The Negative Effects of Quarantine on Your Health

Negative Effects of Quarantine on Your Health

We want to check in on you and call attention to a very important and growing concern that many of our clients are facing right now… 

The dreaded Quarantine 15 or (even worse!) the COVID19+ 

Not another strain of the flu or virus we have had sweep our globe recently – but rather the creeping weight and added pounds from bored snacking, less moving, and the “pantry problem” that has affected so many of us for the past month and a half. 

We know these times are stressful – kids are at home, no time to yourself, and the uncertainty of the world right now – the temptation to snack is difficult to resist, but it’s NOT the end of the world and IT’S OKAY! It can be reversed!

We will start by saying do NOT beat yourself up about this! This situation is brand new so we have all had to figure out how to navigate through this stressful and uncertain time for the first time! Also, it is not 100% due to lack of discipline or focus – there are a few major players in your body’s chemistry that have a role in this! Keep reading!! 

The Chemicals Responsible for Stress

1. Cortisol

When stress is higher due to personal or environmental changes like what we are all currently experiencing a hormone called cortisol spikes.  

Cortisol is your fight or flight chemical and it’s very useful to help you get out of danger (acute), but staying in a prolonged (chronic) cortisol state wreaks havoc on your nervous system, your metabolism and your overall health.  

Currently, many Americans are facing chronic stress and higher cortisol – and that’s why the Quarantine 15 is a real problem.  

2. Dopamine

To lower the production of cortisol and maintain balance, our bodies produce a chemical called dopamine which is responsible for feeling good – dopamine is a neurotransmitter that reinforces things that are pleasurable.

The problem is that some things we do produce dopamine and help us feel good in the moment, but actually increase stress and cortisol over time.  

An example of this is snacking. Snacking immediately releases dopamine so we feel good while we do it – but over time adds extra calories, weight gain and makes us feel bad about ourselves – increasing stress which in turn increases cortisol levels. You can see how this can be a vicious cycle.

3. Serotonin

If it were only up to cortisol and dopamine, we may never get out of that vicious cycle, but there is one more chemical that plays an important role in regulating your mood, appetite, metabolism and energy and that is serotonin. And this chemical rewards you for doing the right thing.  

Think of serotonin as the burst of pride you get from achieving a goal, losing weight, keeping a promise to yourself, fitting into your favorite jeans, getting a compliment and accomplishing what you set out to do.  In each of those situations, your body produces serotonin and it makes you feel accomplished.

That feel good sense of accomplishment is much better than what you are finding in your pantry – and better for you! 

Now what?

We can put all of this chemistry together and make a few small changes to come out of this quarantine better than when we went in! 

How to Get Your Health Back on Track

  1. Stick to a schedule – Serotonin loves schedules! The current situation has likely changed your whole “normal” schedule but you can create a new one! Wake up at the same time, set your water goals by times of day (20oz by 10 am, 40 oz by 12 pm, etc.), eat your meals at the same time and schedule a time to take a walk!
  2. Move – Exercise BOOSTS dopamine, serotonin and lowers stress naturally! Like we mentioned above, try to take a walk every day. You don’t have to hit the gym to get exercise. If you can set aside 30 minutes a day to just move, you will be in a better place physically and mentally! 
  3. Hydrate – Your body relies on proper hydration to function! Staying hydrated also can help with cravings! Did you know that cravings can simply mean that your body just needs water? Drink up! 
  4. Maintain accountability – When starting a new habit or trying to break an old one, sometimes the best thing you can do is invite someone else to join you. Try it! Find an “accountability-buddy” or, we like to call it a “Nu-Buddy” and stick to your goals, together!
  5. Start right now – Don’t wait until Monday or until the first of the month – start NOW! Even if you broke a promise to yourself recently, snacked, or missed a workout – just start right now and begin building momentum for the best you!

If you need some help reversing the negative effects this quarantine has had on your health, contact NuBody today. With us, it’s about more than just weight loss – it’s about adjusting your lifestyle and your mindset to get you to a healthier place. Put the snacking behind you and feel better with help from the NuBody team. Contact us today or visit our office in Gold River, CA to get started.