Have you ever noticed that near your fridge you tend to snack for no reason? A major disadvantage of working from home is that groceries are always within reach. And that means more snacking, and more snacking means more calories, and more calories usually means weight gain. So it’s no wonder that every third Australian has put on weight during the pandemic! But fear not, in this article we are going to look for ways to combat lockdown weight gain and actually reverse it!
I start with that everything worth having in life requires some kind of sacrifice. If you want to lose weight and get fit, you need to be prepared to feel uncomfortable.
That’s how I got fit in lockdown and actually lost weight. Remember, this is my personal story and is not intended to be medical advice. If in doubt, always seek medical advice!
- First, I started by setting and committing a routine. To survive lockdowns, a routine is a must! I set a workout routine Monday through Saturday and rested on Sundays. My routine is as follows:
Mondays – ABS & LEGS / BOOTY WORKOUT WITH LIGHT Dumbbells plus morning cardio
Tuesdays – ARMS / BACK & ABS plus cardio in the morning
Wednesdays – ABS & LEGS / BOOTY BODYWEIGHT WORKOUT plus morning cardio
Thursdays – ABS AND ARMS WITH LIGHT Dumbbells plus morning cardio
Fridays – LEGS AND BOOTY WORKOUT WITH Dumbbells plus morning cardio
Saturdays – INTENSE ABS WORKOUT plus morning cardio
Remember that each physical workout lasts around 10-20 minutes. I do all of my workouts on YouTube. That means I do about 1 hour of exercise a day. Check out Pamela Reif’s channel for some great bodyweight workouts. I bought my dumbbells and exercise equipment from Kmart.
- Do your cardio workout first thing in the morning, it will set the pace for the whole day! I run / walk / jog for 45 minutes every day and even if you can’t run or jog, a brisk walk is the best way to get the blood moving in lockdown. I train in lockdown twice a day just because I have more time and it’s good for me!
- Do your cardio on an empty stomach (empty stomach). It works very well for me because I feel light and have more energy to run faster. I’ll have a black coffee and off you go!
- Practice intermittent fasting. I’ve been on intermittent fasting for a little over a year now and it has helped dramatically with stubborn fat loss. I usually fast every day from 7pm to 10am. Exercising while fasting can be difficult, don’t overexert yourself. Do not stick to cardio for more than 25 minutes. I find that brisk walking is best when you choose cardio while you are empty.
- Eat two meals a day. Since I’ve got used to intermittent fasting, I’m not as hungry as I used to be! I have my brunch around 11 a.m. and dinner at 6 p.m. with a snack in between. Of course, you can have as many meals as you want. However, remember that in order to lose weight, you must be in a calorie deficit.
- Break your fast with a high-protein, high-fat meal. This ensures that you don’t get yourself crazy sugar high and then crash a few hours later. A good example of a balanced meal is: spelled bread toasted with olive oil, avocado, a can of red salmon, slices of goat cheese, and spinach leaves. Also, if you break an extended fast, don’t become constipated – even if you really want to! Your stomach is not prepared.
- Focus on high protein meals. I am on a CARNIVORE / KETO diet and about 70% of my diet is protein. Remember, I am not telling you to follow either diet, but if you want to lose weight, you need to increase your protein intake! Protein is more filling, combined with high quality vegetables and grains can keep you feeling full for hours! A good example of a dinner I eat regularly is lamb chops, kale, and carrots sprinkled with feta cheese. Dietary guidelines recommend daily intake 1.6 and 2.2 grams of protein per kilogram decrease.
- Snacks with coffee, green tea, dark chocolate, walnuts, almonds, Greek yogurt and honey, macadamia nuts, berries and water. You want filling, high-fat snacks. I also nibble on organic beef jerky, it keeps me full for hours and is so delicious! Avoid snacking on chips or high-sugar foods; you will simply ask for more later.
- Sit outside and read for an hour a day! You might be thinking what this has to do with losing weight? So much! Reading reduces stress and makes you smarter by training the brain. Vitamin D is essential to overall health, and being outside reduces stress. Stress hinders weight loss and makes you age. Stress causes the body to produce more of it Cortisol hormone: Cortisol is a stress hormone that promotes body fat and makes it difficult to lose weight, especially in the middle of the body (belly fat).
- Priority for a good night’s sleep. I don’t think many people understand the importance of good sleep! The Sleep Foundation says, “A lack of sleep can affect the body’s regulation of these neurotransmitters. In one study, men who got 4 hours of sleep had increases in ghrelin and decreases in leptin compared to those who got 10 hours of sleep. This dysregulation of ghrelin and leptin can lead to increased appetite and decreased satiety in people who are sleep deprived. ‘ I aim for 8-10 hours of good sleep per night (more realistic when working from home).
- Drink at least 2 liters of water a day! Water flushes out toxins and keeps you hydrated. I find that sometimes when I think I am hungry I am really thirsty!
So these are the steps I implemented to set up a workout routine during lockdown. I made a promise to myself that I would take this time to take care of myself and in the process I lost weight and got fitter!
During this time, don’t put additional pressure on yourself to lose weight, just make a promise that you will take care of yourself. Prioritize whole foods, good sleep, drinking water and daily exercise and the weight will decrease naturally!
Note: The advice in this article is not intended as medical, nutritional, or fitness advice. Please consult a doctor if this article raises any questions for you.
Despina Karpathiou is a seasoned freelance lifestyle journalist, accredited makeup artist and certified beautician based in Sydney, Australia. She is currently studying a double bachelor’s degree in communication and business administration and is passionate about glamorous makeovers, self-healing with food, natural diagnosis and correction of skin diseases and a life from the inside out. Follow her here for everything related to skin, health and beauty.
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