When the social distancing mandate is lifted and we all emerge from our homes, you’re going to notice that many people put on weight during this stressful time. And it’s hard to blame them.
Because fitness is hard.
It’s hard when life is normal, let alone when the world is on lockdown causing our stress to steadily rise and tempting us to turn to comfort food.
Every day we have choices to make, and these choices take us closer to a fit and lean body or farther from a fit and lean body.
Exercise or NO Exercise?
Lace up your shoes and take a run or do a body weight workout instead of getting extra sleep, watching TV or doing whatever else it is that you’d rather be doing. Do this 3-5 times each week for 30-60 minutes.
Spend your spare time being as sedentary as possible. The less that you use your muscles, the more aches, pains and mobility limitations you’ll experience. Oh, and if you’re consuming more calories than your natural metabolism burns then you’ll steadily gain weight.
Eat for TASTE or for NUTRITION?
Choose your meals based on the nutritional makeup rather than following your taste buds. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates and get lots of protein and fiber in each meal.
Eat whatever sounds and tastes good. The human palate is naturally drawn to items that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Your eat-whatever-diet will be filled with these fattening foods and will be lacking in protein and fiber. You’ll find your weight increases, and your energy levels plummet, accordingly.
Say YES or NO to Junk Food?
Turn down your favorite junk foods –even when you really, really want it. Cut simple sugars and harmful, processed fats out of your diet completely.
Solve your stress with your favorite junk food. As I mentioned above, your favorite foods are likely high in sugar, salt and fat. Or, more likely, your faves are high in all three! Your indulgent eating is going to raise the number on your scale higher, and higher, and higher.
Push HARDER or Get COMFORTABLE?
Push your body to be stronger, faster and better during each workout. Don’t simply go through the motions in your routine – consistently challenge your muscles to do more each day.
Your goal is to be comfy. This means use as little muscular strength as you can on a daily basis. When you don’t use your muscles they begin to atrophy (shrink!), leaving you with less lean tissue. Since lean tissue raises your metabolism, a drop in lean tissue means you’ll be burning fewer calories at rest than ever before.
Count Calories or More is Better?
Limit your total calories to within an appropriate range for your size and goals. Remember, even healthy calories can add up to weight gain when you’re not careful.
There’s no limit on how much you eat – in fact more is better. As a result you often feel sluggish from your overloaded digestive system. And your motivation to exercise get fit becomes dimmer and dimmer.
So which choices will you make? And just because you’re stuck at home right now doesn’t mean that your body won’t be seen in the near future.
Concentrate on discipline, motivation and determination. Do the right thing rather than the easy thing. Most of all, constantly strive forward.
You can do this!