This virus sucks. And it’s wreaking havoc on life as we know it.
If you’re like most people, you’ve probably been ordered to stay home as much as you can to help prevent the spread of this virus. And while this quarantine will hopefully bring about some positive outcomes regarding COVID-19, it could very well increase your risk for COVID-15.
But don’t panic. We’re not talking about another virus.
Just the 15 pounds you might gain from being cooped up in your house for who knows how long.
Let’s face it. A ton of us go to the gym because we simply just can’t motivate ourselves on our own. We need other people to help us get into the right mindset. Otherwise, the alluring call of our comfy couches is simply too intoxicating to ignore.
Then pile on access to tons of free food and snacks with no one telling you not to eat it, and you’re walking on a slippery, weight gaining slope.
So how do you avoid letting the pounds sneak up on you while you’re locked in your houses for the foreseeable future?
Ask yourself WHY?
We’ve all been there. You throw on the ol’ Netflix and grab a little somethin’ somethin’ to munch on while you watch. Nothing wrong with that, right?
Until you mindlessly eat 6 servings of your snack over the course of your 4 episode binge. Multiply this by days and weeks, and you’ve got a slam dunk recipe for adding some unwanted fat on your body.
The same holds true for boredom.
Raise your hand if you’ve ever opened your fridge just to look in it simply because you were bored?
We all have! And you’re a filthy liar if you said you never have.
This again leads to a perfect opportunity to overeat, just… well… just because! There is no good reason!
So while you’re quarantined, a good way to protect yourself against this is to simply ask why?
“Why am I eating right now?”
It’s a simple question, but you’ll be shocked at how many times you don’t have a good answer for this question. If the answer to this question isn’t “I’m hungry”, put the food down!
Your home is a safe place. A comfortable place. A place where can you kick back, relax, and let your worries melt away.
Well it’s these same reasons that makes your home a trap for a sedentary lifestyle over the course of your quarantine. Don’t let this happen! One of the most effective fat burners out there is plain and simple activity. This doesn’t mean exercise, this simply means moving.
Set a timer for every 15 minutes and just get off your butt and move. Walk up and down the stairs, walk around while on your conference call… just get up! Your body needs and craves movement. So give it some!
You could also perform some simple mobility drills to keep your joints moving through bigger ranges of motion not typically seen in day to day activities. This is often overlooked by most folks when it comes to feeling younger for longer.
And don’t forget about the portable weight room you were born with, either: your body. If you’re itching for something more than just moving, there are a wide variety of challenging exercises you can perform with no equipment at all. And if you’re not sure which to do, just remember you can never go wrong with squats, lunges, pushups, and all their variations.
You can manipulate how slow or fast reps are performed, pauses, rest periods, supersets, circuits, reps performed… there are lots of ways to make bodyweight plenty challenging. See below.
Go for a walk. Seriously. There’s not much else you can do during a quarantine and walking is the lowest hanging fruit there is when it comes to overall health.
Walking stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which can decrease stress, lower blood pressure, improve digestion, and improve overall recovery from life’s stressors. Plus, it’ll get you outside, which, trust me, is a welcome treat during lockdown. This is especially true if you’re working from home with kids… which if you’ve never done, I can only describe it with this analogy…
Imagine you’re at home, doing your work like you normally would… but now you must simultaneously herd a group of feral cats. Who are violently ill. And in heat. And on fire.
Did you know you eat less when you sleep?
You see, the more hours you sleep, the less hours you have to shovel food in your mouth.
I’m half joking, half serious. For real, if you ever have enough time at some point in your life, dedicate 10 hours per night to sleep. I guarantee you’ll eat less.
Anyway, sleeping more also regulates hormones like ghrelin and leptin, which are chiefly responsible for making you feel full and making you feel hungry. When you get tons of sleep, you will only truly feel hungry if you’re actually hungry because ghrelin is in check. And then the kicker is you’ll feel fuller sooner because leptin levels are where they should be! WIN WIN.
Get a BUDDY.
Humans are social creatures. We crave human interaction, despite what introverts may tell you. We want to be part of a tribe, group, or family, and this time we’re all spending in isolation directly opposes that.
But the great news is we live in a day and age where human interaction is a swipe or click away. This can be a great way to have someone else hold you accountable to do things like stay active, not miss a workout, or ensure you stay on track with your diet. One of the biggest things I hear as a coach from clients is that motivation severely dips when someone else isn’t there to push them, so this might be one of the biggest things you can do to stay on track during these lonely times.
Find someone you trust and respect, and tell them you need your help to stay on track.
Now hopefully you won’t have to heed this advice for a long period of time. However, we’ve gotta make the best out of these crappy times. So hopefully these small tips can help get you through this restrictive times!