| 16 minutes

Metabolic Health in the Age of Quarantine: 5 Ways to Break Out!

Written by Jamie, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist


  • Quarantine weight gain is real
  • Stress is a big part of “pandemic pounds,” and a good part of that is due to inflammation
  • Low-glycemic high-protein eating is part of the weight-loss solution
  • 5 tips to help us get healthier, and lose weight, in these times
  • Diabetic-friendly Almased may offer us a metabolic advantage

The “#Quarantine15” hashtag started trending on social media right after the coronavirus pandemic began.

Many of us poked fun about how easy it is for people to gain weight — whether it’s 15 pounds or even more — when we’re dealing with COVID-19 lockdowns, self-quarantines and stay-at-home orders.

The reality is that pandemic pounds and “COVID curves” are no joke. 

We’ve been cooped up indoors, going from hitting the gym to pounding the remote.

And the stress of all of this — plus being more or less isolated from our loved ones, friends and work colleagues — hasn’t helped with our health hopes, weight-loss goals or fitness aspirations.

On the other hand, quarantine weight gain is nothing to be ashamed about; it’s normal to expect that the body goes through some changes when life is altered in such a drastic way.

In a minute, we’ll give you 5 tips on how to take on the weight-gain-caused bunker blues, but first let’s mention stress and inflammation . . .

Feeling Stir Crazy? How to Safeguard Your Metabolic Health

One big area that stress messes with is your hormones, adrenaline and cortisol.

Like it or not, human metabolism is wired to take advantage of the enhanced focus, strength and reaction time delivered by these surging hormones.

This may have been great when our ancestors had to run from a saber-toothed tiger or to protect their tribe from an interloper. 

But it’s not so great when these hormones are always on 24/7, responding to all of the stresses we feel, especially in pandemic times.

It can lead to a whole raft of health problems all linked to a metabolism that's out of whack, including weight gain, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

And inflammation is a core part of all of these problems, not only diabetic symptoms.

The Inflammation Connection

According to Dr. John Morton of Yale Medicine, inflammation leads to more weight gain and, in turn, more body weight leads to more inflammation. 

It’s a case where both the chicken and the egg came first! But fortunately nutrition can help. 

In fact in a 2016 study of 83 overweight adults over 24 weeks, Almased supplementation helped people achieve “significant weight loss,” improved their levels of a hunger hormone (leptin), supported levels of healthy fats and helped with certain markers of inflammation, such as interleukin-6.

A 2014 study looked at Almased supplementation in 42 overweight or obese men and women with prediabetes over a 6-week period. The results showed both improvements in healthy glucose and a good trend towards reduced “accumulation of body fat.”

This, and other research, suggests that Almased can “deflame” the body over time due to its low-glycemic high-protein formula.

Clocking in at 27 grams of high-quality protein per serving, it may well aid the body in herding in healthy blood sugar levels, which in turn can help us feel fewer cravings for sugar and naturally fend off stress.

Almased also includes anti-stress and healthy blood-sugar-friendly ingredients like riboflavin, copper, manganese, selenium, zinc and more.

5 Ways to Go from the Sofa to Supercharged!

Is it possible to lose weight during the pandemic? 

According to Dr. John Morton of Yale Medicine, it’s definitely do-able — with the right approach.

Morton recommends building new routines around what he calls “the four pillars for weight loss”: diet, exercise, sleep and stress management. 

“You have to have routines. You can’t just be sailing along, hoping for the best. Start with the fundamentals,” says Morton. 

“That means getting up in the morning, taking a shower, getting breakfast and having a plan for the day. Purpose gives direction, and it helps when it comes to weight.”

To help us with this, here are 5 tips to help us get healthier, and lose weight, in quarantine-changed times:

    1. Create, and stick to, a routine.

Try not to just get up or go to bed whenever you feel like; aim for set times for each. Get dressed up for work every morning, and we don’t mean sweatpants. Dressing in real work clothes makes us more motivated, plus less likely to ignore weight gain that could be missed in those baggy clothes!

    2. Be mindful of what you’re eating, and how much.

Drink a big glass of water before every meal, and wait about 15 minutes before you plate your food. Be mindful of portions, using a salad plate instead of a dinner plate. Eat proteins first, since they make us fuller. 

    3. Shoot for better sleep.

People who don’t get enough restful sleep are often more overweight or obese than their sleep-happy peers. Aim for seven or more hours, depending on what your body needs.

    4. Tackle stress with mindfulness.

Whether your thing is meditation or yoga, doing either regularly can help us stress less and weigh less. Also, the less wine or beer we bring to the table, the better.

    5. Exercise more.

Even if you can’t get to the gym right now — or feel skeeved out about it — hiking, cycling or online exercise classes can do the trick.

Exercise supports a healthy immune system, is a mood lifter and helps us manage anxiety and stress — something we can all benefit from to stay more calm during this time. 

Need Isolation Motivation?

Stress may be a part of modern life. But we don’t have to just accept it. We can beat stress at its own game by giving our body the nutrition it needs and our metabolism the nutrition it craves.

Scientists have proven that stress boosts our feasting on sugar and bad fat, and vice versa. High levels of cortisol and insulin may be part of the culprits here too.

While we can’t live in a bubble or get rid of all stress, one thing that makes all of us feel better is being healthier. 

And one way we can help our bodies get there is to tackle any weight issues that are making us stressed or feeling bad about ourselves when we shouldn’t. 

An important part of that is to boost our metabolism.

That being said, conventional pre-packaged diabetic diets, for example, are boring and uninspiring. Plus, weight-loss drugs and fat-free foods aren’t the answer either. 

They just make everything worse.

Look for natural solutions, including healthy foods and dietary supplements that can increase energy levels and enhance wellness.

While no one food can single-handedly jet away the jitters or add mojo to our metabolism, there is a powerful, and simple, thing you can add to your diet every day to tip the scales in your favor.

That’s drinking an Almased dietary supplement shake! 

The high protein in Almased delivers a metabolic one-two punch that also helps with appetite control.

Because Almased is a low glycemic index (low GI) food of 27 per serving, it's the preferred choice for herding in blood sugar levels, which helps us feel fewer cravings for sugar and naturally helps with stress.

Enter: Diabetic-Friendly Almased

Research from 2003 showed that Almased helped participants not only lose weight but also preserve muscle mass, in addition to improving how the body handles both glucose and fat. 

In fact, in a landmark 2020 study with 19 healthy women — who received either Almased alone or a standard diet — when taking Almased the participants were able to significantly burn more fat by turning more nutrients into energy than they were able to with a regular diet, leading the researchers to say that Almased provides a "metabolic advantage" compared to a conventional diet.

So there’s no doubt about it. Diabetic-friendly Almased can be a crucial part of our efforts to tackle those coronavirus curves, the #quarantine15 and whatever else is thrown at us!

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