If you make a purchase after clicking on a link in this article, I may earn a commission. [Details]
Covid-19 has become the unwelcome guest that refuses to leave America. It has interupted the lives of everybody in the world. Due to the layoffs, there are so many unemployed people in America. We are now going into a new unknown world as we are all forced to stay home with these federal Shelter-In-Place orders. There are so many reasons that all of the above would stress you out. The media is doing an excellent job at highlighting everything you should be afraid of. But let's take a moment to switch gears and reflect on a few ways to turn these next few weeks into positive productive time that will restart your focus and get you ready for the post Covid-19 era soon to come.
What Was That Thing You Could Never Do?
Now that you are not going anywhere, remember, there are 24 hours in a day. Pre Covid-19 you spent your mornings rushing to get ready and head out the door. Now you can relax and unwind for a bit, but not for too long. I suggest taking a Fat Burning Walk throughout your neighborhood to keep your heart active. A sedentary lifestyle will make you sick, but an active lifestyle rich with Fat Burning Zone activities will keep you healthy and happier.
Getting out and walking will make your mind available to reflect on your life. You'll be surprised at the thoughts that come to you now that you have a moment to relax and allow your mind to be free from the everyday back and forth. Make the decision to think about your current state of health. What do you like about it?
Meal planning works because you think about it once at the beginning of the week or month, then execute the plan for duration of the time. It's a great way to budget your time and your money. Without a meal plan, we often choose meals that are quick and easy and full of fat, sodium, and extra carbs we do not need.
When thinking about meal planning, there are a few tricks and tips I've picked up that makes meal planning more effective and more personal to me.
You can make so many dishes with this appliance. It's my favorite appliance because it will take a long time before you overcook (burn) something. Throw all the ingredients into the pot and forget it for a few hours. My favorite foods to make are the beans for my bean burritos. There's no need to ever soak beans overnight anymore. Just rinse and place them in the Crockpot on low or high setting from 4-6 hours then add your spices 3 or 4 hours in. Other dishes you can prep are soups (like chicken tortilla and veggie soup). You can also prepare pulled pork or chicken for sandwiches. I always end up with 3 or 4 extra servings that I store away in the freezer after 2 days of feasting on whatever dish I make. I use a 6qt Crockpot.
Stockpile the proteins
When you buy your meat in bulk, you save a few dollars here and there. I like to look at Publix's or Kroger's weekly ads and find those BOGO or reduced price savings. Then I portion the meat in individual servings and freeze it for later. What also helps is if you can season the meat before you freeze it. This saves time when you are ready to cook the meat. The night before I want to cook it, I take it out of the freezer and stick it in the fridge.
Make your own seasonings
There are some seasoning packets, like Taco Seasoning, that I would buy all the time. One day when I wanted to make a taco dish and realized I didn't have anymore packets, I did a little research and realized I had 80% of the ingredients to make my own taco seasoning. And that's how I started making my own seasoning mixes. There are few great reasons to consider making your own seasoning as a part of your meal planning regimen.
Exercise... Your New Normal
After the gyms were shut down and no longer available to the public, most people started to panic and thought how they would not be able to get a decent workout. But that is so far from the truth. Exercise and physical activity is where you are, every day, whenever you are ready to participate. Jog in place, do a set of jumping jacks, even do a few cartwheels. If it gets your heart beating in the cardio training zone, your body is working to burn calories. If you are involved in an activity where the heart rate is in the fat burning zone, like a brisk walk or doing chores in the house for a few hours, you won't even think for a minute that you are burning fat. Exercise is choosing to stay active for a period of time.
So with this extra time, decide what type of exercise or physical activity works best for you and make that a part of your daily or weekly routine. The heart rate does not lie. Someone who is biking through the neighborhood can be exerting the same energy that someone in their garage dancing with their kids to a music mix of their favorite dance songs by their favorite DJ.
Some ideas that will get you started:
So as tragic as this Coronavirus outbreak is, the most important thing that you as an individual can do is to protect yourself and your family. Avoid being out in the public while this epidemic is being contained. But while you are home, take advantage of this time to clear your mind and work on new habits that will put you closer to meeting your personal health and weight loss goals. Be safe!
The Fat Burning Zone is not a new trend. When I studied for my Primary Group Certification, I remember reading about the Fat Burning Zone vs. the Cardio Training Zone. The facts around the Fat Burning Zone sounded so appealing as the simplest and easy way to lose weight. You would engage in activities that did not make you short of breath for longer periods of time and the fat would just fall off you. It sounded like a winner but when I would go to the gyms or look through everything fitness related, everybody was on this "I NEED MORE CARDIO" hyper trip. So I got on that kick to make sure I didn't miss losing weight. My focus became cardio. But after years of so many ups and downs with my weight I finally got hip to what will help lose the fat and keep it off (I started following the principles of the Six Week Body Makeover). Nothing wrong with cardio, but there is a foundation of fat burning activities you should always do daily to keep a healthy weight.
How to find your fat burning zone
The Fat Burning Zone is about 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. In this zone, your breathing is controlled and you are able to talk without difficulty. Your maximum heart rate is the number of beats per minute that you never want to exceed. To find this number, take the magic number of 220 and subtract your age. If you are 40, your maximum heart rate would be 180 (220-40= 180). If you are ever exercising and you see your heart rate hit 180, you need to slow it down really quick. Your heart is working too hard. Your Fat Burning Zone is 50-70% of your maximum heart rate. 50% of 180 is 90. 70% of 180 is 126. So your target range for beats per minute will be between 90 and 126.
the best fat burning zone activities
Believe it or not, it is super easy to hit your Fat Burning Zone. I monitor my heart rate from my FitBit. I have a notification on my monitor that vibrates when I've completed 30 minutes of activity in either the fat or cardio training zone. I read about it before, but the first time I realized that normal every day housework was actually in the Fat Burning Zone was the day I was doing housework. I was wearing my monitor while I was going back and forth between washing dishes, cleaning the kitchen, and washing clothes. I was listening to the radio while I was back on washing dishes when I felt my monitor vibrating. At first I thought it was a call, but when I saw "30" flash across my screen, I pressed through to take a look at my heart rate. It was at 102, which is in my Fat Burning Zone. I also know that walking at a moderate pace will keep me in the Fat Burning Zone. I was shocked to see that my heart rate would be the same for two totally separate activities. After discovering this I started to monitor my heart rate while I performed other physical activities and light exercise. I found that it is not hard to reach the Fat Burning Zone. The point is finding activities that keep you on your feet and physically active.
Here are a few physical activities you can do more of every day that will keep you in the Fat Burning Zone and losing or maintaining a healthy weight:
Here are a few exercise activities you may want to consider doing that will produce the same results:
How to start tracking the fat burning zone
Heart rate monitors make it so much more easy to monitor if you are staying in the Fat Burning Zone. Getting started is easy. No more putting 2 fingers on your wrist and counting for 15 seconds or holding onto the fitness equipment at the gym that everybody uses.
1. Purchase a heart rate monitor. I've used Polar and FitBit. I prefer FitBit because it fits my everyday lifestyle and I sometimes even forget I have it on.
2. When you program your device, be sure you enter your age and weight and so forth. This information is useful for calculating your target heart rates which includes your Fat Burning Zone.
3. Start your workout by programming it on the app or device. Check the heart rate regularly since you burn the most amount of fat while you are in that 50-70% range.
4. To be best effective, make sure you do 45-60 minutes in the zone. If your heart is beating above the highest number, then slow down. If it dips below the smallest number in the range, then get more active. And always remember the first 5-10 minutes will not burning much fat. You have to warm up first, then the body will burn fat after that.
I hope this gives you a totally new perspective on how to maintain a healthy weight. Most people are sedentary and this is the reason for weight gain. Changing up your daily routine and adding a few extra physical activities can add much value to your every day life. Find what works for you. I wish you the best!
I’ve been hiding a secret for a while. Actually I waited until I was 12 weeks to let the cat out of the bag to my Instagram family. I’m excited to know I’m expecting a son sometime in August. And I swear... the journey started out crazy.
My pregnancy is high risk because I’m obese and I’m over 35. I’ve had prediabetes for a while so my doctor immediately diagnosed me with gestational diabetes. Everything was a whirlwind. I started off with 2 UTIs back to back. Had to learn a new way of eating while testing my glucose levels daily. It was like I was stumbling trying to find my balance with what will work for me. Stop taking this supplement, no fruit for breakfast, no juice at all, NO SAUNA AFTER A WORKOUT... NOOO ALCOHOL!!! Lawd have mercy... I need help making it through!!! Halfway there though!
Follow me on Instagram to see my belly bump! @bigbonedfitness
It seems like every time I create a vision board, some how a yacht ends up there some where. I'm from Florida and I'm all about that coastal life, but I've never owned a boat. But its like nautical life is calling me. I've been on yachts around the Statute of Liberty, party cruises, and self operated water bikes in the Tampa Channel. But since this keeps popping up on my vision board, I wanted to take some time to finally look into what it would take to be apart of that lifestyle. So when I was watching tv last week I kept seeing a commercial for the Atlanta Boat Show that was starting within a few days. And that was my queue. The universe is bringing my vision to reality!
So am glad to report, I parked took MARTA into the GWCC. I was able to achieve 2 objectives towards my 6 month goals. First I saved money (wealth retention) by paying only $5 verses the $16.95 to park my car at the location. I also took advantage of the $5 admission fee after 5pm verses the $16 general admission. Second, I walked a total of 7,623 steps during the entire day. And I did so in a way that I did not realize I was making so many steps. My enjoyment of the activity today made me totally forget that I was actually making steps towards my daily fitness goals. Also what I noticed when I got home, my Fitbit actually recorded 69 minutes of cardio. My daily goal is 30. So I am super amped to know that when I made "Living" a priority, all the other fitness goals were met. Enjoyment of life is a must. Now had I stayed home, I would not have had the cardio or those steps.
Over the holiday I had to reevaluate my life. I feel like I have become a slave to working and being busy. And when I look at my life, the weight is still here. That's the biggest issue I have. It's like I put fitness into a separate compartment of my life. I reach out to it, but lately I've found myself working daily to get out this stupid debt. And working constantly is sucking out the vitality of my life. I love to have fun but I don't go anywhere to have fun because after the full time job because I'm working my side hustles like Uber, Lyft, Shipt Shopping, and Postmates. I stay busy, which is why I haven't found the time to really push my brand like I really would like. I don't have the energy because I've running on E! Seeing that I am fast approaching 40 (thanks I have great genes) with no significant other and no children, I realized I needed to find a way to start enjoying life. I work so hard that life is slipping by me... quickly.
So I had to rethink the way I look at life. I have to make "Living" a priority. We have one life to live. Once you are gone, only your legacy will live on. So what are you going to do. I decided I will start living in the now instead of the future. Enjoy today. Slow down. Even the bible says take no thought for tomorrow, but to live in the now (something like that). So I've decided I will find a way to relax and enjoy me, my family and friends. I want to travel more. And I haven't done that because I'm always working to pay bills. I'm always concerned I won't have enough to pay that off. I'm done with the scarcity mindset. It's time to live in abundance! So every week I've decided to do something that contributes to my new "Living" standard. It can be a movie night with the boo or with the homegirls, going to a paint and sip, or volunteering at a local food bank. Whatever it is, enjoy it and make it big. Have fun. Life is much better that way.
The other 2 goals are simple. Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies a day and then exercise at least 150 minutes a week. I've adopted this lifestyle and I use my personal calendar to make sure I schedule my "Living" events. My Fitbit does a great job of tracking my exercise habits and creating a weekly food planner helps me to make time for those fruits and veggies. I can usually get about 3 servings in one smoothie when I add spinach or kale. Then a salad with plenty of greens will easily get you in there. I'm not telling anyone to stay away from bread, but we all know that bread is the devil!!
I've been a lot of places,