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Back in March when the craziness started, I thought that by now, in the heart of the summer, things would be back to normal. But surges, upticks and spikes are the new normal; as if we as a nation didn’t have enough anxiety to begin with. 

And now, with gyms closed for who knows how long, our options to manage stress have been taken away. Going for a run in the 90-degree muggy heat with a mask on? No thanks! Doing a group fitness class on Zoom? That was a sanity-saver for the first weeks in March and April, but now I want to play outside…

The endless cycle of doom and gloom on the news combined with spending more time at home has fueled boredom and anxiety. No wonder lots of people are talking about putting on the Quarantine 15. Boredom, anxiety and the lack of motivation to exercise at home has led to an epidemic of not only unhealthy weight gain, but also suppressed immunity and psychological fragility.

But not all hope is lost. There’s actually good news if comfort food has gotten the best of you so far this year. In fact, I have an easy three-step solution for conquering the Quarantine 15…

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Conquering the Quarantine 15: Step 1 – Intermittent Fasting

How many episodes of [insert name of your favorite show] did you binge watch last night? And what snacks did you have while watching? Too embarrassed to say? No worries… 

I really don’t care what you ate late last night. And in fact, no matter how many pieces of pretzels or popcorn you popped into your mouth, you can still lose weight—as long as you give your body enough time to tap into its stored energy to fuel your muscles and brain instead of all the sugar in your blood. And the simple way to do that is to not eat anything for at least 14 hours after you have finished eating or drinking anything with calories at night. (Eventually work your way up to 16 hours or longer.)

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If you have a snack at 10 p.m. while watching TV, you can do it guilt-free, so long as your first calories aren’t consumed until at least 10 a.m. That’s a 12-hour fast, which is ok for beginners but for best results, shoot for 14-plus. 

Amazing things start happening when you do intermittent fasting for an extended period of time. You may lose weight but your health will improve in other ways. For example, your insulin and blood sugar levels will go down. And these days, a healthy immune system is on everybody’s mind. Well, guess what, there’s been some research that shows that intermittent fasting improves the immune response

I’ve read some clickbait articles with headlines that read something like this: Why I Bombed Intermittent Fasting. These types of articles warn that intermittent fasting doesn’t work because people end up making up for lost time and eating like there’s no tomorrow when it’s meal time. 

Which brings us to step #2….

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Lose Weight & Feel Great: Step 2 – Replacing Breakfast & Lunch With Green Drink & A Protein Shake

Let’s say you had your late-night snack at 10 p.m. Now imagine it’s the next day at 10 a.m. See if you can go an extra hour or two before having any calories. If your belly rumbles, drink a tall glass of warm water with some lemon juice. That hunger will probably go away. 

And remember that what you’re experiencing isn’t true hunger (read: starvation). Rather, it’s just your body tricking you. If you eat a lot of carbs it could be the overgrowth of yeast in your gut telling your brain that they want more carbs to feast on. (Which is why you should take a good-quality probiotic and not frequently eat empty calorie carbs.) Placing your body under a little bit of stress, which is what intermittent fasting is all about, is what it takes to lose weight. When it’s finally time to have some calories don’t break the fast with bacon, eggs and toast. Instead, if you really want to lose the quarantine 15 quickly, break your fast with a 16 oz serving of my Green Drink.

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And when you’re having the Green Drink, think about this: your body really doesn’t need a lot of calories, not nearly as many as the standard American diet. What your body craves is to be nourished with phytonutrients. When your cells are fueled with the vitamins, minerals and other miraculous healing compounds found in the 7 green leafy veggies in Green Drink, hunger and cravings go away. The brain no longer becomes tricked into eating processed food, because you just supplied your body with the optimal nutrition it needs to get through the day. 

About half an hour after having Green Drink, support your beautiful muscles, nails and hair with a protein shake. 

Need a high-quality plant-based protein powder to help you lose weight fast? Try one of my Cleanses.

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Losing The Stay At Home Extra Weight: Step 3 – Eating a Sensible Dinner

As I said above, the key to staying full and preventing cravings is to flood your cells with nutrient density. But keeping your tummy full and satisfied also requires having enough fiber in your diet. That’s another reason a Chef V Cleanse is perfect for fast weight loss. That’s because with each cleanse I make from scratch, I include a serving of Detox Soup for dinner, which contains up to 13 grams of fiber. 

If you combine intermittent fasting with my 1 day, 3 day or 5 day Cleanse, there’s no reason why you can’t lose the extra weight you’ve put on during these challenging times. And then once the Cleanse is over, if you want to keep the results going, graduate to my 21 Day Detox, where I make it easy for people to lose 30 pounds or more. 

And to keep the momentum going, make intermittent fasting a part of your lifestyle instead of a temporary weight loss fix. Replace breakfast with Green Drink and a protein shake and then eat a sensible lunch and dinner, loaded with seasonal veggies from your local farmer’s market. 

It’s really easy. But sometimes we all need a gentle nudge and a helping hand back to health. 

That’s what I’m here for. 

Now as for the motivation to exercise at home, well, let’s save that topic for next time…

To your weight loss success. 

Love,

Chef V

P.S. Keep your spirits up by not watching the news and limiting time spent on social media. Focus on the positive!