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Quarantine weight impacts: Shedding pandemic pounds

Vegetable aisle of Tyler grocery store.
Vegetable aisle of Tyler grocery store.(KLTV)
Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:40 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 7:29 AM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - “The Quarantine 15,” “Pandemic Pounds” -- whatever you’re calling it, the fact of the matter the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on a majority of peoples’ weight.

A survey done by the American Psychological Association a year into the pandemic, showed 2 in 5 adults gained an average of 29 pounds in quarantine. We spoke with a nutrition expert on tips for those hitting the gym to drop their pandemic pounds and for those looking to put some weight back on.

Many people gained weight while in lockdown, while some who caught the virus lost weight during their infection. Some, like Heather Boles, are working to get it back in a routine.

“Kind of getting back into the flow of things and working out the way I did prior to COVID is kind of where I’m working to get,” said Boles.

Others, like Mackenzie Karg are focusing on maintaining a healthy diet.

“I do a lot of home cooking, a lot of making things from scratch,” Karg said, “we’re getting in to where we can start to harvest so we’re getting our first green beans of the season.”

We spoke with clinical nutrition supervisor, Allison Redding about how people can get started at home with improving their diet to shed unwanted weight.

According to Redding, “most of us eat more fat than we need to, but it’s not about a non-fat diet. Just watch your portion sizes with some of those higher fat food; use less oil and butter when you’re cooking, [these are] just simple ways to cut back on extra calories.”

For those who are working to put weight back on?

“Almost the opposite!” said Redding.

She suggests increasing your intake of food in between meals with nutritious snacks.

Redding suggested “some sort of fruit and protein combo that you can provide and doing that more frequently throughout the day.”

She said once you’re able to increase your intake of healthy foods you can then focus on increasing your portion sizes.

When it comes to weight loss, Redding explained that a lot of people focus on lowering their calorie intake rather than what nutrition they’re getting. She said this is a quick way to shed pounds, but that weight can be put back on just as quickly.

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