Most people who stopped working out display a noticeably enormous amount of weight gain. This is because the body is no longer burning the same amount of calories as they used to while working out so all the extra calories are now stored as body fat which increases as the calorie requirement of the body decreases. Also, the metabolism slows down and the muscles lose their ability to burn as much fat.
The blood sugar levels which spike up when people eat, also remain elevated longer after a meal.
For people who exercise daily, this extra sugar gets absorbed by the muscles and other tissues to be burned as energy.
For those who stopped exercising, these changes can lead to glucose intolerance in as quick as just three days of inactivity following a previous moderately strenuous lifestyle, even with young healthy individuals.
Quitting high-intensity exercise or weight training also leads to loss of muscle mass although it might not become visible right away.
Detraining period of 12 weeks can result in visibly reduced muscle mass and lower muscular strength.
This means a person may now get tired more quickly than before. This is noticeable when picking up heavy appliances or equipment even if they are able to carry it. The person first loses power and endurance and then strength.
The only way to regain all of this quickly is to undergo retraining as the muscles have memory.
Aside from weight gain, elevated blood sugar and loss of muscle mass, when a person abruptly stops his workout routine, he will also notice a shortness of breath when walking fast or climbing stairs because the ability of the heart, lungs and muscles to use oxygen effectively during exercise is also decreasing.
This leads to an increased oxygen demand.
When a person stops exercising for a few weeks, it becomes difficult for the heart to handle extra blood flow and this also reduces the ability of the heart to use oxygen effectively.
Exercising is good for the heart because it improves the efficiency with which the heart pumps blood which carries oxygen and spreads through the entire body
Two to four weeks of detraining can significantly reduce this function.
Exercising can only benefit the body if one does this regularly.
Making this a habit does not happen easily or overnight. It takes effort, motivation and sacrifice.
Sometimes, no matter how committed one may be with his workout routine, there will still be instances where for some reason he couldn’t get to the gym, play sports or go out for a run.
Luckily, there are ways to keep oneself healthy during days, weeks or months where for some reason one may be unable to exercise.
- Eat Slowly and Chew Thoroughly
Eating slowly gives the brain enough time to send the body the signal that it is full. This helps people eat less and chewing helps in digestion too aside from helping one eat slower.
One popular technique is to allot a regular number of seconds chewing in between spoonfuls.
- Use Smaller Plates
Large plates give an impression that the portion is too small so a person may tend to get more food to fill all the space.
- Eat a Lot of Protein
Protein affects several hormones that gives the body signals of hunger and fullness. Increasing feelings of fullness and reducing hunger results in eating less leading to fewer calories.
- Keep Unhealthy Food Out of Sight
A much better suggestion is to avoid buying them completely so there is no longer need to hide it or keep it out of sight.
- Eat Fiber-Rich Food
Fiber is helpful for weight loss because it increases fullness and reduces food intake.
One type of fiber called viscous fiber, which is found in beans, oat cereals, brussels sprouts, asparagus, oranges and flax seeds; forms a gel when it comes in contact with water. This gel increases nutrient absorption time and slows down the emptying of the stomach, making the body feel full longer.
- Drink Plenty of Water
Drinking water before every meal reduces hunger and leads to lesser calorie intake
- Cut Portions in Half
Larger portions are linked to obesity so cutting usual portions in half can significantly lessen chances of eating too much.
- Avoid Gadgets While Eating
Focusing one’s attention on something else other than eating can make one overeat without even noticing it. He may also not pay attention to what he is eating.
- Get Enough Sleep and Stay Away From Stressful Situations
Chronic sleep deprivation and stress increases one’s risk of several diseases such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is also linked to a weakened immunity
- Avoid Sugary Drinks
Sugary beverages like soda have been linked to an increased risk of many diseases. This is especially not helpful knowing detraining already spiked blood sugar levels.
Most of the ways one can keep himself healthy are attributed to proper diet so even in the absence of physical exercise for a long period, they can still remain healthy and fit.