It is common to gain a little weight during the winter. The days are shorter, it’s cold outside and we just don’t get as much activity and access to local healthy fruits and vegetables is limited. Come spring, many people get motivated to shed the winter layer and lean up for summer.
Although the principles to fat loss and healthy living are pretty simple, there can be many different approaches that can produce great results. Will you go Keto, Vegan, Gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, high-fat or something different? We all have different bodies and will respond to different approaches so often you have to experiment with which approach provides the best results while still allowing you to feel great. The good news is that there are typically a few key principles that would be consistent with any type of program and if you focused on these, you would experience some pretty fantastic results.
Nutrition – a summer body starts in the kitchen!
- Water – Drink 10—8ounce glasses of water each day. Drink water before and with each meal/snack
- Plant-based – Eat 8-10 vegetable and fruit servings daily. Go local and organic whenever possible.
- High – Fiber – Eat a balanced diet that is high in fiber content. Every macro-nutrient is critical including protein, carbs and fats. They all play an important role in optimal conditioning.
- Portion-control – Plan your meals so that you eat smaller portions. Try to fill up on vegetables.
- Avoid late night eating – Avoid eating anything high in calories 3 hours before bedtime. Give your body some time to process your meal before you lay down for bed.
- Avoid temptations – Eliminate any unhealthy temptations from your environment (work, home, car) and replace with healthy alternatives that make adhering to a nutrition plan easier.
- Food prep – Grocery shop at least once per week to stock up on healthy choices and fresh fruits and veggies and take the time to prep your meals for the week.
Lift Some Heavy Things
- Strength-training – Lifting weights is the best way to lean up and sculpt your body. Incorporate strength and muscle workouts a minimum of two times per week. One set of 8-15 reps of a variety of exercises for 20-60 minutes is perfect! Movements like squats, lunges, step ups, pushups, pullups, core conditioning and other functional strength moves are great.
Burn Some Calories
- Cardio – Exercise aerobically 3-6 days each week for 20-60 minutes each session at various levels of intensity. Sometimes go hard and fast (1-2x/week), other times moderate intensity and duration (1-2x/week) and other times long and slow (1-2/week). Activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, rowing, hiking, stair-climbing, or Group classes will do the trick. Try to expend at least 300 calories per cardio workout.
- Mobility & flexibility – Finish each workout with some release and lengthening to assure you maintain your mobility and flexibility and help to prevent getting injured which can put a damper on your progress.
Lifestyle – Set Yourself Up For Success!
- Just move – Add more daily activity into your life. Take the stairs, walk more, stand versus sit… If you start moving more in your life, then you won’t have to spend hours in the gym every week! Consciously choose the more active option whenever you can!
- Sleep – Try to get at least 7-8 hours sleep per night Sleep is when your body recovers and repairs. If you do not sleep enough, you will not be prepared for each workout session and you will not function optimally. Plus research suggests that a lack of sleep triggers appetite and fat gain.
- Manage your stress levels. Identify your stresses. Outline methods that help you to reduce your stress and practice them regularly. Stress is also linked to increased appetite and weight gain.
- Complete an activity and nutrition log every day and submit to someone to review (a trainer, a nutritionist, a friend)
- Monitor your progress – Do a Daily or Weekly weigh-in and monthly measurements to help to monitor your progress. It helps to hold you accountable.
We are hosting a Spring Makeover Challenge that starts on April 17th. Each of our trainers have teams and we all compete against each other to see who can ramp it up and achieve the best results. There’s nothing like a friendly competition and peer pressure to get you to do what you need to do to reach your goals. Enrolling in a local Spring Makeover Challenge or even starting a competition amongst friends, family or co-workers can really help you commit to doing what you probably already know you need to be doing. Learn more and join our challenge.
Yours in health & fitness,
Note: As an avid Columbian reader, you can redeem a 2 week pass at her world-class training studio to help get you started. Contact 360.574.7292 for more details.
Join us for the Spring Classic Duathlon & Home Depot Half Marathon, 10K & 5K!
The Spring Classic Duathlon is a great opportunity for triathletes to shake off the winter-season rust and for the duathletes to get in an early season race. This long-running event is contested almost entirely on Marine Dr, which is closed to vehicle traffic – a rarity in the sport. You will ride and run right along the mighty Columbia River with beautiful views to make the time fly!