When the social distancing mandate is lifted and we all emerge from our homes, you’re going to notice that many people put on weight during this stressful time. And it’s hard to blame them.
Because fitness is hard.
It’s hard when life is normal, let alone when the world is on lockdown causing our stress to steadily rise and tempting us to turn to comfort food.
Every day we have choices to make, and these choices take us closer to a fit and lean body or farther from a fit and lean body.
Exercise or NO Exercise?
Lace up your shoes and take a run or do a body weight workout instead of getting extra sleep, watching TV or doing whatever else it is that you’d rather be doing. Do this 3-5 times each week for 30-60 minutes.
Spend your spare time being as sedentary as possible. The less that you use your muscles, the more aches, pains and mobility limitations you’ll experience. Oh, and if you’re consuming more calories than your natural metabolism burns then you’ll steadily gain weight.
Eat for TASTE or for NUTRITION?
Choose your meals based on the nutritional makeup rather than following your taste buds. Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates and get lots of protein and fiber in each meal.
Eat whatever sounds and tastes good. The human palate is naturally drawn to items that are high in sugar, salt and fat. Your eat-whatever-diet will be filled with these fattening foods and will be lacking in protein and fiber. You’ll find your weight increases, and your energy levels plummet, accordingly.
Say YES or NO to Junk Food?
Turn down your favorite junk foods –even when you really, really want it. Cut simple sugars and harmful, processed fats out of your diet completely.
Solve your stress with your favorite junk food. As I mentioned above, your favorite foods are likely high in sugar, salt and fat. Or, more likely, your faves are high in all three! Your indulgent eating is going to raise the number on your scale higher, and higher, and higher.
Push HARDER or Get COMFORTABLE?
Push your body to be stronger, faster and better during each workout. Don’t simply go through the motions in your routine – consistently challenge your muscles to do more each day.
Your goal is to be comfy. This means use as little muscular strength as you can on a daily basis. When you don’t use your muscles they begin to atrophy (shrink!), leaving you with less lean tissue. Since lean tissue raises your metabolism, a drop in lean tissue means you’ll be burning fewer calories at rest than ever before.
Count Calories or More is Better?
Limit your total calories to within an appropriate range for your size and goals. Remember, even healthy calories can add up to weight gain when you’re not careful.
There’s no limit on how much you eat – in fact more is better. As a result you often feel sluggish from your overloaded digestive system. And your motivation to exercise get fit becomes dimmer and dimmer.
So which choices will you make? And just because you’re stuck at home right now doesn’t mean that your body won’t be seen in the near future.
Concentrate on discipline, motivation and determination. Do the right thing rather than the easy thing. Most of all, constantly strive forward.
You can do this!
Stressed out? Exercise is a simple solution to get you feeling good fast.
This is because every time you exercise your body increases its production of endorphins, which are responsible for that feel-good euphoria you get after a great workout or while chomping down on a piece of chocolate.
However, before you turn to chocolate and skip your exercise, remember the end result of each and choose which one will help you reduce stress in the long run.
Here’s a simple, protein-filled soup recipe that you can make with frozen broccoli. It’s a great way to eat something that’s comforting while staying on your healthy eating plan.
Courtesy of RealHealthyRecipes.com
What you need
1 head garlic, the top sliced off
2 pounds Broccoli OR 2 (10.8 oz) bags of frozen broccoli or cauliflower
1 teaspoon olive oil
32 ounces bone broth
½ cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
sea salt and black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wrap the garlic head in foil and roast in the oven for 50 minutes.
2. Wash the broccoli and cut into 2-inch pieces. On a large, rimmed baking sheet combine the broccoli pieces with the olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. OR if using frozen broccoli simply spread over a foil-lined baking sheet and roast for 18 minutes at 450 degrees F.
3. In a high speed blender, or food processor, squeeze the roasted garlic out of its skins, add the roasted broccoli, yogurt and broth. Blend until smooth.
4. Pour the mixture into a pot and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!
One serving equals: 188 calories, 10g fat, 129mg sodium, 18g carbohydrate, 7g fiber, and 16g protein
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