The time of New Year’s Resolutions has arrived and on the top of almost every list is the pledge to lose weight and get in shape. Getting in shape will reduce your risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension and even some forms of cancer. The most important part to keep in mind is that fitness is both diet and exercise so as you look to get in shape post holiday season remember these things.
The most difficult part about any post holiday fitness plan is that your kitchen is still full to the brim with leftovers of turkey, mashed potatoes, cakes, pies, appetizers and casseroles. In order to not feel deprived or waste food by throwing it away allow yourself to enjoy some of the leftovers in small portions, remembering to eat until you are no longer hungry and not full.
A couple of days after New Year’s will be the perfect time to restock everything in your pantry and your refrigerator. Go to the grocery store and stock up on healthy, low calorie options to fuel your body. The produce department will be one of your best allies on grocery trips as you will stock up on tons of fruits and veggies to get you through the week. Salads, steamed and grilled veggies and mixed fruit can accompany meals and prevent you from overeating starches. When purchasing cereals and beads look for whole grains which are better for your body. Next you should pick up some lean proteins like chicken and turkey and different types of beans. For dairy you want to stick with low and non fat milk, cheese and yogurt.
Losing weight comes down to math. In order to shed some pounds you need to create a deficit in the amount of calories you take in. There are about 3,500 calories in a pound so if you workout seven days a week and burn 500 calories in each workout then that will put you on track to lose on average one pound a week. In order for this to truly work you need to keep your diet in check and stay committed to getting into the gym.
Cardio is one of the best ways to get your heart rate up and burn the calories so make sure you incorporate that into your regimen. If you’re losing weight it’s also important to strengthen your muscles and tighten your skin. If you lose a lot of weight quickly your body will not have time to shrink your skin in time so you will end up with a lot of lose skin. Strength training and toning exercises like squats, lunges, ab work and weight lifting will keep you looking incredible.
Most people have specific days of the week that target different areas of the body. Aim for cardio every time you enter the gym but alternate your strength exercises. Pick one day to work on legs and glutes, a different day for the abdomen and another day for back and arms. Doing this will give the appropriate amount of emphasis to each part of the body and give you an overall fit look.
Getting in shape is challenging both physically and mental. It’s all about kicking bad habits and starting new routines and a new way of life. Results will not be immediate so don’t get discouraged and stick to it!