Six Weeks, Six Pounds: Six Tips to Help You Stay in Shape through the Summer
Have you dreaded wearing your swimsuit this summer? With longer days and warmer weather — you can’t always hide under baggy clothing. It’s not too late to get started with some changes. Last minute efforts can often times mean a lot of sacrifice and little payoff — but if you start now, there’s still time to safely shed some extra, unwanted padding.
A two-pronged approach of diet and a bit of exercise can get the results of dropping one to two pounds a week safely. Although, if you haven’t worked out for a while, be sure to take it slow and steady. This way you can start something you’ll want to continue and sustain.
The same holds true for diet. “Many people are in such a hurry to drop weight that they cut their calories too far,” notes Susan Bowerman, MS, RD. “Not only can they not keep up with such a strict plan,” she adds, “they just don’t have the energy to get through their day, not to mention trying to get through a strenuous workout.”
With careful attention to ‘calories in — calories out,’ most people should be able to lose about a pound a week. Here are six of their best tips to help you look your best for the rest of the summer:
- Start right away. Wishing and daydreaming about having a perfect body is not going to get you any closer to your goal. So get started today. If it’s been a while since you’ve been active, a simple walk or bike ride – it’s the perfect way to start.
- Prioritize the changes you want to make. Then, it’s easier to see what you will need to do first. If skipping breakfast is your problem, make a point to start the day with a healthy, protein-rich meal that will keep hunger away until lunch. Try some cottage cheese or yogurt with fruit; maybe a protein shake made with milk, protein powder and fresh fruit; or a simple egg white omelet.
- Take it slow and steady. Jumping into a fitness routine that is too difficult often backfires. If you take on too much, too soon, the resulting sore muscles — or even injury – may derail your plans. Aiming for 30 minutes of activity a day is a great starting point.
- Have a plan. In order for your body to change, your workout must change as you adapt to your new increased activity. As you get fitter and your workout seems easier, you can increase your intensity or duration to push your body to improve.
- Resist the temptation to weigh too often. Weight can fluctuate, so jumping on the scale every day may not be the best indicator of your progress. Rather than focusing on weight loss, pay attention to your other achievements — more natural energy during the day, improvements in your diet, the ease of lifting more weights, or the inches you’re losing around your waistline.
- Keep a log to stay motivated. Keeping track of what you eat and how much exercise you get is one of the key components to successful weight loss. And do it every day. Write it all down honestly, and give yourself a pat on the back when you’re good. But don’t beat yourself up when you’re not. Tomorrow is another day.
As we all know, there are no short cuts. “You may not get a ‘six-pack’ in six weeks, but won’t it feel great to drop a few pounds and feel more fit before the summer ends?”
12 Positive Starts & 12 Positive Stops
12 Positive Stops:
- Start living with purpose.
- Start being passionate.
- Start taking risks.
- Start listening with an open mind.
- Start making your health a priority.
- Start laughing and playing.
- Start being good to yourself.
- Start doing work that you love
- Start managing your money
- Start spending time with people who matter to you.
- Start living your own life.
- Start learning new things.
12 Positive Stops:
- Stop worrying.
- Stop making excuses.
- Stop doing work you hate.
- Stop wasting your time.
- Stop arguing.
- Stop trying to be right.
- Stop complaining.
- Stop making the same mistakes.
- Stop spending money unwisely.
- Stop doubting yourself.
- Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
- Stop worrying about the opinions of others.
About the Author
Francoise loves helping others personalize their daily nutrition to lead healthy, active lifestyles – “One size does not fit all!” Since 2002 she’s been running her health advocacy business, LifeDesigns, around her family and love of cooking, fitness, and laughter.
“If you’re not designing your lifestyle, it’s designing you!”
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