Here in the Northeast, Spring is just around the corner… really, it is! Only 2-3 months before we will be wearing shorts, tank tops and swim suits (gasp)!!! Oh no!
Are you regretting all the fattening comfort food you consoled yourself with on those cold winter nights?
Don’t worry, it’s the normal cycle of the seasons. Spring signals your body to let go of the winter weight and get ready for nicer days ahead. So what can you do to get your body ready for summer? Fad diets are never the answer!! Some may occasionally work in the short-term, but rarely are they healthy and often when you return to your normal way of life, the pounds come back…and they bring friends.
I am a firm believer in getting back to basics. In my mind, it is the only true way to get the body, the health and therefore the life, that you want. What do I mean by getting back to basics? Taking simple steps to eat and live healthy and happy.
Here are the top 5 things I recommend, to get your body ready to show off this summer!
1) Eat real food! Ditch the processed foods and eat whole grains, vegetables & fruits. Shop the produce section first and design your menus around the wonderful whole foods you find there. Fill half your plate with vegetables and some fruit, a quarter with good grains like brown rice or quinoa, and a quarter with a healthy protein such as fish, lean meat or tofu.
2) Drink lots of water! A properly hydrated body functions better, and people who drink plenty of water consume less calories. This is because the body sometimes confuses dehydration with hunger…so when your body asks for water, you brain feeds it instead. Avoid sugary beverages. Drinking your calories is very likely to lead to excessive calories in the diet.
3) Move! Get up and walk for 20-30 minutes a day. If you are not currently active, start slow (just 10 minutes) and add a few minutes every day until you are walking 30 minutes a day. This is one of the simplest ways to burn some calories.
4) Get your sleep. Sleep deprivation lowers your ability to properly deal with stress and you are much more likely to reach for the potato chips when your day goes off kilter. Plus, when you are tired, you are more likely to opt for a quick and easy dinner of fast food than to prepare yourself a healthy meal.
5) Tone up with simple resistance exercises. You don’t have to spend hours at the gym using equipment that looks more like a torturing device. Simple squats, calf raises, leg raises, bicep curls using jugs filled with water and sit-ups/crunches will take you and your muscles a long way.
(check with your doctor before starting any new exercise program)
It’s not rocket science…it’s just common sense. But it’s common sense that we tend to ignore. These are not big crazy changes, but it’s best to start small. Pick one of these to focus on this week, then add another next week, and another the next. In just over a month you will be living much healthier and your body will reward you…by looking and feeling great!
Which will you work on this week?
Tracy Martorana is a Nutrition & Wellness Consultant, Meditation Instructor and Herbalist...hoping to inspire you to live your life from a place of Holistic Wellness.