Losing Weight After Quarantine

Many of us have adopted a less active lifestyle when we were stuck at home. 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 quarantine period, and 49% of respondents are afraid they won’t get their pre-quarantine body back. Here are some tips on how to achieve quarantine weight loss and feel fit again!

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. That can be achieved through physical activity and/or eating healthier. Try a combination of the following for the most effective results.

Cardiovascular Exercise

Any form of cardiovascular exercise – such as jogging, swimming, or biking – is great for burning calories. The great thing about cardio exercise is that it comes in many varieties – so choose the one you will be most likely to adhere to. A lot of people associate cardio exercise with really intense workouts that result in dripping sweat and being out of breath. While intensity is up to you, even 150 – 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is sufficient, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The greater 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. Factors such as age, weight, body composition, gender, and overall daily activity will also determine how many calories you burn. Aim for a 3,500 calorie deficit per week, or roughly 500 calories per day.

Lift Weights

Lifting weights isn’t just for building and toning muscles. Not only do you burn calories during your workout, you’ll also burn more over time because muscle mass 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

Eat Healthier

Spending all that time at home made it all too easy to wander to the pantry and pick out a snack to compensate for boredom or stress. Now is the time to make a conscious effort to make healthier food choices.

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 contain more calories.

Another way to ensure healthy choices throughout the day is to plan your meals out ahead of time. This may not be as convenient, but convenience usually forfeits some nutrition (i.e. fast food). Advanced meal planning sets your intention of making healthy choices. It is easier to eat healthy when you prepare food yourself and have great choices readily available.

Limit Your Screen Time

Technology is great for many reasons, including fitness. However, too much screen time can get in the way of what’s really important. Binge watching TV shows and movies can prevent us from being physically active and it’s all too easy to get glued to your phone.

Computers and phones are often necessary for work or school. Schedule time to take a break away from screens for a short period every day. It will give your mind a rest and allow you to be more mindful of the present. You can also fill the void with physical activity like walking or going to the gym.

If you and your phone are inseparable, put it to good use. There are plenty of fitness apps that encourage exercise, track your progress, or use GPS to map out a run or bike ride. Wearables are also useful for tracking your steps and heart rate. Turning exercise into a game is a fun way to hold yourself accountable and can boost your motivation.

Want to turn exercise into a game? Have a friendly competition 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!

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