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article imageDeep learning provides dietary advice during COVID-19 isolation Special

By Tim Sandle     Mar 28, 2020 in Food
The coronavirus triggered quarantine is a stressful period and the lack of physical activity, combined with more snacking, can lead to weight gain. Yann Harstein, dietitian at Foodvisor provides some tips, based on a deep learning app.
The technology developed by Foodvisor is in the form of an app, according to Yann Harstein. The technology is designed to help to user eat a balanced diet, using photographs taken of plates of food. The technology was developed at the Ecole Centrale Paris, France. From the university, Foodvisor emerged as a startup company.
Foodvisor has developed the app by taking advice of online dietitians. The app is based on artificial intelligence algorithms. The algorithms enable the technology to identify over 1,200 different food items, estimate serving sizes, and provide a detailed report on nutritional content of the foods that are scanned.
The deep learning process means that the app continues to update and the algorithms are able to integrate new users’ food images into a database for future recognition,resulting in a constant state of learning from each new image presented.
To help people self-isolating during the coronavirus pandemic, Harstein shares with Digital Journal ten tips to avoid gaining weight during quarantine. The tips are:
Eat less calories
Harstein says: "During quarantine, the calories usually burned by physical activity (walking, climbing stairs, running...) will not, or only slightly, be burned. That is why you will have to eat fewer calories, especially if no physical activity is done during your quarantine."
Track your nutritional intake to stay in shape
According to Harstein: "In order to avoid weight gain and deficiencies, it is important to know how many calories and macronutrients (proteins, carbs, fats and fibers) your body needs to be healthy."
Eat foods that fulfill your vitamin needs
Here Harstein suggests paying attention to vitamin C for immunity and vitamin D to support your immune cells.
After: A turkey becomes a turkey dinner with
all the trimmings.
After: A turkey becomes a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.
Ben Franske (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Avoid unnecessary psychological stress and be positive
Keep calm, says Harstein: "Stress and fear have a direct impact on certain receptors that can lower your immune system. To avoid panic, try to limit the time spent in front of the TV news channels and, instead, take part in wellness activities such as reading, playing board games or gardening, if possible."
Take the opportunity to cook your own meals
This helps to ensure that the food you are eating is nutritious.
Even at home, stay active
Harstein says: "Although confinement makes us more sedentary, it is quite possible to be active by staying at home", and he provides examples like walking, working standing up and regularly stretching muscles.
Do at home workouts
Among different exercises to consider, Harstein recommends: "Follow fitness routines available for free on YouTube or on applications."
Avoid snacking
Here Harnstein says: "At mealtimes, take the time to eat and enjoy the flavors to increase filling and limit afternoon cravings. Avoid buying processed cakes or sweets to avoid temptation."
Clean your fruits and vegetables with baking soda
For washing food, Harnstein advises: "Baking soda makes it possible to accentuate washing with water without affecting the quality of the food. It is a natural detergent that fights bacteria and other pathogens."
Take the opportunity to regulate your sleep
The final advice from the dietitian is: "A good night's sleep is imperative to fight a virus. As we save commuting time when we are teleworking, take advantage of this to go to bed earlier and extend your nights if possible."
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