I hear it everywhere lately: stress eating, eating out of boredom or anxiety from being home around the clock day after day (er, week after week!), reverting back to emotional binge-eating even.
I get it. You’re in a no-judgment zone here (with me at least). But I’d like to have a serious conversation about throwing caution to the wind with your health right now, particularly with the potential risk it poses due to the nature of the Coronavirus.
Even if you’re “staying on track” and eating a ketogenic or low carb diet consistently, there are some important points to consider about the way this new coronavirus operates, and the complications with COVID-19 (the disease caused by the virus).
I know this is a very sensitive topic, so I want to be clear about my stance…
Quarantine Weight Gain – The STIGMA Goes Both Ways
The terms “Quarantine 15” and “Covid 15” are trending right now, in reference to easily gaining 15 pounds while staying at home in isolation or quarantine.
That’s bringing with it some funny/offensive memes (depending on your take)… as well as a lot of HEAT around the web.
There are people FLAMING those memes and ANY social media comments about weight gain (or weight concerns period) because it’s not “self love” or “body positivity” etc, blaming “toxic diet culture” for the trend.
Others lean heavy in the opposite direction of “cutting yourself some slack” because there’s enough to stress over or worry about right now – you know, like: being out of work, financial stress, putting your whole life on pause, uncertainty, loss and grief, fear, and of course – a killer virus being on the loose.
So you’re wrong for caring about your weight either way right now?
Being judged (or “yelled at”) for how you feel sucks.
Feeling unhappy with your choices (or the results of your choices) also sucks.
BUT – you actually SHOULD care about your weight right now.
Now more than ever actually.
This is not about diet culture or body image…
This is about facts – and facts only.
YOUR HEALTH REALLY MATTERS RIGHT NOW.
You really matter right now.
You can love your body as it is.
You can love yourself right now, as you are.
And you can love yourself ENOUGH to make your health a priority – every day.
Not just for weight loss, but for quality of life and out of self love.
But weight loss IS important right now too.
I’ll explain why, as it relates to this virus…
Like it or not, we’re in this situation for awhile.
Until there’s a cure or a vaccine, or the coronavirus runs it’s course through every available host on the planet, we are going to have to remain cautious and mindful.
Our way of life will continue to be disrupted – or changed. We’re going to have to get used to these changes, and even create NEW norms going forward.
This is NOT going away in 2 weeks – or 2 months.
There’s more than one “pandemic” going on here, one feeding into the other.
(yes: pun intended)
The United States has the highest obesity rate, highest rate of diabetes, higher numbers of people with heart disease & lung disease – and all at younger ages.
The U.S. is not the only country running on fast food, junk food, processed foods, etc and experiencing a dramatic increase in health issues as a result.
Unfortunately, this particular virus takes a harder toll on people with those health problems, and metabolic health issues specifically
Why you should stay on track or get back on track has nothing at all to do with body image, diet culture or even personal goals.
It’s about us all doing our best to get through this pandemic.
Every choice you make has a direct result, or an impact on your health.
Things like not sleeping enough, getting too stressed, working out TOO hard, not controlling your blood sugar and/or blood pressure etc can all set off a chain of events in your body that put you at greater risk for complications with the Coronavirus.
Before we get into this, it’s worth noting (again) that I am not a doctor and I am not giving you medical advice.
I am simply sharing with you what I have learned through my own research, and encourage you to research (and fact check!) for yourself as well, given this information.
Keeping in mind too, that they are learning and sharing new things daily as this situation unfolds and more is learned about this new Coronavirus and Covid-19.
Gaining Weight Puts You At Greater Risk for Coronavirus Complications
People with “metabolic health issues” get sicker, stay sick longer, and have higher risks of critical illness and death with Covid-19.
Note: almost all metabolic health issues relate back to excess body fat.
📲 Watch this video first – all 7 minutes and 21 seconds of it:
Corona Virus and The Elephant in the Room
“the people who are most vulnerable to severe complications from this virus have chronic metabolic disease” –Transcript
Next, see: Endocrine and metabolic link to coronavirus infection
👉#COVID make diabetes worse
👉#Diabetes makes COVID deadly
👉SARS (COVID’s cousin) caused diabetes
This all makes sense because ACE2, the protein that is the entry point of the cell, is an endocrine receptor, and is responsive to insulin. https://t.co/st417gArCc
— Robert Lustig MD (@RobertLustigMD) April 11, 2020
And also: Why Coronavirus Is Dangerous For Diabetics
Losing weight is not about how you look (right now)…
It’s not about vanity goals, what size jeans you wear, competing with your best friend, fitting into that new dress, or the number on the scale.
It’s about getting focused on being healthier and stronger.
It’s about taking care of your body, so it can take care of you.
It’s wise for us ALL to focus on what we CAN control.
That means: do what you CAN to allow your body to be in the best position possible should you get exposed to the new Coronavirus, or become infected with Covid-19.
It’s a well known fact that Type 2 Diabetes can be controlled or even reversed through diet and weight loss.
Other biomarkers for metabolic syndrome/disease such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol etc can all be improved – fairly easily, and fairly quick.
Waist circumference is also a biomarker for metabolic health issues.
Take daily action toward consistently improving your overall health.
Let that, and that alone, be your main focus. The weight loss will happen as a natural result.
Every action you take and every good choice you make will add up!
You’ve been wanting to make some positive changes anyway, right?
You’ve been wanting to lose weight and get in shape, yes?
Or maybe you were doing great, and it all fell apart when this crazy coronavirus chaos hit and you’ve been spinning totally out of control.
(Don’t feel bad – this has been hard on everyone.)
THIS (you, your health) is the ONE thing you CAN control… when everything else feels OUT of control.
And now you have the best motivation ever.
Not to say that being in perfect health and at the ideal weight will save you from getting SARS-CoV-2, because there is no prevention and there is no cure (right now).
But you CAN put yourself in a better position to fight it – and survive it.
Controlling Your Blood Sugar and Blood Pressure
They’re now saying being overweight is a major risk factor for people infected with SARS-CoV-2 (Coronavirus, or Covid-19), and that for some reason people who are overweight remain contagious longer.
High blood pressure also seems to be one of the worst risk factors.
“Ensuring a good blood pressure control and blood glucose control is of primary importance in ensuring better outcomes in people with COVID-19 infection” –source
To put it in simple terms, you want to:
* Lose Weight
* Reduce Inflammation
* Control Blood Sugar Levels
* Sleep Well
* Keep Stress Low
* Be Physically Active
One note about exercise I found interesting in the video above is that you want to do regular, moderate exercise. Over-doing it actually weakens your immune system for up to 24 hours.
As we all know, a ketogenic low carb diet is one of the fastest and easiest ways to lose weight, control your blood sugar and reduce inflammation in your body.
In addition to improving your metabolic health, it makes you FEEL better.
Plus when you’re on track and in control, you’re less stressed.
I know that’s the case for me anyway. When I’m “off the rails” then I feel discouraged, disgusted, and just more DOWN in general – which is the LAST thing I need right now on top of everything else. 🤪
Need A Reboot? See: Simple 5-Day Keto Restart ❤
Find things that works for YOU to get through this stressful time, that also contribute to your health & well-being.
Practice mindful eating. Start new hobbies. Step outside more for sunshine or fresh air. Get consistent with moderate exercise, make it part of your new routine!
Try some stress-relief methods: reading, yoga, a brisk walk, meditation – whatever works for you.
Find ways to be helpful or useful to others. Focusing on someone else helps you get out of your own head! Phone a friend and be a listener. Send post cards. Video call friends and family.
Another great perk to being in ketosis is that it’s a natural appetite suppressant.
Being in ketosis will curb cravings AND your appetite, making it easier to lose weight… but it also means you eat less food. Which would be wise right now (to eat more conservatively) given food is expensive, and going out to get it is risky. 😉
It’s possible we may ALL be exposed SARS-CoV-2 (this new Coronavirus) at some point.
I am currently in week 5 of isolation, so I can hope NOT to get exposed. However, even with extreme precaution and the ability to work from home and get local groceries delivered (two things I am VERY grateful for)…
The fact is, this virus will be circulating for awhile.
It might be impossible to avoid it altogether over the course of time. The whole point of “lockdown” (staying home) right now is simply to let our healthcare system and science catch up and get ahead of the inevitable.
The virus won’t just give up and disappear. It will simply wait for it’s next host to appear. Social Distancing is forcing it to wait while we try to figure out solutions.
But that’s all – it’s simply waiting.
I could hope to be asymptomatic, or have mild symptoms, as a best case scenario. And worst case? To be able to recover at home without any life threatening complications.
I don’t know about you, but I want to avoid hospitalization and “critical condition” if at all possible…
There is a lot I cannot control. But I can STAY HOME, and I can help my body be in the best possible state to battle this virus should I get exposed.
I’m not trying to scare you into eating keto…
I’m simply trying to encourage you to take control of your health.
NOW is the BEST time to finally get over and get past any eating disorders you’ve been battling, any bad relationships with food you might have, and any excuses you’ve used to let your health go lately.
Now is a great time to examine your plate, analyze your habits, take a good look at your routine… and ask yourself:
How can I be a healthier, stronger, happier person?
Then do that… like your life depends on it. 🙂
You may never get exposed to this virus (unlikely), or be one of those that doesn’t experience symptoms if you do. But what do you have to lose… besides some unwanted weight and a few bad habits?
It doesn’t matter what you did or didn’t do today, or last week, or for the last three weeks. What matters is what you start doing NOW.
It’s absolutely AMAZING how quickly the body can heal itself… given the opportunity!
In my next post, I’ll give you some practical tips for improving your immune system and feeling your best.
I hope you are well.
I hope you are safe.
I’m here for you…
p.s. This post was written with much low carb love. ❤️ This is a serious talk. One you need to have with yourself, I mean – but I hope I gave you some good “talking points” for that conversation.
And of course we can discuss it too if you like. Just leave a comment… I always love hearing your feedback and your thoughts on things!
Discount Code: LOWCARBTRAVELER
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