Weight gain during lockdown is one of the most common topics of conversation among friends and family. And almost everyone with different fitness levels has gone through it or is still struggling with it. Just like everyone else, I was also the victim of weight gain as an outcome of all the cooking/baking experiments or the endless trips to the fridge/pantry. After much deliberation, I decided that I can't go on beating myself about this weight gain and need to do something about it.
I followed these five steps to shed weight and gain health!
1) Pay someone — So, I knew I won't be able to last long as a lone wolf because it’s hard in the current times to keep yourself motivated and in the high energy state. So, to get that extra dose of push, you must take services from a good nutritionist/fitness instructor/club (whatever works for you). When you shell out money, you are likely to become more accountable. For me, it was getting very hard to bring the discipline in eating habits and I needed a good diet plan to put things together. This helped me learn a lot about the measurement of macros, portion control, etc., and trust me it can be a life-changer when you get a hang of it.
2) Don't waste money — Do step 1 diligently for 30-45 days! Create a calorie deficit. It’s simple math — burn more, consume less. Once the results start to show up on the scale and mirror, you will start getting back your confidence.
BREAK (2-3 days): Don't forget to take a teeny weeny break because you have worked HARD enough! But don’t lose your guard against monster food items. From here on, your goal should be to chase good health and a sustainable lifestyle rather than just weight loss! Another thing I realized is that it's not at all about intensity but the frequency of working out and selecting the right kind of foods. By doing it over and over again, you will build it into your lifestyle.
3) 80:20 rule — I gradually got into the habit of healthy and clean eating, working out, etc. So, my mind and body were trained for the reduced calorie intake. At this stage, continue sweating out but don’t deprive yourself completely of your favorite foods. Enjoy everything in moderation! Try to follow the 80:20 rule i.e., eat healthy 80% of the time. Gradually, as you progress with a healthy lifestyle you can bring up this rule to 90:10. We can't go on measuring our food forever, however with time and consistent practice — slowly you will know what portion sizes and foods work for you.
4) Go extra with movement — Work from home lifestyle has brought one major change, which is — considerably reduced amount of walking! Walking is one of the easiest things to do and it has incremental health benefits in the long run. So, aim for 8k-10k steps a day and try to achieve this goal during your short breaks by walking inside the home or while taking calls. Also, if you are at an advanced level of fitness then you can aim to do some exercises in your short breaks like 20 squats, 10 pushups, 2 mins plank, etc. All these extras will add up in creating a calorie deficit. Just by adopting these short bursts of workouts, I managed to increase my pushups count from 5 to 12-14!
5) Go less extra with food — We all have a lot of social commitments during the week or over the weekend. So, we must do some mental calculations about upcoming engagements beforehand. Account for some food and drinks allowance for such occasions but don’t go overboard. Portion control is the key to maintain good health sustainably. Save your calories for foods you really enjoy. For example, I would enjoy feasting on pizza or ice-cream wholeheartedly rather than munching on cookies/chips as impulse snacks. Mathematics has its power, use it well!