Keeping Off the Quarantine Weight Gain

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If you're eating more and exercising less during these days of the pandemic, you certainly aren't alone.

A new survey from supplement company Naked Nutrition found the average adult has put on five pounds since the lockdown began.

However, warding off the weight gain could be as easy as picking up a vacuum.

According to this Calorie Control Council calculator, an adult weighing 170 pounds can burn 155 calories during an hour of vacuuming.

That adult can also burn 309 calories by mopping for an hour or 386 calories gardening for an hour, the equivalent of an hour on a stationary bike.

The accumulation of calories burned during the day, outside of exercise, is called non-exercise activity thermogenesis, or NEAT, and fitness experts said you can boost your energy output by simply boosting your household chores.

"You could do silly stuff! You could squat while you're mopping. You could do anything that will make it a little more strenuous or increase the activity level.  NEAT can actually be effective in weight loss," said master trainer at Plano-based Body Machine Fitness Ethan Marine.

For weight loss though, the key is building a calorie deficit, which happens when you burn more calories than you consume on a daily basis.

When you consistently eat more calories than your body needs, the extra calories are stored as fat, and many people admit to eating more than normal because they're now working from home or trying to cope during the pandemic.

Marine said if you increase the number of calories your body needs, but still consume the same number of calories from food, you'll reach a calorie deficit.

For the best bang for your buck, he said, combine diet and exercise to lose weight.

At a minimum, he said, try three 45 minute sessions of moderate to vigorous activity a week. Many gyms, like Body Machine Fitness, now offer free online classes to help people stay physically and mentally fit during the pandemic.

*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

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