Can you believe it? April is already almost over, May is just around the corner and Summer will be here before we know it! Are you ready to put on your summer wardrobe? I know I am not! For me, my clothes always seem a bit snug or tight at the beginning of each Spring. I am working hard to avoid this occurrence this year. I have come up with 10 “Quick Changes” you can make to help the winter clothing to spring/summer clothing transition go a little more smoothly for you.
- EAT BREAKFAST every day! It is suggested you eat your first meal of the day within your first waking hour. It does not matter if you work 1st, 2nd, or 3rd shift; whatever YOUR first waking hour is, you need to eat! This helps ignite your metabolism and boost your metabolic burn and get things running high and hot for you.
- EXERCISE AT LEAST 10 minutes EVERY DAY! This will help exercise become “habit” for you and part of your daily routine. Feel free to exercise more than this, but if you can get in 10 minutes of cardio, strength training or circuit training every day, this will go a long way!
- MAKE YOUR GOALS VISIBLE OR TANGIBLE: If you have a certain pair of shorts or bathing suit you want to get into, sit it out/hang it up and put it someplace you will see it at least 2 times every day! If you have goals of a certain weight or certain body fat%, or exercising so many days for so many minutes, write these goals down and put them someplace visible where you will look and read these at least twice a day! When goals are more visible, you are more likely to keep working toward them, because they are literally in your face!
- WORK WITH A FRIEND/SPOUSE: It is much easier to not work out or eat poorly if you are the only one holding you accountable. Start making lifestyle changes with a friend or spouse. Schedule a time each day for exercise and meet your partner to complete this; eat with others and eat healthier. It’s always easiest to “cheat” when no one is looking over your shoulder! Find someone to help hold you accountable and for you to hold them accountable.
- PACK YOUR MEALS AND SNACKS AHEAD OF TIME and take them with you! Think about how many meals each day you will be eating and how many of those meals will occur away from home. Pack them in advance and have them ready to “grab and go”. It is much easier to eat healthy if you have healthy snacks and meals on hand and prepared in advance. Otherwise, you may reach for something not so healthy because it is convenient and quick.
- BE WISE ABOUT WHAT YOU CHOOSE: Choose mustard instead of mayonnaise on your sandwich/burgers; ask for vinaigrette or a light dressing instead of Ranch or Blue Cheese; order a whole wheat English Muffin instead of a bagel. Small changes like these will add up quickly. For some, this may be 250 less calories per day you are consuming; this could result in a 5 pound weight loss in just 10 weeks!
- WATER, WATER, TAKE IT EVERYWHERE! Carry a water bottle with you throughout your day. This will get you to drink more water and help create the healthy habit of drinking more water. Water is very important for weight loss and maintenance; your metabolism is more efficient, the more hydrated you are. You need to drink enough water to be hydrated (your urine should be clear to pale yellow) and then drink to maintain hydration (clear to pale yellow urine). This will also help decrease the number of calories you consume. A lot of times we eat when we are actually thirsty. We have the same sensation of our stomachs “growling” or rumbling when we are thirsty, just as if we were hungry. Most often we reach for food first, instead of water, when most of the time we are just thirsty!
- EXERCISE IN THE MORNING: It is much easier to bail on your exercise at the end of a crazy, busy, hectic day! We can always find a million and one excuses to not exercise later in the day. It is much more difficult to come up with so many excuses in the morning–when really the only excuse or reason to not exercise in the morning is to sleep a little longer. Studies show when people exercise in the morning, more than 90% of those people stick with an exercise regimen.
- EAT AND COOK HEALTHY three to four times per week. This way you know exactly what is in the food you are eating, which in turn will more than likely be less calories than eating out; you will be up and about during the time you are preparing the meal, instead of sitting and eating bread or an appetizer (as if you were at a restaurant) and therefore burning more calories instead of consuming calories!
- GET RID OF YOUR “BUNS”(BREAD): If you go out to eat, ask the host/hostess to not bring any bread or rolls to your table prior to getting seated. If the bread/roll basket is not on the table, you are not going to consume the extra calories. Same thing with eating out at fast food restaurants, get rid of your bun(s). Getting rid of the buns from sandwiches can cut 150-400 calories from your sandwich. When I started making this change in my life, I would get rid of the fattest bun, then sandwich the finger between the remaining bun and my fingers. Now I will go through and ask for no bread/buns. Some places will wrap your sandwich in lettuce which makes it easier to eat; other places wrap your sandwich directly into the paper which leaves the cheese and your toppings sticking to the wrapper. The same thing can go for eating at restaurants that serve tortilla chips and salsa; ask them not to bring it to the table and you will consume less calories because you will not be eating the chips.
I hope the 10 tips above help you shed a few pounds and maybe a few inches of your winter “coat” so to speak. It is finally nice outside and we all need to get outside and get moving and get in shape for our Spring and Summer wardrobes!