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Diabetes and weight loss during the pandemic

The general population, as a whole, is dealing with a surprising “side effect” of the current pandemic: unexpected weight gain. Many people are reporting gains of 10-15 pounds, jokingly referred to as the “quarantine 15”. This unintentional gain is most likely due to the disruption in our daily routine habits, and can have a negative effect on one’s overall health and well-being. For persons with diabetes or other chronic health conditions (such as heart failure, high blood pressure), this weight gain can adversely affect both blood glucose and blood pressure readings. Take time now to address your current daily routine and figure out the best ways to incorporate lifestyle changes that will improve your overall health.

Your current diet has most likely changed during the pandemic. With a decrease in eating out at formal restaurants, there should be a focus on healthier home cooking. Unfortunately, order in/delivery and take out options have created an easier alternative. If this is part of your daily life, start reading online menus and seek out the healthier options. Look for baked, steamed, fresh, and grilled options. Avoid fast foods that offer minimal nutritional value. Instead, start cooking at home, using fresh ingredients and abundant spices (versus sodium) and track calorie intake.

Although gyms are restricted, there may still be outdoor activities (walking/hiking, gardening and bike riding) in some places. If housebound, take up yoga, calisthenics, and even housecleaning. Simply put, start moving and exercise those muscles. Not only will you feel better during the day, you’ll sleep more restful at night. Also, get on a sleep routine. Avoid late nights and scattered sleep patterns and you’ll stay more focused throughout the day.

Additionally, stop and take a look around your house/apartment. Keep the area tidy and fresh smelling. Keep the counter-tops and refrigerator stocked and organized. Stick to a cleaning routine, and reap the rewards of an inner peace of mind. Make regular contact with others, both family and friends, and seek support during these trying times.

Finally,persons with diabetes are faced with additional health concerns during a pandemic. Make sure you have ample supplies of your medication, and glucose monitoring equipment. Keep in contact with your healthcare providers and notify them of any health changes. Establish daily routines with an emphasis on good health practices, and you will reach those health goals.

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