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Losing Weight While Being Confined At Home

  • April 15, 2020

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Losing Weight While Being Confined At Home

Currently, the coronavirus pandemic has put the United States and many other countries across the world into lockdown, closing gyms, restricting people’s movements, and keeping them at home. For those of us on a weight loss journey, being told to stay at home is a scary thought - How will we keep our diets in check? How do we work-out? Will we undo all of our progress? 

The truth is that weight loss is often not a linear journey and we can expect to hit a variety of ups and downs along the way, what matters most is how we deal with them. So here’s how to continue your weight-loss journey while being confined at home. 

Don’t panic 

Being told that your city or state is on lockdown and that there is a very contagious and potentially dangerous virus sweeping the nation can cause people to panic, but it’s important to stay calm and to assess your situation in order to find out what a lockdown will mean for you and what changes you will need to make to your daily routine.

Related: How To Cope With Financial Stress And Anxiety During The Coronavirus Pandemic

Panicking will only cause a rise in the stress hormone, cortisol, which is responsible for changing the way in which your body metabolizes glucose and determines how much energy your muscles burn. Prolonged periods of stress can lead to a rise in cortisol levels from which the body can struggle to recover, causing insulin resistance and making it harder for your body to burn fat, so it’s important to try and avoid stress wherever possible. 

Ways to help reduce stress at this time

In an ideal world, the best way to reduce stress would be to eliminate the source, but unless you have a cure for coronavirus up your sleeve, that isn’t going to be possible at this time, so you’ll need to find some alternative ways to reduce your stress levels. Here are a few things to try: 

  • Be rational and assess your situation
    Often one of the biggest fears that people have is about the unknown, so try to eliminate a few unknowns by assessing your situation, write down what in your routine can stay the same and what may need to change and visualize how you can adapt.

  • Meditate
    Meditation is a great stress reliever and will help you to find focus and clarity. If you haven’t meditated before it may feel odd at first, but you will be able to find a lot of helpful tutorials on YouTube that will guide you through the process.

  • Exercise - but not excessively
    Gentle exercise is often referred to as a form of meditation in motion and can help to greatly reduce stress, the important thing to remember is that if taken too far, exercise can actually cause more stress on the body, so try to steer clear of anything too strenuous at this time. 

Related: Growth Mindset: 3 Ways Running Provides Mental Toughness

Maintain a routine

You may now be working from home, not working at all, or having to home-school your children, all of which will greatly alter your daily routine. Rather than letting all sense of routine fly out the window, try to stick to a new normal by getting up at the same time every day, getting dressed even if you aren’t leaving the house, eating at regular mealtimes and going to bed at the same time each day. Our bodies love routine and sticking to one will help you to keep calm, to reduce your stress and to make better use of your time. 

If you focus on one thing focus on diet

As a rule of thumb, losing weight is 80% about diet and 20% about exercise, meaning that if you need to let something slip during lockdown it should be your exercise and not your diet. You should still have access to your local grocery store and wherever possible try to maintain a healthy and balanced diet with the products you have available. It can be tempting to turn to comfort foods in times of stress but now more than ever your weight loss journey needs you to stay diligent.

Related: Reduce Debt Stress: 8 Ways To Live Healthy

If you do find yourself craving a comforting bacon macaroni cheese, a pizza or some other food that you would usually avoid, then rather than let the craving build try to satisfy it by making a healthier alternative. Why not make your own pizza at home, use low-fat mozzarella and lean proteins and serve with a side of salad, or if you are craving greasy bacon then try sprinkling something like  Flavor God Seasoning on some turkey bacon which is a zero-calorie seasoning blend that tastes just like the real thing. 

Modify your exercises to suit your situation 

With gyms closing and social classes banned, if you want to keep up some form of exercise routine you are going to need to be able to perform it at home. If weight training was an important part of your routine then you may be able to improvise with items from around the house, or if you can afford to, then consider investing in some free weights for your garage.

Alternatively, use this time to try something new and take up something like pilates, yoga or HIIT which can be performed quickly and easily in a small space by following one of many online tutorials. Exercise right now will be important for your mental health, so make it fun, keep it simple and if you can then make it a part of your new routine.

Related: 5 Best Yoga Workouts That Will Make You Feel Great 

Remember that this won’t last forever

Finally, it’s important to remember that this won’t last forever, and so even if you do put on a few pounds, that’s ok. As we mentioned before, weight loss is not always linear and you will experience bumps in the road, just do your best, stick to a routine where you can and when this is all over get back to your usual routine with a new sense of gratitude for the freedom you have. With consistency and persistence you will lose weight and change your life forever.