Why nearly a third of all Canadians have gained weight during COVID-19

Have you gained a little bit of weight during the COVID-19 lockdown? You’re not alone. Millions of other Canadians have too.

In fact, it was recently reported that nearly a third of all surveyed Canadians said that they have gained some weight during the lockdown. At the same time, 15% said that they have lost weight.

So, if you have gained a little bit of extra weight, or even the so-called Quarantine 15, you are not alone.

And it’s not your fault. Here’s why.

Locked Down and Locked Out of Public Gyms

If you used to be a gym rat, you probably feel like a rat in a cage right now. Public gyms like Goodlife and LA Fitness have been opening and closing sporadically, as each zone moves from one colour to another.

This has been particularly frustrating in Ottawa, where the gyms have opened and closed several times, while there has been frustration over miscommunications about the risk levels while they were open.

Home Gyms are Incredibly Expensive

If public gyms are closed, you should just work out at home, right? Sadly, the new demand for home workout equipment has depleted the supply of things like kettlebells and free weights, while also sending the prices skyward.

Prior to COVID-19 lockdown, you could expect to pay roughly a dollar-per-pound for free weights. Today, if you can actually find a retailer with stock, they are now going for 2-3 times that price.

Without the ability to work out at home or public gyms, we’re seeing a lot of people reaching out to plastic surgeons for body contouring procedures.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, and I’ve always been busy. But this is the busiest summer that I can recall,” said Toronto Plastic Surgeon and body contouring expert, Dr. Stephen Mulholland.

“It’s not just facial procedures. We’re also doing a lot of liposuction treatments and tummy tucks for people looking to regain their pre-COVID bodies.”

New Routines and Bad Habits

The current work from home world has forced a lot of people to throw out their old daily routines and establish new ones.

Many Canadians now have the entire family working and e-learning from home. This can lead to bigger lunches, larger portions, and more snacking throughout the day. When the 4 o’clock snacking bug hits you in an office setting, you tend to soldier through it or eat something light. However, if you’re working from home, the fridge is only a few steps away. It’s now far too easy to make an entire sandwich, or finish last night’s leftovers to fill that void.

Of course, there is also a lot of new stress from the entire family being under the same roof for 24 hours a day, plus so much economic uncertainty. This means that stress eating is rampant across Canada right now, with people turning to food to cope or reward themselves.

Experts are advising against waiting until things return to normal to lose any weight you have gained. If the multiple lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have taught us anything, it’s that we cannot predict the future, and we have no indication of when things may return to normal.