How to Keep Up with Your Fitness Goals, Even When Sick

There's a of different factors at play when we talk about being sick and how to care for our body. What does it really need? And really is weight loss or performance a goal while we're sick? Dive into how to select the best strategies when you're not feeling your best.

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Crystal OKeefe: Welcome to the MetPro Method podcast. I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and today I am joined by MetPro Coach Jessee Davis, and we are going to be discussing being on MetPro while sick with a cold or flu. This is an interesting topic, Jessee, so thank you so much for being here to discuss.

Jessee Davis: Yes, of course. We all get sick.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah, I think that we should probably talk a little bit about what are we talking about by being sick? I know I said cold or flu, but, if you have pneumonia, that’s a different conversation, right?

Jessee Davis: Yes. Yes. Let’s just say in home care and having to go to the hospital, you know, emergency room. Um, but also meds. We can talk about that too. So, a lot of different variables when we talk about being sick and how to care for our body. What does it really need? And really is weight loss or performance a goal while we’re sick, right?

We have to kind of be realistic. So, we’ll talk about all that.

Crystal OKeefe: Okay, great points, great points. Okay, so let’s start with do symptoms affect what we do? So, if you have a cough or you’re tired, that’s one thing, right? Talk to me about that.

Jessee Davis: Yeah. Great question. So, the first thing to always be aware of, if you have a fever do not exercise. So, just think about your body is already over temperature and so by you going to exert yourself and increasing your body’s temperature, that’s not going to end well. So, the only time I really have a hard do not exercise is if they have a fever.

And then that’s just kind of exercise wise. What can and can’t you do? Um, you know, sometimes strength training can be something that’s lower, uh, cardiovascular, right? And so, it’s less on the body if you’re having trouble breathing or if you’re having, you know, any kind of lung or sinus issues. Um, but really, we have to listen to our bodies when it is sick.

What are the symptoms and then kind of caring for your body as is? So, first things, just make sure that you don’t work out. Don’t elevate your temperature. If you already have a temperature, right? First things first upset stomach, right?

We’re just going to kind of keep it simple. You don’t want to go do your high intensity training, CrossFit workout, right? And just get your body all upset. Maybe a walk, maybe a long, easy run. If you’re a runner, things like that, just to kind of make sure that you’re taking care of your body fuel wise, right? Scale of one to 10. If you’re feeling a seven or an eight or a nine, just rest. Right, your body is trying to recover and you’re not letting it. So, when it comes to workouts, and I know who you are, that have to work out and move every day, sometimes stretching is all you need, or taking a good nap.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah, sometimes I hear from people like, I had to sweat it out and I think that that makes us feel better, but I don’t think there’s actually any truth to that. Like, true sickness. I’m not talking about like you had a little extra alcohol the night before. It’s not what I’m talking about. Just-

Jessee Davis: We’re not detoxing, we know everybody is so different, but yes, if you think about just kind of the physiology of our body being sick, and it depends on what it’s from, that’s why I say kind of listen to your body. If you feel I mean, we all know people get COVID if we haven’t already all had it, you know, some people can go out and go for the runs because they live in the middle of nowhere and they’re not exposing anybody and they feel fine.

Other people, right? Not the same story. So, we have to make sure that you pay attention to your body first and fuel is way more important than exercise. So, when we think of what are my symptoms and what does my body need? We’ve already answered the exercise fitness or the exercise question. So honestly, it needs sleep, and it needs hydration.

Those are the two most important things that it needs. And hydration being anything that you physically feel like your body needs. If it needs something that’s got electrolytes in it, right? We can do Gatorade Zero. That doesn’t have any calories and that’s giving you hydration. You might already have Nuun tablets at home if you’re a runner.

You know, having some of those electrolyte drinks, even though you might not be working out, your body needs that hydration because it’s really, it’s working overtime. It’s got to fix itself.

Crystal OKeefe: Those are, those are good points. Yeah.

Jessee Davis: So, hydration and then sleep. If your body feels like it needs sleep, sleep, don’t feel bad that it’s the middle of the day, you know, give your body what it needs.

You know, most likely if you sleep in the middle of the day, you’re still going to be able to sleep at night if you really are feeling sick. And so again, that kind of comes to that scale of zero to 10, you know, how bad are you? What’s that energy level like, and just knowing your threshold. If you really are higher than a seven, then I think you should probably pay more attention to it. If it’s maybe a two or three or four, then you’re like, “Hey, maybe I can persevere through it.”

So, and then the other thing I know why people always ask about is honey. So, maybe your throat is sick, just certain things and honey is very healing. It’s very natural. It comes from bees. If you get local honey, it’s got all sorts of good things that your body needs.

So, that’s another one I talk a lot about when we’re sick. And again, depends on the sickness. Um, but honey can be a great mucus reliever and it has calories. So, people are concerned about consuming it. Moderation is always key. You know, don’t go have a cup of honey, but if you put a tablespoon or two in your hot tea, that’s totally going to be okay.

So really understanding that our priorities change when we’re sick, right? And so we got to make sure that we’re fueling upset stomach, probably going to need more fluids. Um, this, I was just talking to some of the other coaches about it, right? Because we’re a big team and we want to make sure we’ve got all the great, um, Suggestions.

And so I’ll give a shout out to coach Amber. She was the one that said meal timing for clients. Again, you know, if you’re feeling like a 10 on the spectrum, just sleep is probably all you need, but if you’re awake, right, just think about your waking hours. Your meal timing is so important. So just knowing if you’re awake, your body needs fuel.

You might not know it needs fuel. You might not feel like it needs fuel, especially if you’re having stomach issues. But what is your body running on? Nothing. And it needs to recover. It needs to repair itself. So, just, if you can’t eat anything else, eat protein. Uh, I know we have a lot of vegetarians and vegans, so it’s not as easy as said than done.

But even if we, you know, mixed up some beans, just some simple beans, you know, um, what was the one we were thinking of? Uh, oh, at Trader Joe’s, they have got a chicken soup, so no noodles in it. And I know we were going to talk later about high carb, low carb, so I don’t want to jump into that.

Crystal OKeefe: We’re going there next.

Jessee Davis: Timing, meal timing is key to when we’re being, when we’re sick.

So just think awake hours. I need to feel every couple hours. When you’re sleeping. Don’t worry about it. Don’t add an extra snack if you slept through snack time, okay? Just get right to dinner

Crystal OKeefe: Okay. Okay. And my next question is, What about if you’re on a super low or high carb plan with MetPro?

Jessee Davis: Throwing out all sorts of ideas So protein whether we’re high or low is really what your body needs as far as recovery goes so coupled with that hydration. One of my favorite go-to’s is bone broth is so high in protein for those of you that don’t know it, right? It’s coming from the bone. It’s a very, very natural way to get your protein if you do animal-based proteins.

Um, and so I tell a lot of my clients between the bone broth, the chicken soup, those kinds of things, that’s going to get you what you need protein wise, um, fair life makes a great low sugar protein shakes that you can have ready made and in the fridge.

That way you’re just maybe sipping on it all morning, you don’t have to necessarily drink exactly seven and a half grams every three hours, it’s just kind of like feel your body, make sure that it has all it needs because the more you feel it, the quicker it’s going to be able to heal itself.

Are you going to get better? Yeah. But wouldn’t you rather get better quicker?

Crystal OKeefe: Always. I got stuff to do.

Jessee Davis: Yeah. And then if you’re on a high phase, I mean, you have more wiggle room, right? We still on both phases have snacks. We still want to make sure, you know, maybe we’re doing rice cakes or applesauce with peanut butter, you know, doing real simple, simple things.

Just think about it that way. I know my body doesn’t need enough, and you don’t have to measure. If it’s an ounce of nuts and you can only eat half an ounce of nuts, that’s so great. Eat that half an ounce of nuts. Your body needs it. Give it something to fuel on. Um, and then just kind of… See how you’re feeling, get your sleep, all that good stuff.
And then I know your next question is a great one, so I don’t want to say what I want to say about the high, high meal plans until this next question.

Crystal OKeefe: Alright, well look, I don’t know about anybody else out there, but when I’m sick, I want all the comfort food. And I don’t mean chicken noodle soup. Now I do, whenever I’m feeling really miserable, like chicken broth is my go to really. That’s the only thing I want sometimes. But there are also times that like, I don’t feel good and I just want to eat the sugar, Jessee.

I just want to eat the sugar. That’s comfort food to me. What do we do then?

Jessee Davis: My brain is telling me. So, if we’re on a high phase, that’s a great question. Your metabolism is probably going to be just fine. If you wanted to add a little comfort food after you maybe had your protein, don’t have your comfort food, unless it’s a protein comfort food, right? Some people like the salty.

Some people might be like, oh, chicken wings are my favorite when I’m sick. I don’t know. Um, that would come to mind because it’s salty. That’s a, that’s got protein. Of course it’s higher in fat. That’s going to be a better option than seriously not eating. Like, if we were to have to rate things. So, having the comfort foods are okay, it’s still going to kind of be that same mindset of if we can keep that 80 20 ratio and just making sure that your body is getting that 80% of all the good stuff.

I woke up, I ate breakfast, I had snacks, I’ve been feeling every couple hours and now I’m going to have an indulgent at dinnertime. We all know is the worst time to have our indulgent. But if that’s what happens, cause we’re sick and we don’t care, we’ve made it all day. We’re so proud of ourselves.

We’ve all been there. And that ice cream might just feel so good on the throat or the popsicle or whatever. So, you know, do your serving size, make your portion. I really do like to get like. Lately, I’ve seen these little icy, these shaved ice things at the store, and they are like, only 230 calories, I think?

I get them for my children, instead of ice cream. But you know, I’m just saying. little sweet treat portion size. I always like to get them in individual serving sizes. So then, you know, okay, I can have this. This is my feel good because that’s a mental thing too. You know, if you’re craving something and you don’t acknowledge it, you can acknowledge it and be like, oh, I don’t really need it.

And if that’s all you need, then good for you.

Crystal OKeefe: Amen to that.

Jessee Davis: If you’re on a low phase just really quick if you’re on a low phase and you’re shaving craving those sugary things, just be really mindful of the quality of food because your body is going to be more sensitive to it. With higher phases the quality isn’t as important. It’s always important, but on the lower phases it’s going to play a really big role. So, that scoop of ice cream is going to look different. So, if you can grab frozen grapes on a low phase because you really want something sweet and cold, that’s going to be a better option because your body’s more sensitive to the carbs.

Crystal OKeefe: That is very good advice. And I will say the, the cleaner that I eat, and I think this is true for most people, the less intense sugar that I need, so the fruit does take care of it. Personally, for me, if that’s all I’ve been eating, then it’s not so crazy. Like, the intensity of those cravings is not as much.

Jessee Davis: Your body is not craving all the carbs.

Crystal OKeefe: Exactly. Exactly. Okay, so what other things should people be doing from a food, nutrition, exercise perspective when they’re sick?

Jessee Davis: I didn’t want to forget my last point, or not my last one, but once you’re feeling better, give yourself a little grace to get back on track as far as your body’s concerned. Of course, you should be back on track food wise, you know, hopefully as soon as you’re feeling better, whether it’s, you know, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, give yourself 72 hours.

We always love our three days of data because that’s a true picture of what your body’s doing. If your body is up or low because you have been eating or you haven’t been eating or you’re hydrated, you’re not hydrated. Whatever the case may be, if you’re on medications, right, we know that when we take meds to get better, that is impacting our body’s digestive tract and everything that’s going on inside our bodies, and it tends to retain water or dehydrate you, right?

It does one of the two opposites. So, just being aware, 72 hours, then I’m going to get on the scale, then I’m going to see how I’m feeling with my performance and my runs, right? Don’t just expect your body to bounce back and be exactly where it was.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah.

Jessee Davis: Tomorrow though, you feel great, right? Then that’s good, but your body needs time to get there.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah. And even if you do feel great, you might start to go out for that run and it like saps your energy super fast

Jessee Davis: Exactly. And the lower and the higher phases will impact it, right? If we’re coming off of a low carb and now we’re going to go for a run, your body really is depleted. So, you have to just… You know, listen, be patient, and then never expect to like, I never will drop a client or I’ll never make a decision based on a weight if it was three days, you know, within that being sick period.

Crystal OKeefe: Yeah. And I feel like, especially with people taking medication, sometimes just the inflammation of like, maybe they have something going on that’s, they’re taking medication and it’s like making all their muscles sore or whatever. Or you get that achiness whenever you get the flu, you know, and I think that causes inflammation.

Jessee Davis: Mucus. Right. Just think of all the fun and congestion like that ways. That’s not just like all that matters.

Crystal OKeefe: That’s true.

Jessee Davis: I was just going to talk about tracking. For those, for those MetPros out there that use the tracking system, whether it’s with a coach or without a coach, how do we utilize that?

Because if we’re sick, we’re not necessarily eating on plan. I want to remind people your plan changes as your health changes. So, when you’re sick, your primary focus is going to be eating every couple hours and making sure that you get your protein in. So, what easier way to be able to track that in the app and see, Oh, I did get in breakfast today, but I slept through snack and lunch.

And then I had a little snack with some protein and then I, you know, skip dinner. So on my tracking, I’m going to see that I ate twice that day and I’m going to see it was in the morning and so you can kind of like, just see what you feel with so that when you are better, you have that data and you’re like, Oh gosh, yeah, I really only ate two or three times a day or, Oh gosh, I ate pretty frequently in the, in the middle of the being sick.

You don’t care, you don’t want, like, I don’t want to have to remember how I’m feeling right now. And so it is a good tool for accountability in that sense that it’s just your tracking is going to change. I don’t expect you to have everything on plan. I just need to know you gave your body fuel.

So, can you go ahead and check that breakfast off if you’ve got something in? And most of the time breakfast is easy because you can make toast and peanut butter. You can do, you know, something that’s pretty simple on the belly. Uh, anyways, so that’s how I would do the tracking, and I would also encourage you to weigh, weigh yourself every morning.

It’s not accurate, so know that. Know this is not what my body weighs on a normal day, because it’s not a normal day. Your body’s sick. So, seeing how your body is responding to being sick is telling us so much, right? So, the data that we get to collect when we’re sick, it just looks different. We’re not trying to thrive, we’re trying to get better. We’re trying to recover. And so, as a coach, that’s what I love when my clients still give me their weight every morning.

I’ll remind them if it’s down two pounds, you know, just wait, wait it out. Let’s see what your body’s doing because then when we are feeling better. Gosh, I got all this data from when we were sick and what our body just went through because that matters everything, you know, heads up.

Crystal OKeefe: It does. And, and I like to tell, remind people too, especially if they’re down, like if it was a stomach thing and they weren’t feeling good and they didn’t eat very much food. It’s also, it’s also important data to have because they might feel really in tune with your body, sometimes not drinking enough fluids and, and getting sick all the, like, getting physically sick, you might feel like you’re lighter, and then you might feel heavier when you start eating food again, and it’s not an accurate picture of what occurred and so having that data is really good to be able to be like, okay, that wasn’t real, like you said, and being able to see that and internalize it when you’re feeling better and able to think straight.

Jessee Davis: Not asking you in the moment.

Crystal OKeefe: Right? Exactly, exactly.

Jessee Davis: We, I mean, we hope it’s not too much to hop on the phone, you know, like click a button if we ate. And then, you know, again, just being aware of one meal isn’t ever going to make or break progress. Whether it’s being sick or not. So, um, don’t have any guilt. Move forward. Move on.

Crystal OKeefe: I think those are really good tips. What else? Did we miss anything you wanted to make sure people know?

Jessee Davis: Um, I would really just say if I haven’t said it a million times, listen to your body because there’s all sorts of different kinds of being sick, but we know that our body needs fuel. So, if you are awake, eat every couple hours, make sure that your body’s, you know, fueled, hydrated, all those necessities, and shift your mindset, shift your mindset from, My performance goal or my weight loss goal is now my recovery goal.

I got to get better first before I can switch back over there. Um, and if you have a coach, use your coach. Ask him questions. I know we’ve got lots of, you know, tricks and hacks and all sorts of things because people get sick all the time. You’re not alone.

Crystal OKeefe: Absolutely. And I love that. Shift your goals, shift your focus. You’re not trying to run your fastest PR or bike your fastest or your hardest. This is the time to let your body recover. Wise advice, Jessee.

Jessee Davis: Got it.

Crystal OKeefe: All right. Well thank you so much for your time today, Jessee. I really appreciate all these tips. This is going to be super helpful for people. Anything else? Any last words?

Jessee Davis: No, just don’t forget to eat. Fuel is food. Food is fuel.

Crystal OKeefe: Awesome. Well, listeners, that’s all for this week. You can find all the MetPro Method episodes anywhere you get podcasts, or you can go to Please be sure to follow the show and rate and review that lets other people know what they can expect from the show. And you can also learn more about

I’m your host, Crystal O’Keefe, and I’ll be back next week. Until then, remember, consistency is key.

Done with Dieting with MetPro

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