The pandemic quarantine has disrupted many lifestyle habits that help us maintain our health and fitness. However, now is not the time to succumb to the siren call of your couch and pantry! Unhealthy foods and minimal physical activity can quickly lead to weight gain and muscle loss. Be ready to look and feel your best by using your quarantine time to improve your overall health, beauty, and wellness. Here are some tips to help you avoid the “Quarantine 15” and develop healthy habits while stuck at home.

Eat Well – Load up on natural, whole foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, lean meats and avoid simple starches and sugar as much as possible. One simple way to balance your meals is to fill half your plate with (non-starchy) veggies, a fourth with a lean protein, and a fourth with a starch – with an aim to eat the veggies and proteins before the starches. Remember to eat your meals at the table, paying attention to your satiety. Eat until you are content and avoid feeling overfull or stuffed when you are finished eating. Also, shop carefully – if you don’t buy it, you can’t eat it! Keeping a food journal to record what, when, and how much you eat each day will help keep you accountable and reduce mindless snacking. 

Snack Smartly – Try to have healthier options readily available, such as hummus with veggies, yogurt with berries, or mixed nuts. But when you crave chips or cookies, as we all do, prevent overeating by portioning out a serving size into a bowl or plate. Never eat directly out of the snack bag. 

Stay Hydrated – Drinking lots of water can decrease your appetite and help your digestive system eliminate fats from your body more efficiently. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger, so before you scan the pantry, drink a 8 oz glass of water. For flavor try adding mint, lemon, orange, cucumber or ginger. Aim to drink ½ of your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 160 pounds aim for 80 ounces of water per day.

Be Active – Commit to exercising at least 30 minutes daily. You can break up the exercise into 15 minutes twice a day or even 10 minutes three times a day if needed. There are many activities you can do at home, even in small spaces – such as squats, burpees, sit-ups, planks, walking up and down the stairs, and push-ups – even vigorous cleaning counts! Try a virtual fitness class or, if allowed, go outside for a walk, hike or run. Anything that raises your heart rate, burns calories and engages your muscles will help. Keep a log your workouts, or team up with a fitness partner (virtually or within your household) to keep yourself accountable.

Get Sleep – Adequate sleep, at least 8 hours a night, plays a critical role in hunger management and maintaining a healthy immune system. Try to stick to a consistent bedtime schedule and routine. Pro tips: don’t use electronic devices in your bed and avoid caffeine late in the day.

Reduce Stress –Research has proven that chronic stress can wreak havoc on many aspects of our health and wellness, including food cravings. When we’re stressed, we’re more likely to crave sugar, fats, and carbs for the quick energy boost and comfort they provide. Given the extreme stress we’re faced with today – fear of infection, economic uncertainty and social isolation – it is crucial to mitigate stress by using mindful self-care practices such as meditation, yoga, exercise, and art (drawing, playing or listening to music, etc.).

Please take care of yourself, stay in touch with loved ones, support and protect your community, and be well.

About Annemarie Joerres, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist at Belcara Health

Annemarie understands the power that diet and lifestyle changes can have on your health and wellness. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics from the University of Wisconsin and over 20 years of experience, Annemarie provides expert, science-based guidance to individuals seeking to improve their lives. Her approach to building a customized plan involves dialing in on daily nutrition habits and identifying practical solutions to help each client achieve optimal health. Learn more about Annemarie and Belcara Health at or call 410.296.0414.

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Belcara Health
Belcara Health
Where health and beauty blend.

Belcara Health is a unique, multidisciplinary practice offering Plastic Surgery, Dermatology, Ophthalmology, Wellness and Skincare services - all under one roof. The practice’s renowned specialists collaborate to provide a continuum of care with integrated, personalized services and procedures designed to help patients live happier, healthier, more vibrant lives – now, and for the years ahead.

Dr. Michael Cohen, Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Gary Vela, Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Bradley Robertson, Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Nadia Mostovich, Facial Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Ciro Martins, Dermatologist
Dr. Richard Adler, Ophthalmologist
Dr. Eric Nager, Integrative Medicine
Dr. Andrew London, OBGYN

Belcara Health / 1427 Clarkview Road / Suite 300 / Baltimore, MD 21209 / / 410.296.0414