Saturday, May 30, 2009

Summer Slim Down

The last month of junior year was pretty rough for me. And with stress came binge eating and no physical activity whatsoever! How convenient is a ten pound weight gain when that stupid bikini comes beckoning once again? Not very! So I welcome any of you in the same position to join me in a little summer slim down! Whether it’s five, ten or fifteen pounds you want to lose, these little tricks will work for everybody. They have already got me back on track and I’ve lost three pounds in the last week and a half.

1. Go for the goal(d)- Set a goal for yourself other than losing weight. I recently signed up for a half marathon, which is ironic since it was only a year ago that I struggled running two miles! This weekend I ran ten for the first time and I have never felt better.

2. Pack a snack- You should be snacking all day to keep your metabolism going. But it only works if you have the right snacks and they are always on hand. I keep always keep an apple and little baggies of almonds and cranberries in my purse so I never get famished or reach for something unhealthy. You can stay healthy and save money by packing a lunch for work rather than eating out every day.

3. Booze and you lose- We tend to disregard alcohol as part of our caloric intake but happy hour might be to blame for not being able to drop those last few lbs. Think of it as a treat, so it’s the cookie OR the cocktails- not both!

4. 2-4-6-8 HYDRATE- Being in the sun all day will dehydrate you which is often confused with hunger. Be sure you’re getting plenty of water. Carry a water bottle in your purse and for every alcoholic beverage order a water with it. Try drinking a glass of water when you feel hungry and wait 20 minutes, you might find that you were just dehydrated saving you hundreds of unneeded calories.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Mind over matter

We’ve all been there. That moment when you think I need to stop, I can’t run any farther, I can’t do one more rep or I absolutely have to have that cookie! These are natural feelings and the reason we have trainers to make us do one more rep. But the mind is a powerful thing. Through research and my own trial and error I have found some very successful techniques mind tricks that help me muster up the motivation to go the extra mile, pun intended!

· The ski rope- Remember those ski ropes that would pull you up the bunny hill? It sounds ridiculous (and probably looks like it too) but imagine yourself pulling up one of these ski ropes when you are running up-hill. Lean forward and reach for a rope directly in front of you and one hand at a time “pull” yourself up. Not only do you trick your mind that your body is getting help, you also become fixated on this image and forget your running all together.

· The sick and twisted combo- Let’s say you get that old familiar desire for chocolate ice cream. Imagine yourself eating it topped with something you absolutely loathe like say, olives. VOILA, craving gone!

· In the now- Concentrate on what you are doing at the moment. Don’t let your mind wander. You will start worrying about something you have to do later and convince yourself it is more important than your workout.

· Play time- Turn your workout into a game. Watch a program on TV and sprint every other commercial. This is a fun way to do interval training which is one of, if not the, best calorie burning cardio you can do.

Come up with your own mind tricks to cure workout boredom, insatiable cravings, midnight snacking, or to ramp up your workout.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Fall off the horse again? Here’s how to get right back on...

The worst part about being in the best shape of your life, is the day you give up. The process is so cyclical. You eat healthy and exercise everyday for a month straight. Then one day you decide to treat yourself to that cookie to celebrate all your hard work. The next thing you know, you haven’t worked out in a week and you’ve gained five pounds. So what gives? What’s a girl to do?

The only thing to do is, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and do it all over again. Like everything in life you can’t expect perfection. Everyone has their weak moments. We get bored, busy or stressed out and fitness and good nutrition take a backseat. Don’t be so hard on yourself that you just give up altogether. Here a few easy things you can do right now to get yourself back on track and back in shape in no time.

1. Recover from couch-potato syndrome- We all know that if you can just get yourself to the gym, once your there, you will perk up. Any exercise is good exercise and you can’t expect yourself to give 100% every day. So even if you go and walk on the treadmill for 30 minutes, your burning more calories than you wouldn’t have otherwise.

2. Jot it down- I know it sounds juvenile but seriously, writing down your goals and keeping them in a place where you see them everyday might be the simple reminder you need to avoid giving into that temptation, or skimping out on your workout. Make sure they are meaningful, attainable and measurable.

3. Two heads are better than one- Don’t go it alone, grab a buddy who has similar goals and become a team. You will feel more guilty letting your friend down than just letting yourself down. Schedule times to meet at the gym or go to a fitness class and send each other healthy recipes. You will keep each other motivated and on track and maybe, just maybe have a little fun too!

4. Switch it up- There is no excuse for workout boredom. Open your mind; don’t limit yourself to the treadmill and free weights. Learn how to use the machines, play a sport, walk your dog, go for a bike ride, take a swim, throw a frisbee, take a new class, your options are limitless.

5. Shop til’ you drop- Go buy some cute workout clothes. If you’ve got something new and cute to wear, it might just be the motivation you need to get you there. Shopping for new workout clothes not only gets you out of the house, it puts exercise on the brain.