It is finally June and more than likely you have swapped sweaters for shorts and boots for bathing suits. With summer comes many special events such as graduations, reunions, weddings, pool parties, and vacations. I hope that by maintaining your healthy habitudes year round you feel that you are never far off from looking and feeling your best. With good habits, we may find a comfortable yet healthy weight that is quite easy to maintain. However, for that special event, we may be looking to drop some water weight, see the scale move down 5 pounds, or tone and tighten up that beach body! By maintaining a healthy eating plan and dedicated exercise regimen as a lifestyle, you can successfully use these few slim secrets as a short-term plan to feel your best no matter the occasion!
1. If you feel like you are doing everything right; killing it at the gym, eating lean, clean, and green, and getting restful sleep, but still aren’t seeing the results you desire, it’s time to scrutinize everything. Starting new medications, aging, stress, and more can affect how your body metabolizes and breaks down food. Take a few days or up to a week and fill in a food diary. Online resources such as my plate or my fitness pal make this extremely easy. They will even recommend how many maconutrients you should be consuming and how many calories you should eat back in after a hard workout. Sometimes we are eating more than we think we are, or have no clue how many calories are actually in some of the foods we eat. By tracking everything we consume we will get a pulse on what’s really going on and can make appropriate adjustments from there. I encourage you to use this as a tool and as a guide. Try not to get obsessed over this.
For the short term goal of a vacation or class reunion, you may be drastically dropping your calories (never dropping below 1200!). Remember this is for the short term only and the quality of your calories is very important. Eat nutrient dense fruits and veggies to keep you full and healthy. Even though you could lose weight by eating 1200 calories of low fat cookies and processes microwave meals, you are not eating healthy and will most likely not be happy with a plan like this. Irritability and hunger are no fun and not motivating! Calories are what count when it comes to weight loss, and choosing the right calories will get you there with ease!
2. Eat a breakfast everyday that includes proteins and carbohydrates! Lots of people will cut carbs to lose weight and that can work. However, I encourage you to eat your complex carbohydrates in the morning to provide your body the energy it will need to get through the rest of the day. You actually need carbohydrates to burn fat. Stick to consuming them in the morning and attempt to get your carbs from fruits and veggies for the later parts of the day.
3. Drink water! You will be running to the bathroom more often, but that is OK. To pull off any water weight your body is holding onto, you need to consume more water. Take a sip right now!
4. Eliminate all beverages except green tea, coffee, and water. Even your heart healthy glass of red wine! This is just short-term for that special event. Those last few pounds are the absolute hardest to lose. Therefore, you must be extremely strict. Try this for the last week or two leading up to your event.
5. Clean out the kitchen. If you don’t have candy, cookies, breads, rolls, ice cream, or whatever your favorite treat is in the house you can’t eat it. Why put yourself through the agony of having to say no and hoping your willpower is strong enough? Out of sight, out of mind. Get. Rid. Of. It.
6. Cut way back on salt/sodium intake. If you are still eating process or packaged foods, check your labels. Also avoiding adding salt to your cooking for the week or two leading up to your event.
7. Bump up your workouts. You do not have to spend 2 hours in the gym or start doing two-a-day workouts to get to your goal. However, you can train smarter by increasing your intensity or by using a heart rate monitor as your own personal trainer to ensure you are not over or under training. Check this post out for more information on heart rate monitoring! Add an extra cardio day, HIIT session, or go for more walks-even just 10 minutes at a time will add up and make a difference!
8. Change your perspective. Ask yourself why you think you need to lose a few pounds, tighten up, or fit into your old leisure suit. Do not compare yourself to a previous version of you when perhaps you were younger and had less going on and more time to be active.
Let’s say a gentleman is prepping to go to his 20 year class reunion and he was the all American track and field star way back when. Nowadays he may be leaving the house at 6 am for his job and not returning until 8 pm. He may be running the kids to soccer on Saturday mornings and doing yard work for his weekend activity. He may look and feel great for his situation. Maybe his waistline isn’t what it once was, but he is happy and healthy in his life and that makes him look and feel good! The way he carries himself is the most attractive part about him.
Perhaps there is a young mom who is going on holiday with a few girlfriends. If she desires to lose a few pounds to feel more confident in her swimsuit, than great! However, I would encourage her not to compare herself with the celebrity moms out there who somehow seem to get their bodies back almost magically after giving birth. I would encourage her to be confident with who she is and how she looks during this season in her life, and know that she may look and feel totally different in another 6 months. She should focus on the company, the travel, and the experience-not if she is skinny enough. She may be curvier than she was 9 months ago…but she is supposed to be. That’s what was necessary and now she can focus on a new normal as a new mom! That is true beauty!
Stay away from juice cleanses, extreme dieting, or gimmicks. Calories count, the quality of your food matters as well as the timing of consumption. Make sure you are not drinking any extra calories during this time, and watch your salt intake. Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks only. (Did any one get fat from reaching for strawberries or a handful or cherry tomatoes? I think not!) Work out like you mean it, and finally be happy with who you are and where you are. Confidence is the sexiest accessory!
Cheers to summer!