybe you never took a pushup break while at work — that’s understandable! Maybe a cleaning crew took care of the vacuuming and wiping down breakroom counters. Now, at your new workplace, those can be your wellness activities.

  • Refuel to suit your taste

    As you plan lunch or dinner, your pantry is like a restaurant menu: what it has is what’s available to eat. As the executive chef of this restaurant, you choose the menu every time you grocery shop. Give yourself healthier menu selections by avoiding last-minute decisions. Your strategic choices can fill a pantry with tasty foods that also meet nutritional needs.[4]

  • Bring home the best

    People who eat at least 5 home-cooked meals per week are 28% less likely to have excess weight than those who dine at home fewer than 3 times per week. Dining at home, you can avoid the preservatives, emulsifiers, and creative chemistry that restaurants may serve up to you.

    Your strategic shopping choices can benefit the millions of microbes that house 70% of your immune system.[5] With the perhaps-unfortunate exclusion of brewed and distilled beverages, most fermented foods are probiotic. Enjoy some yogurt, but watch out for the sugar! Chill down a bottle of kefir or kombucha. Pile on the sauerkraut or pickles.

At ecoPreserve, we’re familiar with remote work, but this year’s pandemic has meant even fewer trips to the office. Despite that, we can report some notable successes in avoiding the “Quarantine 15”.

First, there’s Mary Jo Anderson, a Client Safety Coordinator. She has attended virtual meetings on the WW (formerly Weight Watchers) program, and after losing 35 pounds, has reached her goal. That makes her eligible to apply for a lifetime membership. 

Mary Jo - before

Mary Jo – before WW

Mary Jo - 6 months later

Mary Jo – 6 months later

Another team member, Marketing Manager George Pond, reports a 98-pound loss after more than a year of “Nooming”. That means daily lessons in the Noom app, journaling every meal, and stomping around his living room (4 miles daily). He no longer presents a threat to most furniture and is determined to reach his healthy goal weight by summer, 2021.

[1] CDC.gov
[2] HealthLine.com
[3] MayoClinic.org
[4] NIH.gov — National Institutes of Health
[5] Harvard.edu — Harvard Health Publishing

George Pond

George Pond

Marketing Manager at ecoPreserve, LLC
George Pond brings over 20 years of experience in technical writing, internet development, and social media marketing to ecoPreserve.

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Facility Condition Report

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AWARE of CDC and NIH guidelines

The Baseline Property Condition Assessments described in ASTM E2018-15 do not specify consideration of infectious disease transmission concerns. In a pandemic and post-pandemic environment, that inspection and documentation is essential.

Buildings open to the public must comply with local regulations. For best results and greatest public acceptance, any planning for building repairs and maintenance should not overlook current CDC and NIH guidelines.

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