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And remember how important getting your daily dose of Vitamin X is to your immune health!
The Coronavirus (aka COVID 19) is creating quite the disruption, to say the least. The side effect people aren’t aware of is the fattening effect of the whole situation. No one is even talking about it yet, but I’m seeing it already.
In fact, one of the X Gym members already commented that he hasn’t changed anything in his diet or exercise, yet he’s gained 4 lbs. of fat in the last three weeks since the virus news got more intense.
He knew why and so did I. This post will talk about how this can happen and what you can do about it – especially now that the Washington state Governor has basically ordered most people to stay at home.
The reasons what all this is so fattening are many, but the top seven are:
- Stress and cortisol
- Emotional eating
- Comfort cocooning
- Routine disruption
- Habit derailment
- Sleep quality
- Screen time
1.) Stress and cortisol. This is a stressful time. No one is exempt from it and those who think they are, well, they are in denial and are probably suppressing it, which makes the negative effects worse. It’s OK to feel stressed, but it’s all in how you handle it. There are also easy ways to mitigate it, reduce it, and even transform it.
You see, when we are stressed, our fight or flight mechanism is turned on, which produces cortisol in our bodies. This is fine for a short time because it helps us run away from danger, but for the long haul (more than 30 minutes), it’s fattening. Cortisol is arguably the most fattening chemical the body can produce, so managing stress and getting this chemical down is vital to preventing fat gain.
Xpress Solution: Tap for stress! Here’s the link: bit.ly/xgymtap. Then do at least 2 minutes of some form of Xercise (see below for the X Gym Xercise options).
2.) Emotional eating. We all do it. Even me. When I do it, it just means more healthy food and fitness chocolate, but others tend to gravitate toward “comfort food,” which usually contains sugar, starch, or other fast carb foods and ingredients to medicate the brain temporarily out of the stressful state. This might work for a few minutes, but then the crash happens and the ultra fattening cycle starts all over.
Xpress Solution: Use the Hunger Scale Technique! Just click here to learn it. Then do at least 2 minutes of some form of Xercise!
3.) Comfort Cocooning. This is when we retreat into our most comfortable state, usually involving cozy jammies, the couch, the TV, some hot chocolate with marshmallows, and well, you get the picture. We’ve all done this too. When we do, we feel safe and secure, with our familiar triggers of comfort, but it’s not fixing anything. It’s just making us feel better in the moment and usually making us fatter.
Normally, we are walking around at work, having meetings, going places, doing things, making decisions, learning new things, and concentrating on our tasks at hand. All this burns calories and it’s a big part of our metabolism. It’s called N.E.A.T. (Non Exercise Activity Thermogenesis). When we are comfort cocooning, most of that goes out the window as we settle in on the couch to get comfortable and try to make ourselves feel better by getting cozy and eating comfort food.
Xpress Solution: First, recognize that’s what you are doing. Then ask yourself if it’s really necessary. Then ask yourself out loud if it’s going to solve anything. Then ask yourself out loud if there is something you can do to solve it. Then if there is, do that. If there’s not, ask if there is anything you can do to reduce stress (see above) or get a little bit of Xercise (yes, even 2 minutes is worth it).
Then stand up! Stay standing as long as you can and off that comfy couch as much as you can. Just switching from sitting to standing can boost your metabolism 15% or more.
Find something to concentrate on or learn something new to keep your brain occupied because the brain can burn up to 20% of your daily calories if it’s working hard!
4.) Routine disruption. Your routine is turned on its head, so normal things kind of go out the window. This is why people are so “good” during the week and then “fall apart” with their healthy choices on the weekend.
Xpress Solution: Just knowing this is half the battle. The rest is choosing healthy things – like doing at least 2 minutes of some form of Xercise!
5.) Habit derailment. As stated above, things tend to go out the window – including habits – because they are often part of your routine.
Xpress Solution: Study your habits and learn the triggers that start them. Write them down when you notice the disruption. You will have to temporarily find new triggers, but when you do, write those down too. Then re-tool and re-adjust. Then do at least 2 minutes of some form of Xercise! Note: I’m working on an online habits course because of how important habits are to everything in our life, so stay tuned for that!
6.) Sleep quality. This is vital because lots of studies show that a lack of sleep or poor sleep quality is fattening for the same cortisol reasons above, but also from a food (and carb) carving standpoint.
Xpress solution: Get to bed early and do the things you know work for you. Everyone is different and everyone has their own hacks. Do them because allowing your routines to change and mess this up will be really fattening. You know how many hours you need too, so make sure that happens as well. But don’t do at least 2 minutes of Xercise in this case because that will probably keep you up. 😉
7.) Screen time. TV is fattening. Seriously. It’s a killer to your metabolism and screens at night (within 2 hours of bedtime) will screw with your sleep.
Xpress solution: Minimize TV and if you have to watch, don’t eat anything while watching! In fact, do the opposite: Xercise while watching! It doesn’t have to be intense the whole time. Even something light will count and save your metabolism from tanking.
Then cut yourself off 2 hours before bedtime if at all possible, and if not, get some blue blocker glasses to wear because it’s mostly the blue light that messes up your sleep.
You saw Xercise here a lot, didn’t you? That’s because it is a “keystone habit” which supports all the other healthy habits best of any habit! When you are Xercising regularly – even 2 minutes – you are activating your prefrontal cortex in a way that makes other healthy habits easier to do.
Obviously, a full workout is the best and most effective, but even 2 minutes can be enough to break your pattern and get you back on track!
Any exercise will be great, but if you would like to Xplore the X Gym Xercise options, we offer the club option, our online training option, and our Xercise App. We also have a free workouts page to see how we are different and if our style might be a fit for you.
Now go get your Vitamin X! Your health depends on it! Seriously!
P.S. Please Xcuse typos and grammar errors during this current Coronavirus crisis, while I am pumping out more than 20X the content I normally produce in order to help my X Gym Tribe.