Closing the gym and limited meal times should not cause us to compromise on our wellness goals.
Round four of government restrictions are in full force this week, and instead of gym closures, waterfront fronts, rooftops and parks are filled with fitness enthusiasts trying to stay in shape. Although frustrating, it’s important to remember the basics of health – nutrition. A closer look at your food intake and some easy adjustments to your routine will make you come out on the other side and look and feel your best.
The founder of Nu Performance, Luke Davey, is considering why nutrition is the key, while avoiding further government restrictions.
A big plus of living in Hong Kong is that you can increase your traditional number of 10,000 steps just by commuting to and from work. However, with more people working from home than ever before, it is likely that your traditional energy expenditure and NEAT (non-exercise thermogenesis) are far lower than your norm – even if you keep track of your exercise regimen.
To tackle this, there are two options: Either get out and move more, or Make an active effort to reduce your daily calorie intake. Depending on your height and weight, you will burn about 30-50 calories per day. 1,000 steps. Try to make feasible adjustments. Movement is always better than a deficit where possible.
Top tip: If your goal is to maintain muscle mass, frequent feeding with high quality protein every four to five hours is a good strategy to minimize muscle loss.
Between spending more time at home, gym closures, and news that our favorite restaurants are closing early, we scroll through food delivery apps and typically welcome a daily army of motorcycles at our door. While it’s convenient (and there are some great choices there), most of us will obviously choose a burger over a chicken breast. Look for eliminating temptations and insecurities by setting aside time for weekly meal preparations. Admittedly, an everyday task, it will ensure that you get the nutrients and calorie intake you need to achieve your goals. Alternatively, there are plenty of delivery plans for healthy meals in Hong Kong that deliver to your doorstep. Whichever option you choose, consistency is an overriding success factor.
Snack with the hormones Ghrelin and Leptin
The desire to snack can be triggered by several factors. On a hormonal level, Ghrelin and Leptin work together to help deal with hunger. Produced in the gastrointestinal tract, Ghrelin’s core task is to regulate the energy balance and prepare the stomach to consume food by increasing stomach mobility – signaling to the brain that energy is needed. Leptin signals the opposite and gives the brain the feeling of satiety and fullness.
Why is this important? Well, several lifestyle factors influence increasing levels of secretion – including poor sleep and stress. Look to improve sleep quality by targeting 7-9 hours per day. night, and explore various techniques for dealing with stress in difficult times, such as exercise.
Top tip: Increasing your protein intake can dramatically increase satiety levels, reducing the likelihood of overeating and continuous snacking.
Vitamin D is a fat-soluble micronutrient that is essential for the functioning of everyday life, including cognitive function, immune health and well-being – all very important in today’s climate. Traditional sources of absorption come from fish in direct sunlight and dairy products with additional vitamin D.
When we are stuck at home, not to mention in the middle of winter, exposure to our biggest source of vitamin D – the sun! – can be a rare commodity. Explore vitamin D supplements and boost your immune system. Dosage of vitamin D varies depending on the source, but a recommended guide will be 20-80IU / kg daily.
Hero image credited to Pixabay