Gaining weight during the pandemic was a real thing for many if not millions of people across the world.
Including myself. I weighed over 15 stone by the end of the pandemic!
I’m over 6ft. I was an inch away from being overweight.
I’ve always maintained a certain weight even when I stuffed my face with carbohydrates for breakfast, dinner, or otherwise.
Ironically, it was carbohydrates that drove me to gain even more weight during the pandemic.
Why? Because I ate MORE carbohydrates and sugar (unintentionally at times) than usual of course.
I started doing things like:
- Ordering food from Amazon (with prime delivery).
- Ordering gluten alternative foods from supermarkets.
- Getting lazier.
- Ordering things from Amazon that came the same day that I could walk out to buy from a shop.
- Eating MORE takeout than usual.
- Leading to my sitting around eating shit and benefiting from the convenience of online orders.
How it started
During 2020 when I was stuck in Manchester with no way to go back home because of the pandemic and its “rules”, I never thought I could end up adding on so many kilos (or pounds) that it would disappoint me.
But I did.
Slowly but surely, I started to:
- Walk less.
- Get outdoors less.
- Climb hills less.
- Walk up steep roads less.
And had less physical activity than I did in general throughout my life (even though I did sneak out many times).
But it was the carbohydrates and sugar, NOT the physical activity that helped me gain too much weight during the pandemic.
I know this because I sometimes did well over 10,000 steps in a day and yet it didn’t matter.
Here’s a list of foods.
1. Nestle Gofree Rice Pops 350g (Pack of 7)
During the pandemic when I gained weight, I started to focus more on my health that year by cutting out foods, replacing foods, testing foods, and seeing how my body reacts.
Ironically after finding out about gluten and how it cleared my skin up a lot, I started getting this gluten-free “go free” cereal from Amazon.
Which not only has rice, sugar, and syrup as its first ingredients but is 25g per serving (I ate like 80g, a big bowl).
I eventually stopped buying this food long before going full-on keto.
2. Biona Organic Rye Bread Amaranth Quinoa 500g
I thought I was doing myself a favour with the gluten free products, but all I did is swap gluten carbs for non gluten carbs.
The carbs slowly but surely started to add up.
This rye bread to top it off tastes absolutely disgusting no matter how you flavour it (butter or otherwise).
34g per 100, which is easy with enough slices of it.
3. Nestlé GoFree Coco Rice Gluten-Free Cereal 295g
The justification for this breakfast cereal during the pandemic aside from gluten free, was it was a better, healthier version of coco pops.
This is a foolish way of thinking about health, especially if weight gain is a problem for you.
I have the best metabolism going, but eating enough of this for long enough during the pandemic (with other foods) will make anyone gain weight eventually.
It’s purely a synthetic product as well (vitamins and all).
4. Bahlsen Choco Leibniz Milk Chocolate
When you first begin the health journey, you accidentally buy things without realizing what’s inside them because of assumptions.
These biscuits were an occasion for me, but once I noticed it has gluten and wheat in it, among other things, I cut it out quickly which played a role in healing my hidradenitis to the point it is today.
61g of carbs per 100g, and 41g of sugar per 100g. I ate the whole pack at a time.
5. KOKA Oriental Noodles-All Flavours- Crab Noodles 85G(10 Packets)
Super noodles, no matter WHAT kind they are, are known for their processed salt content, and some sugar, but plenty of carbs for their size.
I bought these for a few reasons:
- They cost nothing considering it’s a 10-pack.
- You can eat 1 or 2 a day for breakfast.
- And if you’re “hungry”, you can eat it in the evening.
The carbs added up to my weight gain during the pandemic without question.
6. Fox’s Biscuits Chocolatey, Milk Chocolate Rounds, 130g
I used to buy these during the pandemic from Amazon for £1-£3 for a pack.
Why spend time going to the supermarket which is out of town when you can sit on your ass and have these delivered the same day?
My punishment was weight gain and elevated insulin.
62g of carbs per 100g, and 50g of sugar per 100g.
7. KOKA Oriental Noodles-All Flavours- Lobster Noodles 85G(10 Packets)
These ones are lobster flavoured instead of crab. They were one of many I bought from the same range of KOKA noodles.
Of course, one thing I forgot to mention is these noodles also have gluten in them. So I did myself a disservice until I noticed and stopped buying them.
They played a role in my “pandemic” weight gain regardless.
8. Sosa – 100% Natural Fructose Powder – 1kg
It was during the pandemic when I started to read up on fructose and its supposed benefits. Keep in mind I was the guy who NEVER ate fruits and hated to eat them.
But in the pursuit of health, you do your research and test things out. So I bought this “fructose” from Amazon that’s natural, pure, and genuine.
Not that it mattered. It made me flair up, spiking my insulin as a direct result and played a role in adding on the pounds which I saw on the scale.
When you know better you do better.
9. KOKA Oriental Noodles-All Flavours- Prawn Noodles 85G(10 Packets)
And then comes KOKA again. You can see how much I enjoyed eating these foods, but it’s more like they were cheap and easy to make and use for breakfast or dessert.
Cheap comes at a cost. Sometimes it can be your life, other times your weight, and other times disease and autoimmune.
Weight gain was a factor for me.
10. Orgran Free From Multigrain Pasta with Quinoa 250 g (Pack of 7)
Quinoa is supposed to be a so called superfood and a better version than regular gluten or comparable products. I thought “Quinoa pasta must be good”.
I did that for a while during the pandemic until I dedicated myself and did the math of what it’s doing to my weight and will eventually do to my health.
48g of carb per 100g isn’t the worst, but when you eat at least 200g for a satisfying meal, well, you do the math.
11. Sainsbury’s Roast Potatoes 900g
16g per slice of bread despite being gluten free and “healthy”. It’s also loaded with Yeast, a very bad ingredient for Hidradenitis (maybe I developed it this way).
Other ingredients like Tapioca, oils, and more make it not as healthy as it looks.
I eventually got rid of it.
71g per 100g, which is a whopper. Tilda rice is from India and is seen as the holy grail here in the UK when it comes to rice.
It costs more. It’s wholegrain (so they say), and it’s fibrous, right? No.
Too much carbohydrates for the tiny bit of fibre to matter.
I had at least 200g per meal so you only imagine how much this added to my weight during the pandemic AND before it since rice was something I ate a lot.
14. Kellogg’s White Choc Coco Pops Cereal 480g
My logic was white chocolate is the only chocolate that seems to NOT have gluten inside it. But this is foolish thinking because it doesn’t mean it’s then healthy.
Cereal is still cereal, and it’s fortified so the lies you see on the back as far as the amount of grams in the minerals and vitamins are hardly, if at all absorbed the way it would if it were the real thing.
Easy food to add weight.
15. Sainsbury’s Sweet Potato Wedges 500g
Of all the foods on this list, this might be the least damaging for weight or for health in general. In fact, it’s not so bad and would work for someone who’s healthy (on occasion).
I ate this a lot though and yes, it was enough for the pounds to add on during the pandemic.
I stopped eating this food relatively fast.
16. Lovett’s White Chocolate 100g
Again – the idea that white chocolate is better because it lacks gluten is silly in isolation.
It’s part of the journey if you realize the effects gluten has on your skin, but it was something that played a role in my weight gain.
17. Sainsbury’s Deliciously Free From Rice Pops 300g
The free-from range focuses on no gluten and other things that people are scared of because of headlines or people choose not to eat because they’re educated.
Still, the carbohydrates alone will flair you up if acne, hidradenitis, eczema, or other skin conditions are a major issue for you.
That’s why gluten is only the beginning.
88g of carbs per 100g.
18. KOKA Oriental Noodles-All Flavours- Mushroom Noodles 85G(10 Packets)
Mushroom versions of the many KOKA products I bought from Amazon during the pandemic.
The “mushroom” barely makes up the majority of this food, any more than Soybeans make up what they call “Soy Milk”.
19. Gofree Gluten Free Corn Flakes 500g
Corn flakes have been marketed as a health food forever, and gluten free cornflakes means it’s even healthier than before, right?
85g of carbs per 100 says otherwise. And that’s in spite of the sugar only being in the 8g range.
20. Birds Eye Supersweet Sweetcorn 640g
And finally, there’s sweetcorn. But not just regular sweetcorn. No, this one is even sweeter than most on purpose.
It has 17g of carbs per 100g which is very high for a vegetable, or so-called vegetable.
I’d eat like 200g of this or more in a meal. So pair this up with the others I ate, and you start to see why I gained weight during the pandemic because of mostly food and nutrition, rather than lack of exercise.
In the end, food and nutrition play a much bigger role in weight gain or weight loss than exercise ever will.
A bad diet can’t be fixed by running or exercising. It’ll only negate or make things more difficult than is needed.
That’s why so many people gained weight during the pandemic because it encouraged overeating and most of all, eating shit since everyone was bored out of their mind or had less to do, etc.