Americans have switched up their daily routines to avoid gaining weight during Covid-19

·3-min read

The average American has spent the last year trying to avoid the "quarantine fifteen," a new study has found.

A survey of 2,000 general population Americans has found that 73% have been dedicating themselves to better daily routines within the past year, through healthy habits like getting more quality sleep (55%), eating healthier foods (53%) and working out more often (47%).

Quarantine appears to have contributed to this self-improvement movement as more than two-thirds (68%) say it's easier to eat healthy if they're staying home, while 56% say they prefer to work out from home.

Likewise, 85% of those who work out from home and 65% who eat healthy at home both plan to continue staying in, even after the pandemic comes to an end.

Commissioned by Fresh Express and conducted by OnePoll, the study found that sixty-five percent of Americans shop for more produce and fresh food now than ever before, spending an average of $557 on produce per year. Just as many are willing to pay even more for healthy and convenient foods.

"Over the last year, consumers scaled back on restaurant or at-home dining, and increasingly sought out flavorful, nutritious and convenient meal solutions," said Fabian Pereira, Vice President of Marketing and Innovation at Fresh Express. "They want to enjoy chef-crafted meals, with minimal time spent in the kitchen."

In order to meet the recommended daily servings of fruits and veggies, a third (34%) turn to salads, with the average American eating salads three times a week. Thirty-six percent have eaten more salads than ever since the pandemic began.

When it comes to spending green on greens, more than half (52%) buy salad kits, which contain the salad greens, toppings and dressings in a bag.

Fifty-five percent of people look to salad kits specifically because they don't have to spend time preparing individual ingredients, while 48% do so because it's a convenient and inexpensive way to eat healthily.

However, salads can't get all the credit for Americans' attempts to eat healthier. People are also upping their protein intake by eating more white meat (34%), red meat (34%) and nuts/seeds (29%) now than ever before. And nearly half (48%) eat healthy snacks like apples, cheese and nuts two or three times a week.


Of course, no one is perfect and Americans still indulge in more than a week's worth of cheat days every month.

Interestingly, when planning a meal, people claim to prioritize healthiness (30%) and how quickly it can be prepared (22%) over taste (19%).

However, two-thirds admit to adding their favorite cheat foods to an otherwise healthy meal in order to make it more appetizing. Close to seven in 10 (68%) will add an unhealthy dressing or sauce to healthy foods to give it more flavor.

America's top cheat meals include things like fried foods (33%), fast foods (33%), and sweets (29%). Meanwhile, you can spot dressings like vinaigrette (34%), blue cheese (32%) and Thousand Island dressing (30%) on top of meals to mix things up.

"We know how challenging it can be to stick to a healthy eating plan, especially when consumers are tight on time and just want something that tastes good," said Pereira. "Our goal is to offer a wide range of convenient and flavorful products that are consistently, deliciously, fresh. That's why it's great to see that so many people are dedicated to eating healthier and bettering themselves"