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

Good Carb Bad Carb – by Talia den Dulk

Good carb, bad carb and more to the point – Should Diabetics be eating carbs? 

A carbohydrate is a food that when eaten, converts into blood sugar. Types of carbohydrates are whole or complex carbs like wholegrain bread, cereals, potatoes, rice, pasta, fruits and vegetables. These foods are generally healthy. On the other hand, refined carbs include cakes, biscuits, fruit juices, pastries, white bread white rice, sugar etc. Carbohydrates are pretty much present everywhere in the diet. 

When you have Diabetes, your body’s metabolism of blood sugar is impaired and therefore important for you to look at the carbs in your diet. To keep it simple, I would suggest that you look at the following factors. 

  1. Body Weight 
  1. Blood glucose control 
  1. Diabetes treatment 

Body weight

The more you weigh the more insulin and glucose your body requires.  Insulin resistance is directly linked to being overweight. As soon as you gain weight, you become more resistant to your own insulin which means that your pancreas will produce even more insulin to get the blood sugars into the cells. The extra amounts of insulin floating around in your blood will increase your appetite and also increase fat storage. If you are overweight it would be a good idea to exclude refined carbohydrates from your diet and limit the amount of complex carbohydrates. Please consult with us before you strip your diet of all carbs. 

If you are normal or underweight it would be advisable to consume Carbohydrates that are complex however looking at the quantity that you consume at a time. Rather spread small amounts frequently during the day. Ensure that your carbohydrates are low in Glycemic Index…..(See attach list) 


Blood Glucose control 

If your blood sugars are normal, it means that there is a good balance between your dietary carbohydrates, your medication and insulin produced or injected. On the other end if your blood sugars are higher than normal range, it suggests that you are either eating too many carbohydrates, your medication is not adequate and/or you are not exercising frequently. The first step in managing raised blood glucose is to reduce the Carbohydrates in the diet. Firstly, excluding all the sugary foods and junk foods and secondly reducing or excluding the starchy carbohydrates i.e. bread, rice, pasta, cereals, crackers (whether they are low GI or not).

Diabetes treatment 

If you are already eating a low Carbohydrate diet, and following an exercise regime and your blood sugars remain elevated (> 7mmol/L any time in the day) then your medication regime might need a review. If you are unsure about this, you can consult any of our Dietitians at the practice.  

In general, moderation is key. This not only your diet, but includes your weight and exercise routine. If your chair has four legs and is balanced, by losing one, it will topple over. Diabetes management does not only consist of taking your medication and hoping for the best. Without the correct diet, exercise and body weight, your chair will topple at some point.



 Types of Carbohydrates BAD CARBS

Refined Carbohydrates



Complex Carbohydrates


Low Carbohydrates

  • White bread
  • White rice
  • White cereals i.e. corn flakes, rice crispies
  • White pasta
  • Pies & pastries
  • Cookies
  • Sweets
  • Chips
  • Sugar
  • Rusks
  • Puddings
  • Whole grains i.e. multi-seed bread
  • Brown rice, barley
  • Bran cereals, oats
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Legumes i.e. lentils, baked beans, kidney beans, chick peas
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables i.e. potato, sweet potato, peas, corn, butternut, pumpkin
  • All Atkins products i.e. bread, crackers, muesli, bars
  • Red Basket products i.e. bread, muffins, pizzas, pancakes
  • Banting products
  • Low carb veggies i.e. broccoli, cauliflower, mushrooms, peppers, greens, green beans, spinach, leeks, onions, tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots
  • Eggs & dairy
  • Meat, chicken & seafood
  • Nuts & seeds
  • Oils & fats
Overweight  Avoid  Avoid  Allowed
Normal Weight  Avoid  Moderation  Allowed
Underweight  Avoid  Allowed  Allowed
Uncontrolled Blood Sugar  Avoid  Avoid  Allowed
Controlled Blood Sugar  Avoid  Moderation  Allowed

Featured Items

Atkins Bread
1 slice (40g) = 140kCal

Protein 4.6g
Carbs 12g
Fat 6.8g
2 Protein Portions
½ Fat

Atkins Muesli
25g = 120kCal

Protein 4.6g
Carbs 12g
Fat 7.4g
1 Protein Portion
½ Fruit
1 Fat

Atkins Crispbread
10g = 42kCal

Protein 2.6g
Carbs 4.0g
Fat 1.5g
½ Protein Portions

Atkins Advantage Bar

Protein 17.9g
Carbs 17g
Fat 612g
2 Protein Portions
2 Fats

Atkins Endulge Bar

Protein 1.9g
Carbs 3.1g
Fat 11g
½Protein Portions
2 Fats

Atkins Daybreak Bar

Protein 11g
Carbs 11g
Fat 8g
1 Protein Portions
1 Fat

Atkins Shake
330ml = 147kCal

Protein 3g
Carbs 10g
Fat 9g
1 Protein Portion
2 Fat