How To Maintain Your Gains During Isolation
Does isolation feel as if it's going on and on, with no end in sight? Some Australians have been more affected than others, but few have been able to get away without this unbelievable imposition on their lives. It's particularly upsetting when you're used to working out regularly in a commercial gym and have made good gains up until this point. The worst part is, it feels like there’s nothing we can do about it.
If you find yourself in this position and are afraid that you're going to lose momentum, lose muscle mass or put on weight, don’t lose hope — there are ways to maintain those gains even in lockdown. In this blog, we will discuss some of the tips and tricks for maintaining weight, losing fat and gaining muscle from home during isolation.
The dreaded catabolism
As you probably know, you need to stick to an excellent overall fitness regimen if you want to maintain weight, lose fat and gain muscle. If you don't, for whatever reason, you may encounter the dreaded state of catabolism.
If your body enters a catabolic state for a lengthy period, you may lose a significant amount of muscle mass. Catabolism means that the complex molecules within your body will break down into much smaller ones and degrade muscle tissue. You will not only lose definition, but you may set yourself up for health problems down the road as well.
People who have entered a catabolic state due to inaction tend to experience increased fatigue. Their immune system may be affected, and they often notice more bloating or as specific organs within the body struggle to keep up.
How to maintain your weight gain
If you're unable to maintain your regular training routine due to isolation or lockdown, the best thing to do is to focus on your nutrition plan and know how to maintain your weight gain. Here’s what we recommend:
1. Stick to healthy eating
Don't be tempted to fall off the nutrition wagon simply because you're not working out according to your usual schedule. Some people who have to stop exercising cave in and spend most of their day sitting in front of the television. Don’t lose track of your schedule and order unhealthy fast food, even if it is easier to do.
2. Shop for healthy groceries
Understandably, you may not be so keen, or able, to go to your local supermarket due to the pandemic and ordering food online seems so much easier. However, takeaway food is almost inevitably processed and of lower nutritional value. So, try your best to get out of the house and shop at your local supermarket or get your groceries delivered.
3. Eat with regularity
Make sure you eat a substantial meal every three or four hours to maintain your gains. It's important you digest a good amount of protein, together with the recommended number of carbs and fat for your body type and fitness goals.
4. Consider supplements
Ensure you get all of your micronutrients, minerals and vitamins to support the proper functioning of your metabolism. You may need to take a multimineral or multivitamin supplement as well to be sure you're hitting your targets. Professional medical advice is recommended when considering dietary supplements.
5. Drink water
Water is essential and even more so now, as you'll be relatively inactive. It helps to get rid of waste products and transport any healthy nutrients throughout the body. Australian adults should aim for a minimum of 2L/day or roughly 8 cups of fluids including water, milk, tea and coffee.
6. Learn to cook
Many people say that they are bored during isolation and find it difficult to pass the time. Have you considered using this to your advantage by learning how to cook new recipes, food prep and devoting your available time to health and nutrition? You'll be less likely to eat junk or comfort foods if you do, and will help you avoid gaining fat.
7. Stay off the alcohol
Due to the general uncertainty, many people are turning to alcohol to help them cope. Again, it is readily available and relatively easy to get, but it won't do anything for your waistline, general appearance or overall mood. Indeed, an alcoholic drink is okay on occasion, but you should limit it to just a couple of units per week.
8. Protein intake
Focus on your protein intake as much as possible during isolation. This will help you maintain your muscle mass and repair any damaged tissue if you get the chance to work out at home. Consuming the right amount of protein will give you the amino acids necessary to protect your existing muscle state. This can help you achieve anabolism rather than catabolism.
When working out, a bodybuilder usually needs to consume around 2g of protein per kilo of body weight. If you find it hard to rustle up the correct number of meals on a given day during isolation, you can always opt for protein supplements as they are easy to consume and very digestible.
Otherwise, focus on staples like fish, lean poultry, eggs, good cuts of meat and dairy. Remember that legumes, nuts and beans all contain protein as well. There's no shortage of food, and food distribution is a priority industry, so you should be able to get all of your nutritional needs delivered to your door even if you can't get to the supermarket for whatever reason.
9. Eating carbohydrates and fat
While protein should be your primary focus, carbohydrates will also fill you with healthy nutrients and give you the energy you need. Additionally, wild fish, extra virgin olive oil, almonds and walnuts are great sources of healthy fats. Don’t forget to eat your recommended daily amount of wholesome vegetables and fruits.
10. An alternative plan
If you were going to your local gym before lockdown, then you may need to make alternative arrangements to maintain your weight gain at home. In this case, think about setting up a home gym complete with all the necessary equipment you need to get back on track.
Setting up a home gym to maintain your gains
Gym and Fitness is a great place to start. We have an extensive array of fitness equipment for those who choose to work out at home to maintain weight, lose fat and gain muscle. Buy all of your strength training equipment from Gym and Fitness today!