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One evening, my phone buzzed. It was a text from a friend and longtime client, and she was ecstatic. “Been taking pics of myself every Friday from the front and back. OMG, what a huge difference! My body looks completely different.”

She sent me the before and after, and there was a huge difference. She shrunk everywhere; her legs, arms and stomach leaned and toned up. She said she felt like “the old me” was coming back. It had been a little under a month after a long hiatus from training. And now here she was, beside herself at what she could accomplish in a month by only working out in her backyard during a pandemic.

It got me thinking about the contrast of how the lockdown affects the health of other people. For many, their fitness left the building when the world went sideways. Now they’re rapidly gaining weight on a combination of Netflix, DoorDash, and virtual cocktail hours. Coupled with the fact that gyms, parks, and beaches are closed and the general belief that “working out at home just isn’t the same,” lots of people are moving less and vegging out more.

Lots of people seem to put their fitness on the backburner until things get back to normal. Well, here we are 10 weeks in, and we don’t exactly know when that’s going to happen. I’m guessing you’ve already blown through Tiger King, and you’re ready to quit waiting for the lights to come back on. If that is you, I have some weight loss tips you can utilize at home, because even though the world has stopped, you don’t have to. Here goes.

Don’t spend minor time on major things. The biggest blessing this pandemic has awarded all of us is the total elimination of friction – no traffic, interruptions, waiting in line, small talk, commuting, or the million other distractions we usually encounter. Right now, you can actually spend time on the really important things that you seem to never get around to. Use this time to think, plan, reflect, learn something, or get back to some passion you fell off from. You’ll likely not have this opportunity again. Don’t waste it.

Walk. Being stuck at home means the daily hustle has been greatly diminished, so you will have to make a deliberate effort to move through the day. Fortunately, you now have time to adopt one of the best health-boosting, weight-loss-promoting habits you can ever have. Shoot for 5,000 steps a day, then work to 7,500, then eventually hit 10,000 a day. Doing this will burn roughly 500 calories extra per day (worth about a pound a week).

Get off the greasy takeout. I believe in doing everything you can to support the restaurant industry right now, but that doesn’t mean you need to live on fast food. Use the extra time to cook healthy meals for breakfast and lunch, order high-protein salads from Sandwich Saloon, get a fish plate from Pappy’s. Aim for 30 grams of protein and two servings of vegetables at each meal.

Commit to an at-home program. The worst thing you can do right now is nothing. Never has it been easier to find at-home workouts, but instead of doing an appetizer platter of random workouts, find an actual at-home program and commit to following it. Do something that will make you better by developing your core strength, increasing your aerobic health, and getting stronger using your own bodyweight. Most people say they need a gym or equipment, but if you can’t hold a two-minute plank, run a mile for time without stopping, and perform 10 to 20 quality pushups, you have plenty to gain from a home program. 

Create a daily routine/schedule. Sit down one Sunday and map out what a “great day” would look like, then pull out your calendar and schedule it in. Don’t just make time for Zoom calls. Make time for you, your spouse and for the habits above.

Turn off the news. Don’t live in fear and paralysis-fueling depression and anxiety. Get your information, then turn off the TV. Be smart and focus on what you can control. Then go to your garage, get sweaty, eat a salad and come out of this stronger than before. 

There you have it. Hopefully soon, you and I can bump into each other at the gym. But until then, it’ll have to be the living room. Now, drop and give me twenty. spt

photo of san pedro today author Ricky Magana

Ricky Magana

Ricky Magana is co-owner of Heyday Elite Fitness. Heyday offers a two-minute scan that provides a full one-page body fat analysis to help you tailor your fitness goals. For more info, email