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  • Writer's pictureErol Mehmet

Stunt performance and quarantine weight gain

Have you gained covid-19 quarantine weight?

Has your strength and flexibility whilst performing stunts been affected by not being able to get to the gym during lockdown?

It’s been tough for some people trying to get the enthusiasm to train during lockdown. Mental and physical health go hand in hand when it comes to controlling your body weight and restrictions have presented mental challenges for even the most disciplined Stunt Performer.

New Year resolutions, coping mechanisms and motivation...

What were your new year’s resolutions? To resist the temptation of a nice bottle of Merlot and put away the cheese board?

As to be expected, most people have overindulged during the Christmas period, for some, drinking more alcohol and eating junk food was their coping mechanism.

January was supposed to be a time to think and eat healthy but it’s been a struggle for a lot of people to stay motivated.

Some parents are having to home school and many finishing the school day with a glass of wine and becoming reluctant to put on their running shoes and get fit again.

Mindfulness, long-term success and a new you...

Being mindful of what you eat and drink and steering clear of fad diets will get you on the right track on your journey to a better you. Diet apps such as Noom claim that they encourage a ‘mindful way to eat to get fit for good and lose weight for good by making some behavioural changes. The approach is very much mind over matter, colour coded meal planning with the hope of long-term body weight control success.

It is proving to be popular and goes to show that being in control of your mental health and behaviour can help you lose weight, most importantly, losing the weight long-term.

An unhealthy mindset can damage your physical health and make you put weight on. Life is an emotional rollercoaster especially at the moment where depression, stress and anxiety are on the increase. Coping with the pressures and challenges of everyday life can become too much for people. Some are dealing with loss, growing debt, low self-esteem or the breakup of a relationship, it can all lead to over-eating and consuming too much alcohol. In addition to that, levels of the stress hormone ‘cortisol’ can lead to an increase in insulin levels making a person’s blood sugar level drop leaving them craving high sugary foods and junk food. We need to look after our mind, body and soul, especially right now.

So how can we lose quarantine weight long-term? What advice do the experts give?

  • Focus!

Concentrate your efforts on the process of losing weight, not just a goal

  • Be patient and don’t rush

Aim for long-term body weight loss, quick fixes don’t last

  • Be realistic

Don’t set unsustainable goals. You will get disappointed, demoralized and most probably give up if you are unrealistic about what you can achieve

  • Educate yourself about nutrition

Know your recommended daily calorie intake and protein, carbohydrates, fats vitamins and minerals. Science tells us that we can control our body weight by counting the calories that we put into our body and the calories we burn off through our existence and our activities. A daily calorie allowance for an average woman is 2000 and for men 2500 kcal. Your ideal calorie count would depend on your age, lifestyle, size, hormones, medicines being taken and state of your health. Calories are a measure of energy in food and drink and they are essential for us to function - to breathe, to eat, to walk and to think

  • Educate yourself about the different factors that can influence your weight

Age - As we age our metabolic rate slows down. For most people, with age comes a decrease in muscle mass, we carry more fat and tend to become less active, more sedentary and stressed. Weight-bearing exercises are ideal to combat that ageing process. Downsizing food portions, staying hydrated and taking relaxation time will also help control your body weight as you age.

Lifestyle -Some people’s lifestyles don’t allow them to do what they need to do to gain control of their body weight. They reach for processed, high carb and sugary foods instead of preparing healthy meals. They binge eat, don’t keep track of what they are eating and consume too many calories. Excess calories are stored as fat and not overeating and exercising will help prevent you from being overweight. Practice mindful eating, be active, make time for relaxation and prioritise your mental and physical health.

Size - Clinically obese people struggle to lose weight because they can’t exercise very much, normally due to underlying health conditions, such as heart problems or diabetes. Those people would need tailored healthy eating plans from their doctor. Some medical centres have appropriate exercise equipment for different medical conditions. It’s very important to seek advice before you exercise if you are overweight.

Hormones - As we know, hormones support many vital functions within our body, including our ability to maintain muscle, lose body fat, and experience stress and hunger. When a hormonal imbalance happens, it becomes considerably harder to lose weight. You should prioritise your food quality and calorie intake to reap the benefits of a healthy diet and create an environment for optimal hormone production. If you are gaining unexplained weight ask your doctor to test your hormone levels.

Medicines-Medicine-related weight gain can have many causes. Some medicines might stimulate your appetite. This causes you to eat more and gain extra weight. Some medicines might affect your body’s metabolism, this causes your body to burn calories at a slower rate. Other medicines might affect how your body stores and absorbs sugars and other nutrients. For some medicines, researchers aren’t exactly sure what triggers the weight gain. If you are on medication and gaining weight you should speak to your doctor.

Genetics - research shows that each person’s genes have a different level of influence on their weight, for example, some people’s genes are responsible for 25% of their weight gain and loss while other people’s genes may be as much as 80% responsible. But even if your genes have this much control over your body weight, there’s still a chance to beat the odds by living a healthy lifestyle.

Health - many conditions and diseases can cause weight gain such as:

  • Inflammation and cellular damage

  • Hypothyroidism

  • Chronic stress and depression

  • Cushing's syndrome

  • Syndrome x

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

  • Digestive issues

  • Diabetes

  • Gut problems

  • Allergies

  • Bowel disease

  • Crohn's disease


Create an exercise regime for fitness and well being. When you exercise your body releases chemicals such as dopamine and endorphins into your brain and it makes you happy. It gets rid of the chemicals that make you feel stressed and anxious. Doctors and therapists always recommend exercise to help deal with stress and anxiety. Exercise also burns calories but it’s important to get a balance between lack of exercise and too much exercise. It is good to do aerobic and muscle strength and endurance exercises allowing you to be strong and lean. There are plenty of ways to help motivate yourself, using different apps and fitness trackers are ideal, search online and see what devices appeal to you.

Mental health and eating

Most people’s diet changes depending on their moods, they can become emotion-driven with their food and drink intake. It’s really important to work out what triggers the desire to eat foods or drinks that are bad for you. Seek advice and learn coping mechanisms for your mental health by talking to your doctor, therapists, councillors, even your family and friends.

Eating for weight loss

As we have mentioned when it comes to weight loss it’s a case of calories in and calories out. According to Heather Mangieri, RD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics certain foods can help you shed body weight because they help you feel full up for longer and help curb cravings. Some even kick start your metabolism. To help curb your hunger, eat beans, soup, dark chocolate, pureed vegetables, eggs and sausage. Read more.

Create a plan of action and be disciplined about losing weight

Create a structured, balanced and healthy approach to control your body weight. Remove bad and create new good habits. Don’t confuse hunger with thirst, track and monitor what you eat and your activities. Use reminders on your devices to help keep you motivated

  • Do you love cycling and need motivation? Try Peloton, it’s the indoor exercise bike with online streaming classes

  • Do you need an app to track your diet and fitness? Take a look at myfitnesspal

  • Do you need to be part of a club or program for healthy habits for self-care? Take a look at Noom

In conclusion…

To shift your quarantine weight, think before you eat and drink. Combine a healthy diet with water, exercise, relaxation and plenty of sleep. Avoid triggers that result in binge eating and excessive alcohol consumption. Be mindful of what you put into your body, refrain from unhelpful thoughts and find the motivation to give yourself better health and shake off those unwanted extra pounds.

Yes, it’s easier said than done but you can do it! Remember…It’s a scientific fact that you lose weight if you eat and drink fewer calories than you burn.

**This article is for information only, please seek professional advice if you want to find out more about fitness and nutrition.

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