Nutrition and exercise play an important role in maintaining fitness, social lives, and all aspects of our health. During this long period of social isolation, your relationship with food and exercise has probably changed. On the bright side, things are looking up again! Regardless of how your wellness has been during quarantine, there are some concepts to keep in mind as you ease back into your regular programming.
- Don’t immediately go full throttle on the WODs and post-workout nutrition. Do any of these apply to you? In the last 2 months you:
- Haven’t been consistently strength training (at least 3x per week).
- Haven’t been getting a balanced nutrient intake AND adequate energy intake.
- Have been mostly sedentary.
If these apply to you, it is highly likely that you have lost some endurance, contractile muscle, mobility, and your overall metabolism has slowed [1, 2]. These factors affect how many Calories your body needs and how your body performs during exercise. Coach Eric shares his wisdom: “The last thing anyone should be doing when they get back to the gym is assuming they can hop back where they left off. The first 2-3 weeks should simply be reacquainting yourself with the movements and having some weight on your shoulders again.” He adds, “The good news is that [strength] comes back much quicker than when you originally had to fight for it when you first started.”
So, if you experienced these changes, remember your body needs time to fire on all cylinders again. Pace yourself! And, just because you’re back in the gym, that does NOT mean you should refuel with huge post-workout meals or a bunch of supplements. To avoid potential rebound fat, refuel strategically and not heavily.
2. Ditch the fad diets. If you’re thinking of doing an elimination diet as a way to compensate for any “bad” habits you picked up, please think twice. Diets that restrict carbohydrates will not fuel for your brain for the office, or your muscles for exercise. Diets that eliminate all added sugars can induce cravings . Ketogenic diets can cause muscle breakdown and acid-base imbalance . Instead of helping you, these diets can fuel disordered eating or worsen your obsession with food. That’s not healthy. Focus on eating a balance of all foods. My favorite saying is, “Eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.”
3. Don’t make alcohol the center of your social life. Did you know that alcohol has 7 Calories per gram? It even has more Calories than protein and carbohydrates, but no helpful nutrients! So, if you are trying to cut back on Calories or improve your overall health, limiting alcohol intake is a great place to start! The social pressure may hit hard, but your goals matter. If you want to cut back on alcohol, here are some constructive options:
- Do a social activity that doesn’t involve alcohol or a bar setting.
- Order a mocktail or low-calorie alternative (i.e. club soda instead of tonic, diet soda instead of the “real” thing, spiked seltzer instead of a frozen sugar blend, etc.) or the robust non-alcoholic beers from Two Roots Brewery.
- Ask your friends for their support.
If you have any questions, drop a line here or on Instagram!
 Hamilton M. T. (2018). The role of skeletal muscle contractile duration throughout the whole day: reducing sedentary time and promoting universal physical activity in all people. The Journal of physiology, 596(8), 1331–1340. https://doi.org/10.1113/JP273284
 Maloney, L. (2019). How Long Can You Go Without Exercise Before Your Body Starts to Lose Muscle? Retrieved from https://www.livestrong.com/article/435701-how-long-can-you-go-without-exercise-before-your-body-starts-to-lose-muscle/
 Martin, C. K., Rosenbaum, D., Han, H., Geiselman, P. J., Wyatt, H. R., Hill, J. O., Brill, C., Bailer, B., Miller, B. V., 3rd, Stein, R., Klein, S., & Foster, G. D. (2011). Change in food cravings, food preferences, and appetite during a low-carbohydrate and low-fat diet. Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.), 19(10), 1963–1970. https://doi.org/10.1038/oby.2011.62
 Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. (2020). Ketogenic Diet. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/