How to Lose Weight in Lockdown
You've been working hard in the gym, keeping fit and healthy then suddenly the gyms are all closed and you're working from home. The most calories you burn at a time is walking to the shop to buy more food and booze. Sound familiar?
Getting Back on Track
The good news is that all is not lost. There are more ways to keeping healthy than going to the gym & lifting weights. While resistance training is something I think everyone should done in some form, so is cardio. Both of which can still be done without a gym and without the need for lots of equipment.
Losing Body Fat
This is a common goal. It is a good goal if you carry a lot of fat around your midsection as that can cause problems like diabetes and heart disease.
Here are some key things to consider to kick start your fat loss.
Keep It Simple & Stick To It
There are lots of different ways to lose body fat but not all of them are healthy or sustainable and not every method will work for every person. Find something that is simple for you to follow (this is relevant for diet & training) and stick to it for at least 4-12 weeks to give yourself a chance to see some changes.
Find Exercise You Enjoy
If you don't enjoy training in the gym, don't go to the gym. Find something else you enjoy. Rock climbing, hiking, cycling, outdoor gyms (when they re-open) if you like the outdoors. If you prefer indoors good examples of exercises are gymnastics, swimming or callisthenics.
Keep Your Body Guessing
It is important to stick to the plan for a period of time but you also need to keep changing it or you will not make any progress (although maintenance is a goal too) . Most training programs will have cycles of 3-12 weeks with options to change & progress within that time frame as well as beyond it. If you are not sure how to program yourself there are lots of free programs online or get in touch with a personal trainer to help you get started like Gorilla Fitness.
If you want to lose weight you have to be in a calorie deficit. It is that simple. Whatever diet variations you may read about online for weight loss; they all have one thing in common... a calorie deficit or restriction. Simply put, you have to consume fewer calories than you "burn off" in order to lose fat. Keeping track of what you eat is a good way to do this.
Try using something like myfitnesspal. This can work for most people to either create new habits or highlight changes that need to be made.
For a lot of people right now, I would guess that consuming less alcohol would be a relatively easy way to reduce their calorie intake.
This one takes a bit more creativity & effort currently for anyone working from home. Back when you had to travel to work you could walk, cycle or get off the bus a stop or two earlier to get some extra walking in for the day. Now, you have to make the effort to go out or do something. You can still use the stairs instead of the lift if you are in a block of flats or make sure that you make up for less activity with your exercise each week.
It is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) to get 150-300 mins of moderate exercise per week or 75-150 mins of vigorous intensity per week. These are pretty broad guidelines so can fit most peoples schedule.
Remember to vary the intensity to give you body chance to recover or if you tend to take it easy most of the time, you will have to push it a bit harder sometimes.
If you struggle with your training, hiring a personal trainer can really help. It's not as expensive as you might think & if you should see it as an investment in YOUR HEALTH. It is well worth it. Find an online personal trainer that suits you and you can get along with. They can help you with programming, technique, exercise ideas, accountability and motivation.
Most trainers don't tie you into contracts so you can stop and start as you need to & the best part is your training will be suitable for your current level of fitness & strength so there is no need to feel too unfit to seek professional help.