This quarantine has been a struggle for many people. Our lives were literally turned upside down and we had to slowly create a "new normal." For me, one of the biggest changes was the closing of the gyms. Once the gyms were closed IMMEDIATELY all workout equipment was wiped clean from the stores and online. Ya girl has only been able to find one 8 pound dumbbell and two 5 pound weights that were collecting dust under my parent's bed. For someone who had grown used to shoulder pressing 25 pounds weights, this was a major blow.
At first, I wasn't too stressed about all the gym equipment being sold out because like everyone else, I was so sure that COVID would be a quick summer shower. Unfortunately, COVID turned out to be a tsunami that sought to destroy everything in its path. Now five months later, we are still rebuilding and hoping that another wave doesn't strike.
When we first realized that COVID would be a long term issue, it was hard for me to adapt to fitness outside of the gym along with no heavy weights. It literally felt like my best friend was leaving for college. (In real life when my best friend left for college I cried uncontrollably lol). For the first couple months of quarantine, I severely struggled with my fitness and nutrition. I barely worked out and I ate like a jerk. For me, eating like a jerk consists of having no restraint and no acknowledgement of calorie intake what so ever. I feel like my "beginning of quarantine diet" was equivalent to an everyday eating contest, except there was no cool prize at the end, just a blown up body and a decline of self esteem and energy.
I felt the weight gain in my body, mind and spirit. I sincerely started to freak out because I had begun to build this brand, SomerBodyFitness, that centered around health and fitness, yet here I was gaining weight back in a very noticeable way. I started to think about the data of weight gain. Nearly 65 percent of dieters return to their pre-dieting weight within three years (Gary Foster). I couldn't believe that quarantine was destroying all of my hard work. How could I allow this to happen! So, I freaked out for a good couple weeks and then it hit me. You cannot fail at weight loss. Unless you are in a body building competition or an actual weight loss challenge, there is no specified amount of time that you have to lose the weight. Who cares that I had gained the "quarantined 20" (I actually don't know the actual amount I gained) because I spent the last two years doing the work and the research on weight loss and nutrition. I had the tools and knowledge to lose the weight and there was no ticking clock telling me when I had to accomplish it by. So, I went back to the basics!
CALORIE DEFICIT: When it comes to weight loss, CALORIES ARE KING. You need to be burning more calories that you intake. There are a couple of different ways of figuring out your calorie deficit. One of the easiest was taught to me by my of my favorite fitness trainers, Jordan Syatt. Take your goal weight and times it by 12. Yup, it's that simple. My current calorie deficit is 1900. I set my goal weight to 175 x 12=2100. I like to go a little lower than my actual calorie deficit so that if I go a little over my daily calorie intake I'll still be within my calorie deficit.
GOOD SLEEP: Sleep is such an important component of weight loss that people generally overlook. It is recommended to get 6-8 hours of sleep and to not look at blue light (electronics) within a hour before you try and go to sleep. I started going to bed no later than 11PM. When you receive good sleep, you WILL perform better. When you don't receive good sleep, your body produces low levels of leptin, which means you'll feel more hungry.
H.I.I.T: High Intensity Interval Training is one of the best types of workouts for weight loss. It allows you to burn a large amount of calories in a short period of time, bu keeping your heart rate up and thus in the fat burning stage. I began to do H.I.I.T at least two-three times a week.
PROTEIN: Tracking your MACROS (macronutrients) are not essential for weight loss, but it is essential for monitoring your nutrition. MACROS consists of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. I intentionally increased my protein because it has a greater effect on satiety than an equivalent of energy from carbs or fat in the short-term. I used the Phormula1 protein powder from 1st Phorm to achieve this.
INCREASED MOTIVATION: I always say that discipline beats motivation, but that doesn't mean that motivation can't be helpful. To increase my motivation, which in turn helped to increase my discipline, I set small weekly goals that were easily measurable and realistically maintainable. For example, week one of no chocolate, week two 6 days of working out, week three no less than one gallon of water a day. Making short term and measurable goals, will make you feel good about the process because unlike the scale that is unreliable, you'll easily be able to see those goals and it can help increase your desire to continue the fight.
I practiced these five goals CONSISTENTLY for a month and boom! Ya girl was seeing some real progress. I didn't weight myself because the scale can go up and down from a plethora of reasons. Instead to track my progress, I took pictures and monitored my performance during my workouts. I had more energy, I was able to increase my reps and my clothes fit better.
In the midst of the rebuilding of NY, our Governor Cuomo has decided to close gyms indefinitely. (insert big sigh) This news was hard for me to accept. For two years the gym has been my sanctuary, my joy, my release, and any other word that describes "haven" that you can think of. After gaining and losing this quarantine weight, I'm more confident that I'll be ok. I miss the gym immensely, but I have the tools I need to maintain this weight loss thing. I go more in depth on how to obtain sustainable weight loss in my e-book, "The Ultimate Guide To Weightloss" which is available for purchase on my website. Talk to me and let me know if these pointers helped you in your journey of quarantine weight loss!