I’m not going to lie, I LOVE to splurge on Halloween candy, Thanksgiving leftovers (pass me the bread stuffing!), and Christmas cookies but the reality is that solid 10 pounds of winter weight needs to disappear before bathing suit season hits and trust me, it ain’t getting any easier to ‘pull it off’ as the years pass. It was a lot easier to ‘beat the bulge’ in my twenties than in my near forties three kids later. But, I’m a fighter and I won’t give up! No muffin top for me summer of 2019!
What follows are a few of the strategies I use to get and keep the weight off in the summer months. I am not a fan of trend diets or diet pills. Consistent minor modifications in lifestyle can go a long way and it doesn’t mean I have to full-on deprive myself of anything I love. Hard work in Spring, means wiggle room for Summer indulgences. I want nothing more than to eat those hamburgers, hot dogs, s’mores and more with little to no guilt. Don’t you? Try this…
Drink Water – No matter how much water you consume, drink more. My favorite morning drink is hot water with lemon juice. No calorie guilt, good for digestion, and my body handles it better than caffeinated coffees and teas. At work, I stay hydrated. At home, I’m a camel. No time to drink when I’m chasing kids and chores. Identify your problem times and aim to drink more.
Benefiber – Drinking water leads to my next topic, fiber. I find it very hard to eat ‘a good amount of fiber’ so why bother. I load my morning hot lemon water with Benefiber. You can add it to literally anything. It dissolves with no taste, serves as a prebiotic supplement, and helps me feel full. Try it.
Exercise – This step is a must! Cardio and resistance training. You don’t have to run a marathon but you do need to get up and get moving. Spring is perfect weather for heading outdoors and soaking in warm vitamin D infused sunrays. Walk. If you can, run. Do both, intermittently. Do it several times per week for 30 minutes or less. Pick up the free weights; simple 5 or 8 pound dumbbells may suffice. If you don’t know what exercises to do, try The Biggest Loser DVDs. They are easy to follow and serve the purpose. Other multi-purpose forms of exercise are great too… like cleaning! It burns calories. Play with your kids. They love nothing more than to exhaust you with activities they find entertaining. Break a sweat with them.
Food Journal – Keep a food journal. I find a simple excel spreadsheet works wonders but there are fancy apps you can download. I prefer not to over-complicate my life with apps that may be overload for my needs. Jot down breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinks (alcoholic beverage calories add up), and indicate whether or not you’ve exercised. If there’s anything on that log that makes you feel bad about yourself or you know is counter-productive to your goals, don’t consume it. Give yourself a gold-star at the end of week if your chart looks good!
Put the Candy Down – Dang, I really hate this one. With three young children, my house is exploding with Easter candy and I love every last treat. Don’t eat it. Don’t be fooled. It will make you bloated. It will make you feel like a loser. It will mess with your goals. Drop it. Sniff it if you have to, but then let it go. Toss if necessary. Truth be told, your kids don’t need it either. This applies to sugar in general, unfortunately. Avoid it like the plague if you can.
Fill Up on Fruits and Veggies – That’s right folks. Bring fruits and veggies to work. Eat them first, then eat other things. Your body needs the nutrients anyway. Let it stew on digesting those foods first before you start consuming more hardy items.
Go BIG on Lunch – I’m not a breakfast type person. But if I have to pick a meal to load up on, it’s lunch. Pack in the protein. You can use the lunch calories to fuel the rest of your day (including after-work exercise). If you play your lunch cards right, you might be able to skip dinner or eat light (cereal).
No Late Night Binges – Ideally, no food after 7:30pm. Good luck!
Sleep – Strive for 8 hours of sleep each night. No more. No less. Your body needs adequate rest to repair, rebuild, and rejuvenate. Again, good luck!
Say ‘Bye-Bye’ to Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts – Do your best to eliminate unwanted liquid calories. From a gal who loves the frozen coffee with mocha from Dunkin Donuts, I know, it sucks. But it’s worth it in the end. “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels”, but if you have to, get the size small (short or tall for all you Starbucks fans) and no whip.
Remember the WHY – It’s hard to stick to your goals without remembering why you’re pursing them. Envision yourself in that bikini, tanned and tone. Daydream of how great you’ll look and feel in that little black dress. At that wedding. At that BBQ. On that boat. On that trip. Whatever your motivation, think of it often. Keep it front and center.
Start Over – If you fail, hit re-start. If you fall down, get back up. Fight for your goals. One of the worst things I’m guilty of goes something like this “well, I ate that cookie so now I’m going to spend all day eating 10 more, plus the munchkins, a piece of cake, ice cream and brownies too… all before the sun sets because I already failed”. Knock off that crazy thinking because it’s completely illogical. One mess up doesn’t give you permission to toss your goals out the window. Focus.
Find Time – Time is probably the biggest hurdle for me to lose weight. If you can’t ‘find the time’, then ‘make the time’. Get up early. Go to bed late. Walk at lunch. Park farther away. Exercise with the kids. I literally contemplated running the soccer fields while attending my son’s baseball game last night because I needed to ‘find a way’ to fit it in. Will everyone else think I’m nuts? Maybe. Probably. But who cares! Chase your dreams for yourself.
Now go get it! You deserve it.
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