After my initial shock, (and a short self-pity party) I looked at what was different in January 2020 compared to January 2021. I then proceeded to identify a few factors that may have been the culprits to my weight gain.
1) I did not have sufficient high intensity training. In other words, I wasn’t sweating enough (and I am not talking about night sweats here.) I mainly did low impact exercise, such as walking, gentle yoga, and light weightlifting.
2) I developed a liking to baking. I even made my first ever chocolate cake which was divine! I also realized that I was eating way too many eggs (average 12 per week!) High in nutrients, they were my go-to meal when I did not feel like cooking.
3) Although I always drank a lot of water, if I am being honest with myself, I simply was not drinking enough of it.
4) Increased stress and weight gain go hand in hand. Since March, and understandably so in the context of this pandemic, my stress level was pretty high. The closure of my studio, learning how to navigate and teach virtual classes, the passing of our beloved cat Tigger, and other losses I experienced simply took a toll (on and off the scale!)
Identifying those possible factors to my weight gain was the easy part. By mid-January, I was ready to test my theory. As I am writing this blog, on February 12th, I now weigh 141 pounds. I lost a little over 5 pounds by implementing a handful of solutions which I am candidly sharing with you below. These solutions are presently NON-NEGOTIABLE, and I make myself accountable by logging and sharing my progress. When tempted to skip any of them, I push through, and honestly, I never regret it. Ready, set, go!
Factor #1 – Lack of sweat!
My solution: HIIT
On Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, first thing in the morning, I do a 30-minutes High Interval Intensity (HIIT) spinning workout. It allows me to sweat profusely, to boost my metabolism early in the day, and to improve my cardiovascular health. I am a fan of Global Cycling Network (GCN) and simply follow videos such as this one. VIDEO
Factor #2: Baking!
My solution: stop baking and focus on well balanced meals
I make sure that I eat protein, healthy fats and plenty of veggies at every meal. For example, this morning’s breakfast was baked turkey breast, with lots of broccoli, a small portion of basmati brown rice, and homemade cranberry sauce. I also reduced my egg consumption to a maximum of 5 per week and stopped baking cakes and cookies. I do however bake on a regular basis what I call “savoury rustic bites” made with almond flour. Healthy and oh so good. Interested in the recipe? Let me know! I will gladly share it.
Factor #3: - lack of hydration
My solution: drink more water!
I drink at least 2 litres of water per day. To make that happen, I start my day drinking two large glasses of water. I then fill a 1-litre carafe and aim to finish it by 11:00am. I refill the carafe and aim to finish it by 5:00pm. As a general rule, women should drink approximately 2.7 litres per day and men should drink 3.7 litres of water per day.
Factor #4 – Increased stress
a)Increase time spent in nature
c)Sadly, eliminate caffeine
I walk at least 5km daily, even on the days that I spin. The pace is easy to moderate and sustainable. I choose walking circuits in nature where I encounter some elevation and wildlife! Those walks are as beneficial for my mental health as they are for my physical health.
Twice a day, I take 2 minutes to just stop and practice rhythmic breathing. I close my eyes and breathe in for a count of 4, hold for a count of 4, breathe out for a count of 6. This does wonders to my nervous system!
The hardest part of this journey? Eliminate my one and only espresso in the morning. I only drank one small cup of espresso coffee per day, but it was enough for me to feel the effect on my nerves. I replaced it with a decaf espresso and shall revisit this decision once I will have given my liver a break from caffeine.
A few things make my life a little easier during this process and I want to recognize them here.
I am grateful that we can afford home delivery services such as Mama Earth, and Tru Local. Easy access to humanely raised local meat, as well as fresh organic produce simplify our lives and ensure we eat a variety of healthy food.
I am grateful for the health and fitness training coaching I did a few years back with James Munro (Instagram: @b_elite_james) and Ken Sylvan (Instagram: @b_elite_ken). I felt at my best then and learned so much. This time around, I am simply trying to apply what I learned a few years back on my own.
If any of this resonates with you, or if you have any question, do not hesitate to reach out. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wishing you all a healthy and happy life!
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