The side effects of the COVID-19 quarantine could be starting to weigh on some Orillia residents.
What started out as an extended spring vacation for some, offering an opportunity to slow down their busy lives, has snowballed into a nine-week self-isolation period, forcing many to break routine and deviate from healthy habits.
And this lifestyle change may be reflecting on the scale.
“We’re seeing the emergence of the quarantine-15,” says Orillia CrossFit Box owner and CF-L3 certified CrossFit trainer, Matt Spencer. “When this all started some of us needed the time to reset and recharge. But like any vacation, too much can be a bad thing. And now some are noticing the number on the scale going up and are unsure how to make it go back the other way, especially with what’s going on in the region right now.”
“I want to assure you, people whose health and wellness has been impacted by the COVID-19 quarantine are not alone. In fact, it’s something we’ve seen with our members at CrossFit Orillia. Our athletes are regular people, susceptible to life’s pressures just like anyone else.”
So, what can people be doing to get their health and fitness in line as residents continue to live in the adapted day-to-day?
Coach Matt has provided some helpful tips and real-life examples of changes his members have made to help fight off the quarantine-15:
Gain an understanding of nutrition and keep track of what you eat
“If you were trying to get out of debt, you’d have to see where you’re spending your money,” explains Coach Matt. “Losing weight is no different. You’d be surprised how much you’ll learn from tracking what you eat in a day, similar to a budget.”
CrossFit Orillia tip: Download one of the many free nutrition tracker apps
“I decided to join Coach Heather’s nutrition seminar and was inspired to start writing down what I was eating,” says CrossFit Orillia member, Danielle S. “I discovered on day one that I was barely eating half my recommended calories and less than a quarter of my recommended protein.”
“At first the change took much effort; to continue intermittent fasting which I solidly believe has reduced inflammation in my body with eating enough in my feeding window. I got the swing of it in the first week and I’m celebrating 23 days of tracking today! I feel more energized in my WODs (workout of the day) and am sleeping so much better.”
“Everyone tries to start too big,” says Coach Matt. “Small steps are what leads you to the path of success. Patience is key. People who win the lottery go broke because they don’t know how to be rich. Weight loss takes time, but by the time you get there, you’ll know how to stay there.”
CrossFit Orillia tip: Add a serving of vegetables to your breakfast.
“Coach Heather knew I was struggling with my weight, and offered some advice on portions and choice in my meals,” says new CrossFit Orillia member Stephanie H. “I wouldn't say it was a quick transition, but I began to keep myself accountable for what I was fueling my body with.
“Today, I feel fantastic. My journey isn't over. I still want to see more of a transformation in my body shape, but I am on the right track. It is true what they say, there is no quick fix, it was a little at a time, starting with no sugar in my coffee, then having raw veggies for breakfast instead of a bagel and cream cheese.”
Sometimes simple tricks work best to change unhealthy habits
“The plate method is an awesome way to dial in what you eat without worrying about counting calories,” says Coach Matt “It’s simple: fill up half of your plate with vegetables. Don’t worry about ‘the best way to cook them’ just start by eating more of them!”
CrossFit Orillia tip: Download a plate builder sheet here.
“After a month of eating like I was on death row, I knew I needed to change my habits,” says Taylor S. “I felt sluggish and decided enough was enough. I started by cutting out nightly treats, allowing myself some leniency on the weekend.
“I also began using the ‘plate method.’ My meals consist of half the plate veggies or fruit, a quarter of my plate a carb and the last quarter a protein. I’m just trying to be more cautious about what I put in my body! As a result, my mood has improved, as well as my performance during workouts!”
Consult with a nutrition coach
“Sometimes we need to reconnect with simplicity to get inspired again,” says Coach Matt. “Working with a Nutrition Coach can help you with reconnecting with your body’s basic needs and while some of the steps may seem simple, they’re not always easy.”
“I would spend hours logging macros in MyFitnessPal,” says Roxanne C. “CrossFit Orillia’s nutrition coach, Heather helped me simplify my nutrition habits without using technology.”
“So far I have been able to maintain my physique and build more strength. Heather is great for keeping you accountable and covers all areas such as hydration, sleep, and listening to your body's needs. I've learned that nutrition is just as important to overall health as CrossFit/physical exercise.”
Everybody has a different journey and uses a different approach to their own personal goals. There is no right or wrong. It is about finding the method best suited for you. And even more important to focus on is, there is no perfect solution. The good plan you stick to is more effective than the perfect plan you don’t.
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