Tackling COVID kilos: the hidden kilojoules in those indulgent foods

Scales showing obese or overweight levels.

Whether it was stress eating, boredom baking or Zoom drinks, many of us may have noticed our waistlines increasing and exercise levels decreasing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Even more surprising is the amount of exercise required to burn off certain foods that might have become more frequent indulgences over the past year and contributed to COVID kilos.

Following a strict diet and intense exercise plan can seem unachievable, but did you know even the simplest tasks like hanging out the washing, or vacuuming can burn between 400-900 kilojoules?

WSLHD Centre for Population Health deputy director Christine Newman provided us with a few achievable everyday activities you can do to lose the COVID kilos.

  • Walking. While this may seem obvious, 30 minutes of walking everyday can help improve both physical and mental health. It can be as simple as walking to the local shops, taking the dog for a walk or doing a lap around the block. Every step you take is a step towards better health!
  • Take the stairs instead of the lift. This one speaks for itself. The stairs are a quick and easy way to get moving.
  • Gardening. Gardening is a great outdoor activity that gets you moving. Not only can you burn kilojoules, it has been shown to elevate your mood and help with stress and anxiety.
  • Cleaning. As we all know, cleaning the house can be exhausting. Simple tasks such as vacuuming, cleaning the windows and moping all get the heart rate pumping and can be a great way toget those steps up.
  • Get outside with the kids. Walk to the local park or kick a ball in your backyard. Kids and adults could both benefit from being in the great outdoors.

Christine said that whilst weight loss may be a priority, it is equally important to focus on your mental health.

“The COVID-19 pandemic was, and still is, a stressful time for many people but getting outside and increasing your level of physical activity can often benefit your mental health,” Christine said.

 Find popular places to walk in Western Sydney here

Want more help to be active or interested in healthy eating advice?

If you or someone you know needs mental health support, call Lifeline 24/7 on 13 11 14.