If you have college age kids, you’re probably familiar with the “Freshman 15,” referring to the extra pounds new students can easily put on their first year in college, for a variety of reasons.
Now, thanks to a global pandemic, we can add new terms to our lexicon: The “Quarantine 15,” also known as the “COVID 30.” The jury may still be out on whether we’ve collectively gained weight, but surveys do indicate an increase in undesired weight change among Americans since the start of the pandemic.
At NuBody Concepts Nashville, we have made it our goal to help patients unhappy with their weight or their waistline. In this article, we will share what you can do to combat your “COVID 30,” including the Orbera Weight-Loss System, a great non-surgical alternative to invasive bariatric surgery.
Gained Weight? You’re Not Alone
If you find yourself among the group of people who have gained weight in the past two years, don’t beat yourself up. It’s easy to see how this could happen – in fact, it’s hard to imagine how such a big change in daily routines and disruption of normal lifestyles would not have an adverse effect.
During the pandemic, most of us have stayed home more and been less mobile. On the plus side, you may have found yourself with more time than before – avoiding your daily commute, no longer getting stuck in traffic, and being able to attend meetings from right where you are. Unfortunately, this time savings may have translated directly into binge watching more movies and eating more food. Home baked goods were suddenly a big thing, to the point that store shelves were wiped clean of flour. Well, all that sourdough bread had to go somewhere, and for some of us it settled right around our midsection! Add to that the increased strain from mental and economic anxiety, near-universal gym closures as well as postponed physical checkups, and it’s easy to see how you might have gained 30 lbs relatively quickly.
Making a Plan for Slimming Down
Weight gain, of course, is not irreversible. A healthy lifestyle with diet and exercise can help you slim down again, especially if your weight gain is in the 10-15 lbs range. A disciplined daily routine built around exercise, calorie reduction, mindful grocery shopping, and regular sleep patterns will go a long way towards helping you make steady progress.
Build a routine that includes movement and/or exercise
Creating a daily routine goes a long way. It starts with setting daily wake-up, meal, and bed times. And scheduling times for daily exercise. If your gym is closed or you prefer to keep socially distant, there is so much you can do in your very own home by simply using your body weight or investing in a few exercise bands.
Setting goals for daily steps is also a great way to improve your fitness, and regular walks will help maintain your weight after you’ve dropped those pounds.
If you are a results-oriented person and like to measure your success, purchasing a bathroom scale (if you don’t have one) and a smart watch may help you stay on track and keep you motivated.
Keep those stress levels in check
Reducing stress in your life is going to be harder to achieve. As we all know, just telling someone who is stressed out to be less stressed out doesn’t do the trick. If you’ve been doing a good job with your routine discussed above, it should contribute to lower your stress because you’ll feel more in control.
What may also help is keeping a log. Record your daily mental state so that you can identify events that trigger a stress reaction. You can then work on ways to avoid those triggers or to learn the warning signs to help you become better prepared for stressful episodes.
If you have trouble sleeping, try meditation exercises – the internet and app stores are full of them.
It’s all about the food intake
While regular exercise and low stress are great building blocks to a healthier life, they won’t – sadly – by themselves lead to much weight loss. Recent studies have shown that moderate exercise does relatively little to effect any weight loss on its own. Read this excellent Time Magazine article for more detail.
The biggest culprit when it comes to weight gain and those stubborn pockets of fat that won’t budge is our food intake. A combination of eating less, and shifting to better choices of what you eat, is by far the best way to lose weight, if you’re willing to stick with it. If you’ve worked mealtimes into your daily routine, make sure you stick to them. And do a little research about healthy food choices – high protein, lean, high in fiber – and stick to those on your grocery runs. And try to cut out sugar altogether. It has an addictive element, and the longer we stay away from it, the easier it becomes.
Some people are successful with intermittent fasting, which means you keep your mealtimes to a smaller daily window than you’re used to – like between 12 noon and 7 pm at night. Reducing alcohol intake to smaller servings, fewer servings, or taking a beak altogether will contribute to weight loss and better health.
Learn New Eating Habits with the Orbera Weight-Loss Balloon
While we promise you that the above – eating less, and better – will result in weight loss, this is easier said than done. We all know how incredibly hard it is to resist opening the pantry or fridge when we’re hungry. And how easy it is to go on a binge when our initial resolve to cut out fat and sugar breaks down.
What is a Weight-Loss Balloon?
This gets us to the Orbera Gastric Balloon. It occupies the sweet spot between diet and surgery, making it a great alternative for patients who have tried dieting to no avail and yet are not willing or able to undergo gastric bypass surgery.
The placement of the balloon is a brief, minimally-invasive procedure of less than 30 minutes. A surgeon endoscopically places a balloon in your stomach, inflates it with a harmless saline solution, and takes it out again after 6 months in a similar fashion.
How does Orbera Keep the Weight Off?
The true genius of the balloon comes in during the 6 months you “wear” it. By having it take up space in your stomach, you are less often inclined to feel hungry, and you will automatically eat smaller portion sizes because there won’t be enough room for more.
You might think that this will be just like any other diet you’ve tried, and that after 6 months you will simply revert to your old eating habits. But this has not borne out for a large number of Orbera patients (over 300,000 balloons have been distributed worldwide). Instead, the 6 months of “learning” typically leave a permanent mark. The success of seeing your weight drop so dramatically in such a short time – after just 1-2 months for most people – coupled with the newly-adopted healthy eating habits lead to dramatic results not seen with your typical dieting program.
In addition to the balloon placement, the NuBody Concepts team also provides monthly coaching support for the first 6 months while the balloon is in place. This helps you stay on track so that you can engrain new eating habits that will stay with you long after the balloon has been removed.
Leaving Your COVID 30 Behind
As we’ve show above, shedding those Quarantine 15 or COVID 30 pounds is entirely within your reach, and there are many steps you can take on your own to get started. But if you want to boost your chance at success, it never hurts to give yourself a leg up. The Orbera Balloon is a great tool to do just that.