Trying to lose the fifteen pounds you’ve gained since the beginning of quarantine in March?

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gym arrow on concrete path

Here’s an idea:

Don’t. 

The odds of success are ever not in your favor.

Sustaining top-notch eating and exercise habits requires hope. If you were going to die tomorrow, would you go for a jog and eat broccoli for dinner. Didn’t think so.

In today’s world, hope is more elusive than Pliny the Younger. There’s (still) a pandemic. Aliens are real. The West Coast is on fire. You know things are bad when Mother Nature joins the other team.

Instead of trying to lose weight, you might be better off trying to avoid further weight gain… just until some semblance of normalcy is restored and you’re not continually compelled to numb yourself to the absurdity of the world with tacos and triples. 

Breaking even isn’t sexy. You’re probably badmouthing me as you read these words. Hear me out…

First, maintaining your weight is retroactive fat loss. If you would have maintained your weight since March, you wouldn’t be trying to lose (as much?) weight now. 

Second, maintaining your weight does NOT mean continuing on as normal. If your recent lifestyle has resulted in weight gain and you continue on as you have been, you’re going to keep gaining weight.

You have to change some things in order to maintain… just not nearly as many things as compared to losing fat, which is good when hope is flying off the shelf faster than the television on the front page of Target’s Black Friday circular. 

Here are two simple things you can do to help you break even.

FIRST: Be gentle with these beers.

I know you love doubles, triples, quadruples, and pastry stouts, but they are chock-full of calories. You can reduce your calorie intake and increase your odds of breaking even by sticking to more “traditional” beer styles, like singles, lagers, and pilsners.

Time to expand your palate, hazebro.

You can also incorporate some low calorie craft options into your rotation. Check out One-y by Oskar Blues, Slightly Mighty by DogFish Head, and DayTime by Lagunitas. 

I’m not saying you can’t drink ANY dubs, trips, quads, or pastry stouts. But if you usually drink a handful of them every week, you’ll easily save yourself 300-500 calories by replacing two or three of them with something less dense. 

SECOND: Walk it out.

Walking is underrated. You burn a similar amount of calories walking as you do jogging, assuming the distance is held consistent. In other words, walking a mile burns a similar amount of calories as jogging a mile. 

Walking is also easier on your joints. And you can do it hungover. 

Walk.
More.

Taking a thirty minute walk every day won’t break the caloric bank. You’ll probably only chew through 100 calories, which isn’t much. But consider this: Burning an extra 100 calories every day means burning an extra 700 calories every week. Combine this with the 300 calories you’ll save by replacing a few heavy beers with lower calorie options, and you’ll save yourself around 1000 calories every week. 

This is the difference between you gaining one pound of fat per month, and you, uhh, not gaining one pound of fat per month.

It’s your move.

This pandemic is going to keep things weird for at least another six months. In other words, there’s an above-average chance you will double the weight you’ve gained since March if you continue on as you have been. 

If you’ve already started eating better and exercising more, don’t let me sour your shorts. March onward. But if you’ve been trying to “start fresh on Monday” for the past seven Mondays, maybe you should think about breaking even until hope is no longer on backorder.

Leaving the casino with just as money as you brought beats leaving after reaching your debit card’s withdrawal limit. 

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