Lockdown Weight Gain

Scientists know that by accumulating an excess of 3500 kcal per week, would equate to 500g weight gain per week (2 kg per month). If we had to finetune this into a practical sense, that is only an extra 500 kcal of either, less activity or increase in your diet intake per day. How easy is that during lockdown? 

Let us have a look at what 500 kcal would look like and how it is possible to gain the weight so quickly

Reasons for increasing weight due to reduction in activity

  • 8000 steps less than your normal steps (Let’s say you normally do 10 000 steps and now only 2 000 steps) can lead to a half kilo weight gain without actually changing your diet at all. This contributes a large amount to those increases on the scale.

Sneaky treats can easily equate to an additional 500 kcal to your day

Seeing that you are locked in, we often feel sorry for ourselves and then we deserve that extra little snack, eh? Or something sweet? Here you can see exactly where you would get 500 calories from, what they look like and what is hidden in those comfy food treats. 

100g of Almonds – 576 kcals (20 almonds)

Unfortunately, a so called healthy snack, healthy it is, however having too many can easily equate to that 500 kcal excess. Stick to a smaller handfull of around 10 nuts per day and if you cannot achieve that, do not buy them at all!

Bacon Brekky – 500 kcal (4 slices of bacon)

Now that there is time to do a nice fry up, stay away from the bacon addition. Only 4 slithers of bacon can reach that 500 kcal goal. Rather use a non-stick pan and do with your eggs as you like. Add some spinach, mushrooms, onions and tomato, but steer away from the big B.

Its Wine time:  500 kcal (2 glasses of any wine)

Oh, lockdown will drive you insane if there is no wine at the end of the day. Even if it is just 1 glass, you will see the consequences. Two glasses of wine are a real manageble quantity in the evening, however not ideal for the waist size.  Sticking to a whiskey and soda, Gin and sugar free tonic for instance will give 60 kcal per drink instead of 250 kcal. Be smart, do not deny yourself, just make better choices……

Oh, the sweet tooth: 500 kcal for normal size chocolate treat (100g)

Small as it seems, small packages contain big dynamite. Looking here at a packet of Smarties eggs, small bag of Woolies Chuckles, the small slab that you intend to only eat a block of per day (NOT), 150g Jelly Tots or Liquorice Allsorts…… My list can go on, you know what I mean.  Rather go for a sugar free hot chocolate Nomu light or Milky Mix or make some sugar free jellys with Ultramel Lite custard……. Not the same but it could have been worse.


Snack attack: 500 kcal (3 rusks, 3 cookies, 3 small packets of chips, 100g droewors)

When the salt craving occurs, again just a small snack on something salty can mean kilos on the scale. The best suggestion is not to have these snacks in the home. If you cannot help but have them, it is better to have them in smaller portions i.e. small packets of chips instead of large bags, small packets of lean biltong instead of bulk bag of droe wors. Do not buy cookies and rusks as once it is open, it is over…….

Emotional and boredom eating and snacking (Feeding Serotonin)

Well seeing that this virus is making us bored and emotional, for some the solution would be to eat better. A real interesting fact is that we know that carbohydrates stimulate the production of Serotonin (your happy hormone) – that is why you feel so happy when you eat those carbs. However, this is of short duration. Therefore, we would need to eat continuously to feel well continuously. You know what happens next…… increase in the numbers on the scale makes us feel more emotional and then we need even more of that feel good hormone…..

The solution is simple. Regular exercise can positively impact serotonin in the longer term, it can help with reducing your appetite and cravings and regulate your sleep pattern. 

So come on, next time you walk to the fridge, leave your gym shoes there and go do some home exercise! 

If all else fails and you need help from the outside

Consider a chat with me for a simple eating plan (I consult via the Internet!)

I offer a 10 min free of charge chat session to help steer you in the right direction. Maybe I can help with assessing your problem and or an introduction of to how I can assist you with an eating plan to keep the Serotonin high and the kilos low. 

Consider natural supplemental help

Of course, there is always some natural ways to curb those cravings for the wrong things or to help you stick to your “eating less plan”. Chocolate Nutritions online shop offers a range of products to help with your weight. Categories would link to appetite and glucose control.

To help with cravings and appetite. Please consult me before you purchase
To help with cravings and appetite. Please consult me before you purchase

Diet and its reflection on your skin

Diet and its relationship to your skin has always been an interesting topic for scientists, doctors and dietitians throughout the centuries. It has been reported that the skin reflects your inner health status and ageing. We now know that our diets play a major role in the condition and appearance of our skin.

While good skin relies on great skin care, a healthy diet rich in nutrients is crucial. While aging is a natural process that we can’t avoid, fighting off wrinkles can look and taste quite well!

Vitamins, flavonoids (anti-oxidants), omega 3 oils, collagen and a variety of plant  extracts, have been reported to possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to  delay skin aging and improve the appearance of your skin.


Skin Aging

Skin aging consist of two independent processes.  

The natural aging process (INTRINSIC AGING)

This refers to the chronological aging process. It affects the skin in the same way as it affects all internal organs. 

The unnatural aging process (EXTRINSIC AGING) 

This represents the aging of skin as a result of external factors like poor diet, sun exposure, smoking, pollution and sleep deprivation.

For the purposes of this article I am going to focus on the role of your diet in anti-aging. 

Premature Aging and Preventing Wrinkles

When it comes to combating premature aging, prevention is always better than cure. Wrinkles are primarily caused by sun damage and the loss of the proteins collagen and elastin. These two proteins are responsible for keeping the skin young, firm and supple.

Sun damage occurs when the skin is exposed to UV rays, which in turn affects the production of collagen and elastin. Even more so, these rays also encourage the production of free radicals, which then prematurely age the skin. 

Free radicals can easily be counteracted by antioxidants in your diet and therefore prevent the formation of wrinkles


Red Peppers

Red peppers and guava are two foods that contain the highest amount of the anti-oxidant, Vitamin C per portion. Vitamin C is an antioxidant which means that it reduces the damage that free radicals may do to the skin, including wrinkling and inflammation. 

Vitamin C is topically on the skin for lightening, skin pigmentation and helps reduce premature wrinkling by stimulating the growth of collagen. Collagen is a protein that provides structure and elasticity to the skin.

Vitamin C is not naturally produced in the body and therefore an adequate  intake from your diet is required. If your diet is low in vitamin C, it will impair collagen production and can lead to premature aging.

Click here for a list of foods that are high in Vitamin C


They may be great for your eyes, but the nutrient found in carrots – beta-carotene – also helps to preserve the youthfulness of the skin by fighting free radicals.

Beta carotene is found in natural colorants in foods such as  carrots, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, mangoes and papaya. 

Olive Oil

Aside from adding olive oil to your salad, it can also play a prominent role in preventing premature aging.

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fats and this allows it to keep the skin hydrated, which is important as dry skin can cause wrinkles. Aside from that, olive oil is also rich in the free-radical fighting nutrients, vitamin E and A.


Salmon is incredibly rich in wrinkle-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, but apart from that, it also contains the antioxidant astaxanthin. Astaxanthin, which is responsible for salmon’s pink color, helps to fight off free radicals.  The effects of UVA radiation, such as skin sagging or wrinkling can be prevented or at least minimized by topical or oral administration of astaxanthin.  To make the most of the anti-aging effect of omega-3 and astaxanthin aim for at least 300g of oily fish i.e. salmon, trout, sardines or pilchards per week.

Dark Chocolate

Polyphenols are powerful micronutrients that our bodies need. Due to their antioxidant properties, they have numerous health benefits and may offer protection from the development of cancers, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and diabetes. Also Polyphenols, combined with sunscreen protection, have the ability to protect the skin from the adverse effects of UV radiation, including the risk of skin cancers.

Good sources of polyphenols are cocoa powder and dark chocolate, berries, beans, hazelnuts, pecan nuts, red onion, spinach, black and green tea and red wine. It is important to know that the way in which we prepare foods that contains polyphenol can actually reduce the levels of polyphenols.  For example, onions and tomatoes lose between 75% and 80% of their initial content when boiled for over 15 min, 65% when cooked in a microwave oven and 30% when fried.

Go for fresh and you will feel the benefits.

 It is never too late to start

Even people who already have signs of premature skin aging can benefit from making lifestyle changes. By protecting your skin from the sun, you give it a chance to repair some of the damage. Smokers who stop often notice that their skin looks healthier.

Are the signs of an ageing skin bothering you and you do not know how to introduce changes to your diet? Contact me for a consultation as I can help you make changes to your diet and lifestyle to help improve your skin and avoid accelerated aging!