Girlfriend’s Guide to Ditching Your Quarantine Weight

  • Written By:Robin Levine
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“My normal weight loss hacks weren’t working. I needed new hacks that would work in this pandemic world.”

Just like everyone else on the planet, quarantine has not been great for my weight. I spent March, April, and May on an eating and drinking lockdown induced binge-fest. I was working out. I was doing home workouts, but it just was enough to fight my stay at home weight gain. As it got closer to Labor Day, it hit me that if I don't tackle this problem now, it's only going to snowball in the fall as we head into the holidays. And potentially another lockdown.

I spent July trying to reign in my eating and drinking. It didn’t go well. My normal weight loss hacks weren’t working. I needed new hacks that would work in this pandemic world.

The lack of daily steps (I am a New Yorker!), gym closings, general COVID anxiety causing me to eat and drink more, has made it difficult. Aside from weight gain, I feel like my muscle tone has gone non-existent.

After a lot of trial and error, I finally found some simple hacks that have worked. And in the last 5 weeks, I have been able to get back to my pre-quarantine self.

It’s what I like to call 'the lazy person's perfect fitness investment.'

I got a weight vest.

I don’t know why it’s taken me this long to figure out how amazing, easy, and useful a weight vest is. This is literally the best piece of fitness “equipment” I have ever purchased. It’s what I like to call "the lazy person's perfect fitness investment.

Wearing a weighted vest helps you lose weight by making your body heavier, and thus you burn more calories than your regular resting rate. Plus, when I have it on – I am prone to throw in some squats or lunges. I don’t have to go pull out my dumbbells and do all the “set up” for my home workout.

Every morning I take my dogs on a 30-minute walk. But now, before I step out the door, I put on my weight vest. After my walk, I add on 5 -10 minutes of squats, lunges, jump squats. Don’t have to walk your dogs? Go for a 30-minute walk and listen to a podcast. Dedicate the time to call your mom or best friend. Because it’s hands-free and easy to work into other daily life activities, it’s time-efficient. You will feel the weight vest in your legs and butt, I promise.

You might feel a bit odd walking around your neighborhood wearing a weight vest (I know I do!), so I put on a thin white tank (I am obsessed with this $5 one from Amazon), then the weight vest, then a light hoodie. Once you ease into the morning walk, you can start wearing it other times during the day.

The goods: Get this one on Amazon for $40

I got old school leg weights.

Apparently I did not make the cool kids cut and get the Bala weights everyone seems to be wearing on Instagram. So I went to Amazon and bought these. They make me feel like Denise Austin or Jane Fonda. (Denise Austin is a HALO ambassador, by the way, watch her insanely uplifting testimonial on Vimeo. It’s great! It will make you want to work out and hydrate.)

As soon as I drop the weight vest after my morning walk, I put these on and do this workout on YouTube.

The goods: Jane Fonda style Leg Weights on Amazon

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Photo by Henry Leutwyler

I stopped drinking wine and moved to tequila.

I have written about my severe red wine habit many times. In my Girlfriends Guide to Losing Your Summer Wine Weight, I wax poetic about this issue. While red wine is actually low on sugar, a glass or two can add up to several hundred calories. So now I measure exactly one shot of tequila and mix it with equal parts HALO Lime to make a completely sugar free and healthy margarita. I let myself have one a night.

The goods: HALO Lime on Amazon or use code “robinxhalo” on www.halosport.com for 20% off all purchases

I have strictly eliminated carbs and loaded up on bone broth.

I am a regular follower of intermittent fasting. I tried “practically fasting” as suggested by Dr. Amy Shah and it has been the most effective for me. But, to really cut down the COVID weight, I needed to strictly cut carbs from my diet as well. Intermittent fasting wasn't enough.

To keep me super full (and super sane) during the day, I break my fast with 2 eggs cooked in protein-packed bone broth. It’s super filling and super nutritious. The perfect meal to break my fast. Added benefit? Filled with collagen.

I love the Kettle & Fire one pack cartons. I empty one into a pot, heat, then drop in two eggs. I pour the entire concoction into a bowl for lunch. This lunch has enabled me to stay sane and full.

The goods: Kettle & Fire Grass Fed Bone Broth

I mix in sweaty yoga 3x a week. Sometimes I even do it with those super cool leg weights on.

I am obsessed with Alba Avella on YouTube. It’s just the right amount of hard and just the right length of time. She has a 20 minute short and sweaty yoga and a longer 30 minute one.

Give the above a try for a solid four weeks. Let me know how it goes and tell me in the comments. Do you have a quarantine weight loss hack or eating hack? Send it my way.

Robin Levine is the founder of Charlotte’s Book and co-founder of HALO Sport.

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