The start of spring is one of the main times that we field questions about weight loss. Turtlenecks, scarves, and heavy slacks give way to lighter clothes, skirts, and soon, sundresses and bathing suits. With the wardrobe change comes the realization that may not seem to fit the way that they did before. Though a 10-20 lb weight loss may be your goal , even an extra 5 lbs can make your clothes feel tight. Now is definitely the time to take control of your eating habits and fitness regimen, and we have a few important tips this week.
One note, however is that weight loss is only one factor to consider. There are a lot of other metrics for a successful change in your lifestyle. At inSHAPE we like to think of other units of measurement:
1. The fit of your clothes: everyone has an item or two that doesn't quite fit as well as it should. Pick something and make it your success metric this spring. Try it on every other week or so and use the change in fit as your barometer for wellness control.
2. Circumference of your waist and/or hips: if you need a solid numerical value, get out a tape measure and write down your hip circumference. Measure it once a month to chart your progress.
3. Your energy level. Subjective yes, but if you execute a regular fitness and healthy eating regimen, you are far more likely to feel better during the day, to stave off lethargy and its accompanying behaviors.
Weight is important, yes, but don't forget that as you lose fat, your body likely gains muscle which is heavier than fat. Tips that will get you ready for the summer:
1. In addition to any current exercise regimen you have planned for the next 8 weeks, add 5 30-minute segments of time to your schedule that are devoted to interval drills. That means, a combination of moves that involve an elevated heart rate, with strength work, without resting, for one half hour, five days a week. If you have any doubt about what to do, refer to our weekly workouts.
2. Get up early! Seriously, what's an extra 30 minutes in the morning? Studies show that people who exercise in the morning have a far greater chance of long-term consistency (read: success) than those who wait to work out after work. Already doing this? Add 20 minutes of intervals to whatever else you're doing.
3. At the end of each workout, spend 5 minutes stretching and making mental notes about your motivation to change your body. Think about what's really important. If fitting into those skinny clothes and feeling good about your body tops the list, this exercise will be worth the extra couple of minutes.
4. Clean out your kitchen. Anything in a carton or box that has greater than 5 ingredients needs to go. Packaged snacks, cereal bars, frozen meals, and so on all get shucked, or donated, if you prefer. You need to go primal if you want to make this big of a change in this short of time, so stock your kitchen with fresh greens, colorful veggies, whole grains, fruits, and lean proteins. Don't eat out (or maybe try to limit your nights out to twice per week and NO trips to coffee shops or bodegas on the fly), and use the web for quick and easy recipes that satisfy with far fewer calories.
5. Drink water with fresh lemon (especially first thing in the morning) and switch to green tea for a daily metabolic boost. Other ingestible compounds that help boost metabolic activity are intense spices. Add lots of wasabi, chilis, and other hot spices to dishes to add a power punch to your body's ability to process food and burn calories.
Each person is different so if you are struggling, please call us for a consult. Don't wait because the summer is going to be here before you know it.