How To Keep Up Healthy During Quarantine?

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

All play and no work makes Jack a mere toy.

This proverb by the Irish novelist Maria Edgeworth fits in the current lockdown scenario explicitly. The state of isolation has cut-off outdoor activities, which in turn has restricted the burning of calories outside of the natural processes of digestion, respiration, excretion and other metabolic activities. Most of us in the concrete jungle do not have access to large spaces to exercise, thereby allowing the food we ingest to be stored under the skin as adipose tissue, that is- FAT.

Adipose tissues… don’t they seem a familiar name? Yes, they are the reason why you might have a feeling of gaining weight during this lockdown. Now what? You have a sudden urge of losing weight, fearing untoward changes in your body, mind and soul. So keep reading this article to get some simple hacks to keep away that extra weight.

One of the easiest and most feasible way to deal with weight problems while staying indoors is to have a controlled diet, which can be done by having a rational crave for food.

Important keywords to keep in mind are:

Stressed; Fatigued; Hungry; Bored; Happy; Depressed.

Let’s see how these are related!

You tend to eat more when you are stressed because eating tends to give pleasure and apparently reduces stress even if it’s for a minute. But then one might get stressed again fearing weight gain. This can turn into a vicious cycle.

Next, you eat when you are fatigued or happy or bored to uplift yourself up .

And you know in which category you are! 

But the right thing you are supposed to do is to eat when you are hungry and yes, this might sound little novice to some people because we usually fulfill our cravings even if we are not hungry. 

One of the most powerful thing you could do when you are home quarantine is FASTING! Why?  

Because fasting significantly improves your immune system. In fact, fasting has the potential to stimulate the stem cells to rejuvenate your immune system with improved cognitive performances. Now, in terms of fasting you don’t need to go for prolonged fasting. Intermittent fasting (that generally last for anything from 16 to 48 hours) is enough to get the beneficial effect.

Second most important thing to do would be to let go of junk food because if it’s in the house you know that it would be finished in hours. So just swap out the consumption of high calorie, low nutritional value food with excellent nutritious foods like fruits, berries, legumes, yogurt and prunes. These choices are great in terms of nutrition- sweet and very filling.   

Third, avoid SNACKING! Because snacking causes more craving or more sugar-craving. And most people will end up having a high-fat or high sugar foods like chocolate. Daily consumption of leafy and green vegetables will help you to bulk up your meals as they are high in fiber, contain potassium that reduces stress and anti-inflammatory effects.

Studies have reported that deficiency in nutrients especially micro-nutrients helps viruses to kick start gene that makes virus more susceptible to the host. You should take vitamin-D, Zinc, Vitamin-C to support your immune system. Vitamin C is the most important of all vitamins and works as anti-viral, it increases white blood cells, lowers the risk of getting common cold and lung infection3. Vitamin B1 greatly reduces stress. 

Last, in this current outbreak, prevalence of comorbidities and age of affected individuals are strongly related clinico-pathologically. So, you should take extra care of the person in your family who has pre-existing medical problems. These people are more susceptible to the virus due to diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular or respiratory system disease. And these common diseases fueled by our unhealthy lifestyle can be controlled by better and smart choices in our daily dietary intake.  

References:

1.)Kohio HP, Adamson AL. Glycolytic control of vacuolar-type ATPase activity: a mechanism to regulate influenza viral infection. Virology. 2013;444(1-2):301–309. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2013.06.026. (Visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23876457)

2.)Mendelsohn AR, Larrick JW. Prolonged fasting/refeeding promotes hematopoietic stem cell regeneration and rejuvenation. Rejuvenation Res. 2014;17(4):385–389. doi:10.1089/rej.2014.1595. (Visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25072352)

3.) Seok S, Kim YC, Byun S, et al. Fasting-induced JMJD3 histone demethylase epigenetically activates mitochondrial fatty acid β-oxidation. J Clin Invest. 2018;128(7):3144–3159. doi:10.1172/JCI97736. (Visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6025975/)

4.) Melinda A. Beck, Orville A. Levander, Host Nutritional Status and Its Effect on a Viral Pathogen, The Journal of Infectious Diseases, Volume 182, Issue Supplement_1, September 2000, Pages S93–S96, (visit: https://academic.oup.com/jid/article/182/Supplement_1/S93/2191642)

5.) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0955286396001325

6.) Yang J, Zheng Y, Gou X, et al. Prevalence of comorbidities in the novel Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) infection: a systematic review and meta-analysis [published online ahead of print, 2020 Mar 12]. Int J Infect Dis. 2020;S1201-9712(20)30136-3. doi:10.1016/j.ijid.2020.03.017 (Visit: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/32173574)

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