Beware of lockdown belly

MUSCAT: Less exercise, snacking junk food, work from home due to lockdown have led many of us to gain weight. Call it corona fat or lockdown belly, expanding waistline poses a health risk, say doctors.

“Many people, except those who did not live a sedentary lifestyle inside their homes, gained body weight during the lockdown”, said Dr Basheer Alikaparambil.

According to him, many people have had their lives turned upside down since the beginning of COVID-19 lockdown.

“Many people are losing out even on simple exercises like walking in the office premises or climbing staircases. These are some exercises done unknowingly by office-goers”,  he said.

According to him, simple exercises and walking indoors as much as possible can be helpful in preventing unnecessary bulge.

Dr Shashiraj Eswarappa said there were a lot of cases relating to both weight gain and loss. “While many people tend to eat more during lockdown, others don’t feel like eating due to stress or anxiety. Either way, looking beyond body weight, eating habits do impact our health. We should be aware about the calories while eating”.

Maintaining a healthy weight through eating a well-balanced diet and taking regular exercise is good for the body and mind.

“The recent months have been a stressful period affecting everyone in one way or another, from the fears of coronavirus to concerns about the impending financial problems. It is no surprise that a lot of people have turned to food for comfort”, Dr Shashiraj said.

According to Jishy Seby, dietician, the main reason for weight gain is our stay at home lifestyle, which for some is stressful. Stress sometimes induces us to tuck in a lot of fatty and sugary food. For many, lockdown means more time to try out new styles of cuisines thanks to food vlogs.  “All these have added to the weight gain in the family”, she said, adding, “It is still not too late to think about getting back to healthy weight”.

According to Jishy, the diet centred on more fresh fruits and vegetables, more of proteins like pulses, lean meat, fish and egg along with moderate carbohydrates like rice and roti should be the routine.

Dinner should be made as light as possible with green salad and sprouts and should be taken early. Moderate exercise should be continued at home even during these days. And finally, drink plenty of water during the day.