Being stuck at home has inevitably led to a less active lifestyle for most of us. We move less and eat more due to boredom or stress. A recent study has shown that the average American has gained about 5 pounds over the course of the last two months, and 49% of respondents are afraid they won’t get their pre-quarantine body back. Here are some tips on how to lose the “quarantine 15” and get your old body back!
Looking to lose the quarantine 15? In order to lose weight, you’ll need to create a caloric deficit, which means the amount you burn must exceed the amount you take in. The most effective way to create a caloric deficit is a combination of the following methods.
Jog, Run, Swim, Bike, Walk
Any form of cardiovascular exercise, also known as aerobic exercise, is great for burning calories. The great thing about cardio exercise is that it comes in many varieties – so choose a form that you are able to stick to. When you think of cardio, you probably think of dripping sweat and out of breath. That most certainly can be the case depending how intense it is, but even 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a week should suffice, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Of course, the higher caloric deficit you create, the faster you will lose weight. The intensity of your workout will affect how quickly you burn calories. You will burn more calories from running the same amount of time as walking, for instance. Other factors include age, weight, body composition, gender, and overall daily activity. Aim for a 3,500 calorie deficit per week, or roughly 500 calories per day.
Strength training doesn’t just make your muscles bigger or more toned. You’ll burn calories during your workout, and even more over time because lifting weights increases your resting metabolic rate. A pound of muscle burns 10-20 calories per day while a pound of fat only burns 5 calories per day. It is recommended that you lift 60-80% of your 1 rep max to stimulate muscle growth, and therefore increase your metabolic rate.
Strength training also has other benefits besides weight loss:
- Strengthens bones and connective tissue
- Improves balance and stability
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Builds confidence and self-esteem
Change Your Diet
Did you find yourself eating more snacks during quarantine than you otherwise would? Eating can feel like a quick fix for boredom, and you might have put on a few pounds from this snacking behavior.
Try to stick to three meals per day that are well-balanced, filling, and are regularly spaced out over the day. If you are really hungry and would like a snack between meals, stick with healthy options such as fruits and vegetables. Scouring the grocery store for a healthier version of your favorite cookie, cracker, or dessert is futile. Fruits and veggies are low in calories, nutrient-dense and fiber-rich to help fill you up. This is also a simple way to lower the amount of calories on your plate. The more fruits and veggies you have on your plate, the less room you have for other items that may be more calorie-dense.
Another way to ensure healthy choices throughout the day is to plan your meals out a week in advance. This may seem like a hassle but it sets your intention of healthy choices and may save you money by reducing the likelihood of stopping for grab n’ go foods. If you are back to work, make sure you also pack a lunch instead of buying it. It is easier to eat healthy when you know how things are prepared and have great choices readily available.
Limit Your Screen Time
In this modern technologically dominant age, screens are everywhere. TV show and movie binges prevent us from being active. We can’t go anywhere without our phones. Screens can sometimes be an unhealthy distraction.
Set aside time out of your day to take a break from screen time. It will give your mind a rest and allow you to be more mindful of the present. You will also be more prone to do something active like take a walk or complete a workout.
If you feel like you can’t leave your phone at home, put it to good use. There are plenty of fitness tracking apps that utilize the GPS to track your run or bike ride. Wearables are also useful for tracking your steps and heart rate. You can also pick up a Myzone heart rate monitor and compete in challenges with your fellow Elite members and staff (just talk to any Elite Sports Clubs personal trainer to acquire one). Gamification is a great way to hold yourself accountable and can boost your motivation for working out.
Want to make a game out of exercise? Compete with your family members on how many steps you take each week. Set goals for each person, and reward the winner for being the most active. Download our FREE Step Tracking Chart below!Download Step Tracking Chart