If you’re like many Americans, the COVID-19 quarantine has caused unwanted weight gain, also known as the quarantine 15.
Coming out of quarantine is often like the first of the year: you’re gung-ho to get started with weight loss, but might taper off after a month or two of healthy eating and regular exercise.
If you’ve veered off the road toward a healthier lifestyle, now’s your chance to get back on track with exercise and fitness, so you can lose the dreaded quarantine 15 and gain confidence!
1. Begin a New Workout Program
Whatever you’re currently doing for exercise and fitness, find a new routine to lose the quarantine 15.
If you’re looking for an effective weight loss exercise plan designed just for women, consider the Fit Mother Project fat-burning workouts that help you tighten and tone up just in time for summer.
Before signing up for FMP weight-loss or muscle-building programs, try before you buy with a FREE Fit Mother Project diet and workout plan.
2. Set Regular Workout Times
Set aside 30-60 minutes (or more, depending on your schedule) each day for exercise.
Sticking to a routine helps you stay motivated for daily workouts.
You might work out early each morning before the rest of your family wakes up.
Or, you may opt to exercise on your lunch break or during nap time if you have young kids at home.
Make exercise a top priority, even if it's just a light workout day.
3. Create Exercise Goals
Studies show that setting goals promotes a healthier lifestyle and helps you stay on track with regular exercise.
Exercise goals to consider include:
- Do cardiovascular exercise at least 20-30 minutes per day most days
- Jog, walk, or bike a certain number of miles each week
- Complete resistance training at least three days per week
Set body weight or waist circumference goals in addition to exercise goals!
Aim to drop about 1-2 pounds per week, or more in some instances, until you reach your goal weight.
4. Begin Slowly
If you're new to working out or you simply haven't exercised in a while, begin slowly.
Start by completing 15-20 minutes of exercise most days of the week and work up to 30 minutes or more.
Or, break up physical activity into sections. Exercise for 15-30 minutes in the morning and 15-30 minutes in the afternoon or evening.
If you prefer, work out at a low intensity before building up to medium- or high-intensity workouts.
When resistance training, use light weights or your own body weight as resistance before switching to heavier weights.
5. Track Your Progress Over Time
Track your physical activity, body weight, and food intake in a daily journal or app to view your progress over time.
Record the number of minutes or miles you complete exercising, or the total number of calories your burn during workouts.
If you fall off the wagon and miss goals every once and a while, don't get discouraged.
Begin fresh the next day and listen to your body. If you feel sick or tired, take the day off to rest!
6. Weigh Yourself Every Day
If losing the quarantine 15 is your goal, weigh yourself every day.
Studies show that doing so can lead to greater weight loss than weighing yourself less often.
A good time to step on the scale is when you wake up each morning.
Record your results in a journal or weight loss app to track your progress over time.
If the scale doesn't move after a few weeks of exercise and dietary changes, alter your routine or enlist the help of Fit Mother Project health professionals to optimize weight loss and fat-burning.
7. Increase Activities of Daily Living
Daily exercise alone isn't always enough to get off the dreaded quarantine 15.
Aim to increase activities of daily living in addition to exercise, to boost your total calorie expenditure and burn off more calories than you eat for effective weight loss.
Examples of ways to increase activities of daily living include:
- Take your dog for longer walks daily
- Walk up and down stairs whenever possible
- Play outdoors with your kids
- Clean your floors or windows
- Vacuum regularly
- Do laundry daily
- Complete outdoor yard work
- Get a standing computer desk so you can sit down less often
The more you keep your body moving throughout the day, and the less time you spend sitting down, the easier weight loss becomes.
Aim to complete at least 45 minutes of daily activity in addition to regular workouts to keep your body moving and burn more calories.
8. Alter Your Eating Habits
Changing up your diet to reduce calories is an effective way to lose weight.
In fact, studies show that combining diet with exercise produces the most benefit for weight and fat loss in women.
You don't have to make drastic dietary changes to effectively lose the quarantine 15.
Aim to make small changes at first, and work your way up to achieving the following clean eating habits:
Reduce Added Sugars
Reducing, or better yet eliminating, added sugars in your diet is the best way to drop unwanted weight and keep it off long term.
Limit or avoid the following foods:
- Sodas, sweet tea, energy drinks, sports drinks with added sugar, and lemonade
- Ice cream, cookies, candies, cakes, candy bars, and chocolate
- Baked goods
- Jellies, jams, honey, molasses, barbecue sauce, ketchup, tomato sauce, some salad dressings, and syrups
- Yogurt or kefir containing added sugar
- Sugar-sweetened coffee drinks
If you have a sweet tooth, consider replacing added sugar with natural sugars, such as those found in fresh fruit.
Limit or Avoid Alcoholic Drinks
Alcoholic drinks not only are linked with cancer, but they're also high in calories and make losing the quarantine 15 difficult.
Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram, which is almost two times the amount of calories found in each gram of protein or carbohydrates.
Many alcoholic mixers, such as soda and lemonade, are loaded with added sugar and calories.
So if weight loss is your goal, cut out or reduce alcohol as much as possible.
Focus on Protein, Vegetables, and Healthy Fats
When you're ready to drop the quarantine 15, prioritize protein, non-starchy vegetables, and healthy fats.
Doing so helps you feel full without overindulging in calories.
Examples of nutritious options to choose from include:
- Protein Foods: very lean organic meats, chicken, turkey, duck, fish, shrimp, crab, scallops, other types of seafood, eggs, tofu, tempeh, and seitan
- Non-Starchy Vegetables: spinach, kale, lettuce, other leafy greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, celery, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and baby corn
- Heart-Healthy Fats: olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, walnut oil, other plant-based oils, avocados, olives, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and hummus
Aim to eat healthy fats at each meal. Fill about half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables and one-fourth of your plate with protein foods.
Replace Refined Grains with Fiber-Rich Starches
An easy way to increase the amount of fiber in your diet, which studies show enhances weight loss, is to replace refined grains (white rice, white bread, regular pasta, etc.) with fiber-rich starches.
- Starchy Vegetables: sweet potatoes, yams, corn, black beans, pinto beans, navy beans, chickpeas, green peas, lentils, and other dried peas and beans
- Whole Grains: whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, oatmeal, and other whole grains
Aim to fill about one-fourth of each plate with fiber-rich starches.
Properly Space Out Small Meals
To better control your total calorie intake, space out meals by eating 4-6 small meals or snacks every few hours.
That way you won't feel hungry and can reduce your chance of overindulging at mealtime.
Try Meal Replacement Shakes
If you struggle to control calories or you're always on the go, consider drinking protein shakes in place of breakfast or lunch.
Doing so helps you feel full from fewer calories, avoid overeating, and maintain lean muscle mass during weight loss.
Consider Intermittent Fasting
You don't have to starve yourself to effectively drop weight, but fasting can help you control calories to get excess weight off.
For example, you might not eat before 10:00 am or after 6:00 pm, only consuming calories during an 8-hour window of time.
9. Change Up Your Workouts Regularly
Doing the same workout day after day can cause fatigue and burnout, making it difficult to achieve the toning, fat-burning results you desire.
Switch up your workout routine regularly.
Try Fit Mother Project online workouts, which include numerous muscle-building, fat-burning exercises that can sculpt your body and get excess weight off quickly.
Complete a variety of cardiovascular exercises each week.
Examples include walking, jogging, biking, rowing, stair climbing, and using an elliptical machine.
Change up resistance exercises too, so you don't work the same muscle group two days in a row.
For example, work your upper body one day and lower body the next to avoid muscle fatigue and breakdown.
10. Find Ways to Stay Motivated
Staying motivated for workouts is half the battle.
Recruit friends or family members to exercise with you, or go on daily family walks.
Watch your favorite movie during cardiovascular workouts at home, or exercise outdoors.
Sign up for Fit Mother Project programs to receive custom fat-burning workouts and motivational support from health experts and other Fit Mother Project members.
Find workouts you enjoy to make regular exercise a fun, rewarding experience you can continue for a lifetime!
11. Exercise Outdoors
Studies show that being outdoors helps reduce depression symptoms and enhances overall mental health and wellness.
When the weather is nice, make it a point to exercise outside to boost your mood, gain much-needed vitamin D, and burn extra calories to lose the quarantine 15.
Bike, jog, walk, or even swim outside when you can.
Recruit friends or family members to join you!
12. Increase Your Water Intake
Drinking plenty of water is one of the best ways to stay hydrated, increase exercise performance, eat fewer calories, and lose the quarantine 15.
Women should aim to ingest at least 12 cups of fluids daily.
You might need more than this if you sweat a lot throughout the day.
If you're properly hydrated, your urine should be clear or light yellow in color, not dark yellow.
To make eating less at mealtime easier, aim to drink about 2 cups of water before meals and 2-4 cups of water when you first wake up each morning.
Doing so can enhance weight loss and help you maintain a healthy weight long term.
13. Create an At-Home Gym
If you're unable to get to the gym or choose not to, set up a gym at your house instead!
While having cardio equipment, such as a stationary bike, elliptical machine, treadmill, or rowing machine, is helpful, it's not necessary to complete effective, fat-burning workout routines from the comfort of home.
Create a space in your house that's big enough to complete a variety of exercises, including:
- Rope jumping
- Jumping jacks
- Resistance training with weight or bands
- Lunges with weights
- Wall sits
- Medicine ball squats
- Plank exercises
- Box jumps
- Stability ball exercises
- Yoga or Pilates
- Other at-home exercises
While your at-home workout space doesn't need to be huge, make sure it's large enough to safely complete your favorite exercises without hitting walls or feeling cramped.
14. Take a Day of Rest
Regardless of your weight or body composition goals, rest is important to get the results you desire, prevent burnout, maintain high energy levels, and recover properly.
Aim to work out about 4-6 days per week.
On off days keep your body moving, but skip intense exercise in favor of rest or low-intensity walking, biking, yoga, or yard work.
15. Join an Organized Weight Loss Program
If you're struggling to lose the quarantine 15 on your own, recruit the help of medical experts with the Fit Mother Project.
Sign up for the FM30X weight loss program designed just for women.
FM30X has helped thousands of women reach their goal weight, get fit, and maintain healthy lifestyle habits for a lifetime.
Upon joining, you receive motivational support and health coaching to get on track with weight loss, fat-burning workouts, healthy eating, and much more.
To safely and effectively lose the quarantine 15 and achieve your goal weight, sign up for a FREE FMP diet and workout today!
*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on losing the quarantine 15.