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The “Quarantine Fifteen”: Why you should stop stressing over the scale

A dietitian on why you should stop worrying about gaining weight, and start being more critical about what foods you’re eating during this time to feel your best...

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. —

Have you heard of the “Quarantine Fifteen”?

People across the country are worried about gaining weight during the pandemic. We looked into it, and the scale might not be the thing you should be stressing about. 

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With very few places to go during this pandemic, some may feel like they have one of two places to choose-- the couch or the kitchen... and they’re worried about gaining weight. 

We met up with Bekah DeWitt, dietitian and nutritionist with Nutrition LLC. She tells our reporter, “It is more about what you eat than what you weigh.”

DeWitt says you should be less worried about gaining the “quarantine fifteen” and start being extra critical about what foods you’re putting into your body during this time. She adds, “People with different body shapes can be healthy. I work with a lot of bariatric patients and I have seen overweight/obese people who every other way are very healthy.” 

With less activities to do and more gyms closed now than ever, Bekah DeWitt  says a balanced diet can help you feel your best. She adds, “Some lean protein, some whole grains, a cup of vegetables, a half cup of fruit and some dairy in every meal and you have everything you need for a healthy diet. It’s simple, but it’s not always easy to do.”

Getting your kids involved in making meals could help make sure they stay away from all the sugary snacks, and could bring an end to your daily vegetable fights at the kitchen table. DeWitt tells our reporter, “Studies show that kids will actually be more willing to try new things and eat their meals if they’re involved in the preparation process.”

Some foods can even help boost your immune system, like citrus. DeWitt adds, “Things like garlic have anti-inflammatory properties. So if you like garlic, you might want to put a little  bit extra on [your food].”

When working from home, each day can bring more stress. You could find yourself making your way to the fridge during those times. DeWitt advises, “If you can take a few minutes out of your day and do a bit of meditation, that can help with the de-stress and stop the stress eating.”

About 40 percent of people eat more when they’re stressed. DeWitt gives us some healthy snacking options during the day. She says, “Even something like cheese and crackers. That’s always a good snack. I would pair that with some type of vegetable and even vegetables and dip or vegetables and hummus.” 

Bekah DeWitt even suggests starting a garden as a family during this time. Weight gain has always been a concern in our culture. But, the truth is, all you need to worry about now-- is staying happy, healthy and at home. 

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