Skip to main content

Did you have pandemic weight gain?

One of the biggest issues (no pun intended) that I have come across in my practice during the Covid-19 pandemic has been body weight gain.  Many of my patients complain that they have put on weight during the pandemic lock down and social distancing regulations.  Less regular exercise combined with a lot of daytime snacking can only lead to one thing, weight gain.  In addition, the practice of “Happy Hour,” which typically in the past, occurred 1 -2 x per week, became a daily habit this past year.  Extra calories from alcohol contribute to the weight gain.  Alcohol has an effect on fat metabolism and for me at least, having a drink or two acts as an aperitif and increases my hunger.  Thus the reason for happy hour snacking.


With the closures of gyms, fitness centers, yoga studios and swimming pools, people were given an excuse not to exercise.  And I’m guessing, many used that excuse.  Work from home also contributed to the problem as workers were burning less calories a day due a drastic shift in how much walking and standing occurred during the day.  Plus, there is a greater accessibility to food at home than when at work. Another theory concerning work from home weight gain involved not dressing for work and wearing loose comfortable clothes (like sweats and pajamas).  The loose clothing prevented you from noticing a gain in weight that you may have noticed in your dress clothes.   According to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Americans that participated in the study gained just over ½ a pound every 10 days amounting to a 15-20 lb weight gain over the course of the pandemic year.


The annual “State of Obesity 2020” report reveals that 42.4%  of Americans are obese.  This is the first time that our country has went over 40%.  Thirteen years ago, the obesity rate was only at 16%.  This is a whopping 26% increase.  Obesity is considered 30 lbs overweight.  The study did not include just plain overweight of less than 30lbs.  When those numbers are taken into account, our country’s percentage of the population that is overweight and obese is 73.1%.


This is a very important statistic, as being overweight has a direct correlation with risk of disease.  This includes cardiovascular disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, mental illness and all-cause mortality.  Obesity is puts you at risk of having a severe case of Covid-19 and is considered one of the preexisting co-morbidities that can lead to Covid-19 viral death.


Now that pandemic restrictions have been lessening with gyms opening and sports and recreational activities being allowed to continue it is time to get back into regular exercise.  If you are not a gym user, the change in season with warmer weather arriving means that you can take long walks, ride your bike or jog.  Burning calories with exercise will help take off the extra weight.


I know “diet” is a nasty word and the act of dieting can be uncomfortable due to deprivation of all the foods you enjoy.  For myself, I have maintained a healthy weight for the last 20 years or so.  I eat for health and have used many if not all of the diets available.  Diets such as low fat, high fat, low carb, high carb, no fat, all fat, keto, paleo etc.  The bottom line is no matter what diet plan you use, the facts are in the calories.  If you take in more calories then you burn as energy, the rest are stored as body fat which equals weight gain.


What I have learned the past two years is that calorie reduction eating plans such as intermittent fasting and time restricted eating are the easiest way to lose weight.  To be healthy, eat healthy foods.  To a lot of people healthy foods are not the foods that they like to eat.  Preferring pizza or chicken wings to broccoli and rice. With intermittent fasting or time restricted eating, people who don’t typically like healthy foods can still lose weight and eat what they like.  For instance, intermittent fasting involves not eating for 16-17 hrs after eating your dinner.  So, if you finish dinner at 7pm, the next meal you have is at 12 or 1pm the next day.  This is a fairly easy way to lose weight as eight of those fasting hours are sleeping hours.  The period of not eating, your body is burning fat for metabolic energy since there is no other fuel as in carbohydrates present.  With time restricted eating, you pick an 8 hour window of time in which those 8 hours are the only hours you are allowed to eat in.  Similar to intermittent fasting, in that if you pick your eight hours to be noon to 8pm.   Intermittent fasting only 3-4 days a week will significantly decrease your caloric intake and the result is weight loss.


Both methods in combination with regular exercise will result a steady weight loss.


Covid-19 Update:  Disposable medical masks (the disposable ones we wear when we are out and about, not the cloth ones) are not being recycled and the materials they are made from are contributing to an environmental crisis.  The masks consist of fibers made of very small microplastic fibers.  So much smaller than the plastic fibers that shopping bags are made of.  This means they breakdown faster and are released into the environment at rapid pace.  129 billion masks are used per month, worldwide.  About 3 million masks per minute with the majority being disposable masks.  As most are aware there is plenty of controversy with mask wearing. While I 100% agree that mask wearing can reduce the spread of some virus particles, the contradictions that exist in why and how we need to wear them are steep.  For instance during rugby practice, I have 30 athletes tackling each other and performing other high contact drills and we are told that mask wearing is not necessary during training or competitions, but if we are standing listening to coaching points, masks should be worn.  The contradiction: “Does the virus not spread during activity and only spreads when standing around?”  SMH.


Vaccine Update:  The talking head doctors on the news channels continue to tell us that the vaccine stops the spread of the coronavirus.  Again, according to Dr. Fauci and the press releases from the vaccine manufacturer, the vaccines main purpose is to prevent severe cases of covid-19 and hospitalizations. The vaccines effect on you actually catching and or spreading the virus is thought to be minimal and not fully understood at this time.  According to a paper published in the medical journal Molecular Therapy available on the National Center For Biotechnology Information website, challenges remain for RNA-based vaccine strategies, such as further improving stability, reducing toxicity (due to intrinsic inflammatory activity), and increasing protein translation, necessitating additional clinical studies.


Covid-19 Vaccination Reaction Update:  As part of informed consent for your personal information here is the latest reported events from the CDC vaccine adverse reaction reporting system (via their website) to help you make your own health care decision concerning the vaccination.
As of 4/9/21,  Over 183 million people have been given at least one dose of the vaccine and 61 million people are fully vaccinated representing 18% of the population .  Adverse reactions total 56,722 (Of the 56,722 reported events, common reactions such as arm soreness and swelling, fatigue, fever, body aches and headache are included. Also included are the more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis (412 reported cases).  The most common reactions are chills (over 10,106 cases), headache (13,110 cases), shortness of breath (4890 cases), nausea (over 5678 cases).  Also, 1,427 people contracted the covid-19 virus after receiving the vaccine.  In addition, it has also been reported on the CDC web page that 1,858 people have died after receiving the vaccine. 


Here is a link to the CDC Vaccine Adverse Reaction Reporting System.  You can look up any and all symptoms associated with the Covid-19 vaccine.  Or any vaccine.


1st, scroll to bottom of page and click on the “I agree” tab.

2nd, then scroll back to top and click on VAERS Data Search

3rd, scroll down to the vaccine products box and search for Covid-19 and select it by clicking on it.

4th, scroll down to bottom of page and click send.

This will bring you to the Covid-19 page.


Prenatal Pregnancy Chiropractic Care Information:  5 chiropractic care benefits during pregnancy and prenatal care.  1. Reduced nausea and morning sickness. 2. Decreased duration of labor, easier delivery and less pain medication utilized. 3. Relieves back pain and pelvic discomfort as well as other pregnancy related issues like sciatica, neck pain, headaches and even carpel tunnel syndrome. 4. Improves baby positioning by decreasing uterine constraint from the round ligament, using Webster’s technique. 5. Healthier overall pregnancy. Prenatal chiropractic care is essential part of a healthy pregnancy.



Dr J. Zimmerman, Chiropractor Dr. Zimmerman is a practicing chiropractor from Galloway, NJ with 30 years of chiropractic practice.

You Might Also Enjoy...