OK, so there is no getting away from it now, gyms & leisure centres are shut, and there’s no doubt activity levels will waiver as a result.
If you currently exercise regularly,such as taking part in several spin classes a week or joining a BLT class here or there then this advice may be of use to you. The same goes for the people sat at home thinking ‘I need to lose weight’, but now have no access to a gym. Well fear not, I am going to let you into a little secret…. It doesn’t really matter!
Gym closures are not the worst thing for your waistline & neither is working from home or even the dreaded “lockdown” word that we’ve all been hearing recently. What is the worst thing for your waistline? Excess or surplus calories! If you have never calorie counted before or really have no idea how many calories your body needs to maintain its current form then do not worry, I have got your back!
Below is a simple calorie calculator and a more in-depth calorie calculator that will enable you to see exactly how many calories (I know, I have said that word a lot) your body needs. If weight loss is your goal simply remove some from your maintenance total, if you are happy with your current form do not remove any and if you wish to add some size then add some. It is that simple, in theory.
ADVANCED – https://www.iifym.com/iifym-calculator/
The reason I say in theory is that there is going to be a lot of enticements whilst at home. especially if you have been shopping recently and are one of these people that could open a small Italian restaurant with the amount of pasta you have bought! If this sounds like you, then you may be tempted to indulge just a tad. Especially when the cupboards are right there, and you could whip up a cheeky lunch time spag bol with lashings of cheese and garlic bread at the same time as you are finishing your invoices.
The same goes for snacks, chocolate, crisps, brews, they are all right there. It is my hope that once you are aware of your maintenance calorie number and how to track it then the temptation voice will be out reasoned by the self-control voice. You can still have the spag bol by the way, but you will simply be aware of how many calories you “have left” for the day after eating it. Lets face it, that boring sandwich or low calorie meal deal you used to eat at your desk every day is probably now unavailable and since the fridge is there you could end up eating many more calories than you ever have done, without even realising it!
Tracking these calories has been made extremely simple by the advancements in technology! My advice is to use a counting app such as My Fitness Pal (available on android and IOS) as an added Brucey bonus, this app will calculate your calories for you based on your goal! If you would like to do it the “old fashioned way” then the NHS has a handy calorie checker along with some great advice.
Failing that, I am positive there are more apps available that do the same job, however the common variable to all of this is will power! Remember, this will pass. This period of isolation, uncertainty, fear and possible inactivity will leave us, please do not undo all your hard work becoming active and healthy by allowing this to beat you. Look after yourselves and when we come out of the other side of this, we will all be healthy and ready to smash the gym again! The same goes for the people who are yet to make the choice of becoming active and looking after your nutrition, use this period to get ahead of things and go back to work looking and feeling amazing.
Stay positive people, be kind to one another and look after your health 😊
Adam Heywood, MSc, BA (hons)
Strength and Conditioning Coach
ACH Performance Coaching