Weight gain has become more of an issue now than ever, with more people moving less. With more stress, anxiety and fear brings more comfort eating.
Working from home, being close to the fridge and the amount you actually move in a day have become big problems.
What may have been working for you pre-Covid-19, isn’t now working as good, so your weight is gradually going up. You may even have been over weight pre-Covid, and now it’s getting out of control.
This is OK, normal and fixable. Breathe.
It’s time to assess, prescribe and tweak what you’re doing. That’s all. It’s a simple science and fixable, if that’s what you want, and are committed to doing.
Losing weight isn’t a vain thing, it’s a perfectly healthy goal to want to be healthy and fit well in your clothes. I must say now though that I’m not talking about weighing yourself. Give that up. Rather, use your clothes as a measuring tool, it’s much healthier, more realistic and kinder to your mental health.
We moved Inspire Fitness fully online last month, and in the three weeks that I went from going back and forth to the gym, to changing to working all from home, I started to gain weight. I quickly adjusted and tweaked, but it got me thinking about how many women must be silently struggling with their weight, feeling like failures, using it as a self-worth stick, and unsure what to do.
So I want to list all my top tips so you have them in an easy digestible list.
- First up, ask yourself, ‘What’s different to your routine now? Are you eating more? Moving less? You’ve got to figure out what the actual problem is. Only truth, no excuses. Success doesn’t understand excuses, only ‘are you fixing the problem, or are you not’.
- Spend 95% of your time on the solution, NOT on the problem. Yet we have a tendency to do it the other way around. Spending all our time calling ourselves fat, and then giving out all the way through our workout. Change your mindset, change your life. Become solution focused. OK, you’ve gained some pounds, let’s get the pounds off. While the pounds are coming off, you can still love yourself and enjoy life, you don’t have to wait to love yourself until you become trim again.
- If you’re working out for 30 minutes, 5 days per week, you don’t need to work out any more! That will most certainly lead to fatigue, and over-training. Walks are great additions but leave it at that. Don’t ever try to out train a bad diet, you’ll wear yourself out.
- Food deprivation doesn’t work. Without naming names do you know those gyms that do high protein. high fat for 12 weeks? If I had a euro for every time I heard ‘Oh, it’s great until you stop the high protein, high fat diet.’ Anything that makes you diet very specifically with a few foods groups, is not going to last long term. I think as we get older we also realise life is too short. So if you have this period in your life when you thought you were the perfect shape, but you were doing one of these diets, instead of beating yourself up saying ‘oh remember when I was so thin’, maybe instead say ‘Jeepers, how much more rich and fulfilled my life is now, isn’t it great I have less time for all that shyte’.
- When you’re fitting into your clothes great, you have to STOP obsessing, and enjoy it! This is what you wanted. Don’t move the goal post again! Get to your ideal, healthy jeans size and LEAVE IT AT THAT. Happy out! You’re in maintenance phase now!
- Strength training has to be in your life to combat the loss of muscle mass. What does muscle mass do for weight loss? It turns you into a calorie burning machine! What happens when you don’t do strength training? Your metabolism gets so low, you only need to look at a scone and you gain weight. You make things SO HARD on yourself.
- Reduce the amount of STARCHY carbs you eat. You’re gaining and gaining and it’s getting out of control. A sure way to fix this along with the exercise, is to lower the amount of starchy carbs you eat in the evening Sunday to Thursday. That doesn’t mean low carb. Don’t do it, it’ll backfire. It simply means plenty of veg and protein for dinner, curries, stir frys, all brilliant, but you’re leaving out the pasta and rice for just a few weeks until you get it all under control. Now don’t read this to mean rabbit portions here we come, it means fill your plate up with lots of veg and protein, 5 days per week.
- If no starchy carbs for dinner doesn’t suit you, stick to a big baked potato.
- Eat bread once per day, I don’t recommend giving it up! Anyone I meet that struggles with food, always seems to be off bread! Bread is great, a good rule of thumb is once per day, at lunch. Soup and a sandwich for lunch, happy days. Don’t get tempted to eat a salad, I see this all the time. Major restrictions at lunch because you ate too much the night before. Don’t rob from Peter to pay Paul.
- Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and two small snacks. Gaining weight? Stick to a small bit of fruit at both snack times.
- Eat dinner at 6pm, and stop eating after that.
- It goes without saying that you’re not going to lose weight eating food on the couch at night, sometimes I think we forget this.
- Thinking about weight loss or eating a low calorie bar is not losing weight. Eating less and moving more is losing weight.
- It’s a simple science. Calories in has to be less than calories out.
- Do the right type of exercise or you’ll drive yourself mad. That’s why I do strength and interval with my clients with the right combination throughout the week. You need to burn fat, and you need to build lean muscle mass while strengthening your core and preventing injury and back pain.
- Be real with yourself.
- Don’t live in leggings. Try on the jeans you want to fit into again, once a week. These are your markers.
- Eggs for breakfast is the only thing that’s ever worked for me. Porridge or Weetabix are great too as long as they don’t make you crave carbs all day.
- Keep it simple.
- Simplify everything.
- If you do an overhaul of your food, it really only takes one to two weeks to start to feel a difference.
- Give up the weighing scales. If your clothes are getting looser, and you’re feeling better, and you hop on the scales and you’re not happy with what they say, so you get pissed off and backtrack????!!!!!! Self-sabotage at it’s best. The weighing scales is NOT an indicator of you being fit, healthy and fitting into your clothes that are a healthy size for YOU.
- Get rid of the god damn scales.
- Lift heavy weights. Not those weightlifting bars you see! No thanks! I’m talking about dumbbells.
- Get real with yourself.. Honestly it’s a game changer when you start telling yourself the truth.
- Give up the excuses you’re telling yourself. You’re either gaining weight from too many calories in and not enough movement or you’re losing weight.
- It’s OK to gain weight from time to time! We all do! The key is to acknowledge it, don’t take it too seriously, don’t let it define you, and do something about it! Hell you can even have fun along the way.
I hope this helps,