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Gyms closed, the kids came home to stay and so did you, whether because your job went away or you started working from home. Your stress level rose, your routine was disrupted, and the kitchen was just RIGHT THERE.

Is it any wonder weight gain has plagued so many of us as the COVID-19 pandemic nears the one-year mark?

Changes in routine, stress levels, sleep patterns and mental and emotional state each on their own can lead to overeating and lack of motivation to exercise. All combined, they are a recipe for weight gain.

Since obesity can lead to other conditions that put you at greater risk for serious complications from COVID-19, it is important to focus on eating in a healthy way and getting some exercise.

How do you get back on track?

By now you are probably settled in the new at-home routine.  Build in time for daily exercise, whether it is a walk around the block, or an online workout or yoga video.  It’s good for your mental and physical health.

Start going to bed and getting up at the same time every day.

And finally, try meal planning, making sure to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and high-quality proteins.  Get the kids involved!  Studies have shown that people who eat five or more home-cooked meals per week have less excess weight and body fat than those who don’t.  Meal planning helps you shop for healthy foods and commit to cooking instead of ordering out.

Go get health, New Jersey!