So, you're ready to come out of hibernation (or at least thinking about it), and you realize that a sedentary season has left you with a few extra pounds than you had before. Thoughts of summer, the beach, what you'll look like in you're favorite warm-weather duds...This is where some of you smile and feel confident, while the rest of us might shudder in horror at the images in our head. But hey, fear not! For all you have to do is get back in shape. Right about now, there are scoffs and mutters being uttered at the idea of it "not being that easy"...and you're right! Whipping yourself back into shape takes work, at least for the majority of us, so why waste time? You have to get started sometime, and there's no time like the present! With any luck, some of the following tips will help you get that body ready to rock your swim wear this summer..so to speak.
1.) If you're a milk drinker, try cutting back to 1% and shave off 5lbs a year. Doesn't sound like much, but hey...these things add up!
2.) When drinking any kind of juice, try diluting it with water. Not only will it cut calories, but it's a great way to sneak in the water your body needs, especially for those who detest drinking water by itself.
3.) For subs and sandwiches, use mustard instead of mayo; 0 calories, 0 fat.
4.) During a meal, make the lower calorie items your first priority on your plate. By the time you reach the fattier foods, you'll already be feeling full and not likely to eat as much.
5.) Don't think that sweets are off limits! You can have your cake and eat it too...just cut down your portion size. This will satisfy your sweet tooth and save on calories.
6.) 3 meals a day is a great rule to follow. A majority of folks skip either breakfast or lunch, which in most cases lead to people overeating at night...leading to packing on more pounds.
7.) While nuts may be healthy, they pack a punch in the calorie department. Rather than sitting down with a bowl full, try eating only a small handful instead.
8.) Are you a soda drinker? Switching to the diet version can add up to a loss of 25 pounds a year.
9.) Some people are under the impression that working out stimulates your appetite, leading to increased food intake. Actually, it's quite the opposite. Exercising curbs your appetite right after the workout, and speaking of workouts, have you ever considered yoga? Not surprisingly, most people look at yoga as a wimpy way of getting in shape, thinking that something so low-key couldn't possibly burn that many calories. Wrong! An hour of yoga can burn 250-350 calories (the same amount as an hour of walking), plus it builds endurance, and improves your muscle strength and flexibility.
10.) For those of you who thrive in a group environment for support, check out a local church for weight loss programs. According to statistics, places of worship tend to have very successful weight loss groups. People who attend find them to be comforting with a community-like atmosphere, which is great for support. On the average, most people lose around 20 lbs a year.
Another tip you may want to keep in mind: losing a lot of weight in a short amount of time is usually NOT a good way to go. The weight almost ALWAYS comes back, and brings some extra friends with it. The key is to go slow and steady, because this is the weight that is easiest to keep off once it's gone.
Here are a few places you might check out around the Cleveland area for weight loss programs:
Center For Effective Living, Inc.
Physicians Weight Loss Center
Total Concept Weight Loss Center