Top 5 tips to burning off the “Pandemic 15”

By Paul Jenkins, Qualified Chemist, Sports Coach, Nutritionist, and founder of DNA Lean https://www.dna-lean.co.uk

Over the course of the pandemic, people’s workout and eating habits have drastically changed. A new Journal of the American Medical Association JAMA study suggests the average person gained more than half a pound every day during the shelter-in-place orders. As we are preparing to bring life back to normal it’s important to shed off these unwanted pounds. 

1. Lockdown has proven to be stressful for many of us, unfortunately, stress hormones can result in an increase in fat storage. This is because hormones such as cortisol increase blood glucose, consequently stimulating insulin release. Insulin is linked to fat accumulation. Performing a 15–20-minute meditation first thing in the morning is proven to reduce stress and stress-related hormones.

2. Burning fat requires a substantial amount of oxygen. In fact, if you exercise to the point where you are panting, fat oxidation cannot occur because the body lacks the necessary oxygen to oxidize the fat. Performing three sessions per week of deep yoga breathing can increase your habitual breathing volume, subsequently oxygenating the body and providing the necessary oxygen to help burn fat.

3. Set a proper sleep schedule. A full eight hours of sleep can burn between 400-700 calories https://www.sleepfoundation.org/. Unlike intense exercise that burns glucose and requires a ton of oxygen, sleeping is ideal for the body to burn excess body fat. 

According to the National Sleep Foundation, one key benefit of getting enough good sleep is strengthening your immune system to help you prevent or limit infection in your body. Healthy sleep can support boosting the body’s immune defense and can even help you from getting sick as often. Sleep not only increases your immune system function, it also has been shown to play a role in improving antibody responses to vaccinations. This means getting enough sleep before and after you are vaccinated can help vaccines work in your body.

4. Eat more protein and fewer carbohydrates. Various strong lines of evidence demonstrate that protein is linked to satiety, helping prevent over-eating. Replacing some of your carbohydrate intake with protein can also help reduce insulin—a fat-storage hormone.

5. Lift weights three times per week. Resistance training increases oxidative capacity, that is, the body’s ability to burn fat. Furthermore, skeletal muscles are the furnace that burns fat off, therefore adding a few extra pounds of muscle increase your fat burning capacity. If you’re not used to lifting weights, start off with small two-pound weights. As your strength increases, increase the weight amount.

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