Local bodybuilder offers tips to lose the “Quarantine 15”


WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) – Gyms may be open now, but many residents have seen unwanted weight gain after being stuck inside during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s easy to just binge junk food and watch TV all day, than to actually get motivated to exercise.

Ben Balestra, Wheeling Resident

Many who have gained the “Quarantine 15” echo these feelings.

The first thing everybody noticed was how quickly they got out of shape, being stagnant, sitting in the house, not being able to do what you normally do, eating more than you normally do because you’re sitting at home. You have that comfort level. That was the biggest thing a lot of people noticed.

James Youngblood, YMCA Trainer and Professional Bodybuilder

Many believe that in order to lose weight, you should stick to eating salad, but this isn’t the case.

The best way to lose weight is make sure your body is getting whole foods and proper nutrition.  

You’re going to be looking at your proteins, your lean proteins, your good carbs, not your bad carbs, like potato chips, popcorn. Rice, you can have potatoes as long as you’re not overdoing it on the potatoes.

James Youngblood, YMCA Trainer and Professional Bodybuilder

Although it isn’t fun for everyone, cardio is key to losing extra pounds.  

If you’re doing hit training style cardio, you’re going to put your body into shock because it’s going to keep burning because it’s going to keep expecting to get that heart rate back up, so you’re going to be burning off excess food and excess fat.

James Youngblood, YMCA Trainer and Professional Bodybuilder

James said everybody is different.

If your body isn’t used to walking long distances, increasing your steps could lead to weight loss. While those who are more active, should seek more intense workouts to see results.

The biggest one is going to be holding yourself accountable and have other people hold you accountable. Get yourself positive reinforcement and get the junk food out of your house. I have kids and the first thing I see when I go in the house each and every day is, I see potato chips, we have younger kids, I have to steer away from them or I’m going to be there eating it with them. If you don’t see it or you don’t buy it, you can’t have it.

James Youngblood, YMCA Trainer and Professional Bodybuilder

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