If you’ve indulged a bit while you’ve been on lockdown or cut down on your activity during these months, you may have packed on a few extra pounds.
Wouldn’t you like to shed that weight gain before beach season returns?
Rather than choosing the latest diet of the week, you could, instead, implement some sound strategies that have been proven to be effective in losing weight and keeping it off.
Here are some tips to help you say “good bye” to those extra pounds forever:
Exercise (of course!)
Staying indoors more during the past few weeks and months doesn’t mean you need to be less active! Follow these exercise techniques to bring you a variety of activities to tone up and slim down.
1. Begin slowly. Don’t overdo it when you begin to exercise – you’ll only strain muscles!
* Invest in a good pair of walking shoes and begin by walking for fifteen minutes per day.
* When you feel your body adjusting to the fifteen minutes, walk longer.
* Do this with any exercise, inside or out, to build a healthy, strong, and slimmer body.
* Do it often, without overexerting, and you may not even notice how much you have progressed. Have you ever had a summer job as a teenager where you had to do some heavy lifting, or running around, and when you went back to school, people started commenting on how good you looked? It wasn’t a coincidence.
2. Enjoy a variety of exercises. Doing the same exercise over and over again is a good way to fail before you begin. Not only will you get bored, but your body will adjust to the exercises and they will become less and less efficient in your weight loss plans. Include an assortment of exercises in your plan. Make it fun!
* For example, combine yoga with strength training. If you don’t have strength training equipment, use canned foods or other items as your weights.
* Don’t just think of going to the gym as exercise. Any activity that gets you moving is an exercise. Play actively with your pets or children. Put on some music and dance while you cook or clean house. Reorganizing the house, taking old boxes of stuff out that you’ve wanted to sort out from the garage or attic is a good start. But don’t let it stop there! Do more and you will see more results.
* Instead of sitting on the couch, ride an exercise bike while you watch TV. Or fill those empty 2 liter soda bottles with water and use them to lift while you’re watching your latest Netflix or Hulu show.
* Take the stairs instead of the elevator please!!
3. Enlist a friend. The easiest way to keep up with your exercise routine is to have someone by your side who also wants to lose weight. Remind each other how important your weight loss goals are.
4. Set goals and keep track of them. Get a diary or notebook and write down your goals. Keep track of how much weight you’re losing and what types of exercises you’re doing. Once you see a change in the numbers, your weight, your blood pressure, your BMI, something psychologically and emotionally may start to click and you might even feel better about working out.
How to Eat Well Year-Round
Eating nutritiously year-round is the best way to keep off those extra pounds. It will also help you lose excess weight, give your body the nutrients it craves, and make you feel good!
Here are some simple healthy eating tips:
1. Try to stick to a 1,500 to 2,000 a day calorie diet, or consult with you doctor about the minimum amount of calories you need. Yes, calories do count. If you’re unsure what your caloric intake should be (as it can vary from age, sex, and even height), enlist your doctor’s help or ask a nutritionist.
2. Eat a well-balanced variety of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. You don’t need to become a vegetarian, but including as many fresh fruits and vegetables in your diet as possible will bring you a plethora of benefits.
* Substitute fruits and vegetables for unhealthy snacks and calorie-laden desserts.
* Can’t find fresh fruits during the winter months? Frozen fruits with no added sugar are a good backup choice.
3. Keep your portions at acceptable levels. Don’t pile on that food! Just because fast-food restaurants are supersizing everything, it doesn’t mean you should too.
4. Eat good carbs. Many fruits, veggies, legumes, and grains are full of the good carbohydrates your body needs. They’re also high in vitamins, fibers, and minerals and free of cholesterol.
5. It’s not just what you eat, but when you eat it. Try eating your proteins first, then fiber or veggies before taking in any carbs and sugars. This may help with the absorption of better foods and elimination of not so good foods.
6. Drink water. Every cell in your body needs water to function properly. Drinking lots of water will not only keep you well hydrated, but it also can help you lose weight. For example, a glass of water before a meal can help you control overeating.
Shedding that weight is a reachable goal if you follow these tips. However, don’t feel like you have to make each of these changes tomorrow. Sometimes when people make too many drastic changes at once they have a harder time sticking with their plan.
Work on making one or two of these changes each week to get used to them. Before you know it, these weight loss strategies will be second nature to you and you’ll avoid those pounds altogether!