Personal trainer shares simple tricks to stop you putting on weight in coronavirus quarantine


A Sydney-based personal trainer has revealed her simple tricks to stop you from stacking on the ‘quarantine 15’ while in lockdown.

The ‘quarantine 15’ is what people are calling the 15 pounds of weight (or six kilos) many people are putting on while social distancing and self isolating at home.

And while it’s easy to put on a few kilograms when it’s difficult to get outside and you’re living and working so close to your fridge, Rachael Attard, 31, said weight gain is a simple thing to avoid.

‘It’s so easy to overeat when you’re bored or anxious, but you can stay in shape while you’re social distancing,’ Rachael said on her website. 

So what are her tricks?

Sydney-based personal trainer Rachael Attard (pictured) said you don’t have to stack on the weight while you’re stuck in quarantine – provided you follow a few simple tricks

The PT, 31 (pictured) said you need to keep up with your workouts even though you might not be able to get to a gym - for example, by doing YouTube workouts in your living room

The PT, 31 (pictured) said you need to keep up with your workouts even though you might not be able to get to a gym – for example, by doing YouTube workouts in your living room 

1. Get in touch with your emotions

The personal trainer explained that a ‘lot’ of overeating happens when we are either tired, angry, stressed or bored.

‘Binge eating is never usually about hunger,’ Rachael said. 

She recommends you monitor how you’re feeling and when you catch yourself wanting to binge, address your emotions in another way.

‘You could do a short workout to get the blood flowing, FaceTime your friends or family or get creative and start a painting or a drawing,’ Rachael said.

Recognising and understanding your triggers will help you overcome them.

Rachael (pictured) said you need to understand that when you binge eat, it's usually because you're bored, tired, stressed or anxious

Rachael (pictured) said you need to understand that when you binge eat, it’s usually because you’re bored, tired, stressed or anxious

2. Use smaller plates and bowls and know your trigger foods

Rachael’s second trick is to use smaller plates and bowls to kid yourself that you’re eating more food than you really are.

She believes it’s also crucial to understand your trigger foods.

‘If chocolate is your weakness (it’s one of mine!) and you know that you’ll end up overeating way too much of it, try avoiding it altogether,’ Rachael said.

You can also try reading the labels on any packaged food you buy, so you know whether something is actually healthy or just masquerading as a nutritious alternative.

The things you want to check are calories, sugar content and protein. 

Rachael (pictured) said if she finds she is repeatedly snacking at night-time, she will often brush her teeth to make sure she doesn't keep eating after dinner

Rachael (pictured) said if she finds she is repeatedly snacking at night-time, she will often brush her teeth to make sure she doesn’t keep eating after dinner

3. Fighting the urge to have late-night snacks

If you’re a night-time snacker, the PT said it might seem unusual, but getting changed and ready for bed is a really great idea to snap yourself out of that bad habit.

‘Get in your pajamas, wash your face and brush your teeth,’ Rachael said.

‘The mint taste from your toothpaste will make food sound un-appetising, and getting ready for bed will tell your brain that it isn’t time to be eating.’ 

Rachael said you could even try brushing your teeth after every meal, as it’s bound to put you off snacking on something sweet. 

The PT (pictured) said you absolutely must pay attention to your nutrition and make sure you're getting enough fibre; you need to aim for 22 grams per day

The PT (pictured) said you absolutely must pay attention to your nutrition and make sure you’re getting enough fibre; you need to aim for 22 grams per day

4. Eat balanced meals and pay attention to fibre

While this one might sound obvious, Rachael said making sure your meals are balanced is key to staying healthy with your weight in tact at this time.

‘Try to eat balanced meals with plenty of veggies, lean protein, healthy fat, and complex carbs,’ she explained.

Avoid the ‘mindless calories’ that come from a bag of chips, and instead snack on some energy-dense nuts for the same calorie value.

Rachael also said you should pay attention to your fibre consumption, as it will help to keep you fuller for longer.

‘Women should be eating a minimum of 22 grams of fibre a day,’ she said.

You can get this from foods like wholegrain breakfast cereals, pulses, some veg and potatoes with their skin on.

Ditch any 'mindless calories' that come from snacking bags of chips and instead eat something more energy-dense, like nuts (Rachael pictured)

Ditch any ‘mindless calories’ that come from snacking bags of chips and instead eat something more energy-dense, like nuts (Rachael pictured)

5. Keep up the workouts from home

Finally, while you might not be able to go to your gym, that doesn’t mean you can’t keep up the workouts from home.

Rachael recommends you follow workouts online and on YouTube, specifically ones that are targeted towards muscles in your legs, glutes, chest and arms.

These workouts don’t have to be long, but they should get into the various areas that need attention. 

She currently has a series of free workouts available on her website.    

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