The summer season is upon us and we all want to get in shape, but no one wants to spend the money or time on a fancy diet or expensive gym membership. With just a few small purchases and some self-discipline, it is possible for you to meet your fitness goals. The following are a few diet and nutrition tips to help you realize those goals.
Quick Tips – Diet
1. There’s no reason that you can’t have the waistline at 40 that you had at 20.
Don’t think that getting older means gets heavier. Yes, your metabolism is slower and yes, your joints are stiffer, but that just means you have to work harder.
2. There’s no magic bullet for weight loss.
Consume fewer calories, burn more calories or do both. That’s every diet book in one sentence. Eat less, exercise more.
Write down everything you eat and drink for a week – every glass of water, every candy bar and every dessert. You get the picture. At the end of the week, study your eating patterns. There will be patterns driven by your work schedule, stress, friends and family. Once you see what you eat, choose to replace some of the high calorie items with fruit or vegetables.
4. If you want to diet, consider the following.
Eat only fresh fruit, fresh vegetables (less root vegetables like potatoes), fish, chicken, turkey, non-fat diary, egg whites, plain oatmeal, unsalted nuts and eight glasses of water a day. Eat as much as you want, whenever you want, but eat only those foods. You’ll get your vitamins, minerals and protein, and you will be full. Hunger is the biggest threat to your diet. Having grapes, applies, berries, carrots and fat-free cottage cheese at the ready will keep that hunger in check.
5. Keep snacks handy.
When traveling, knowing that fresh fruit or healthy snacks are going to be scarce, keep some protein bars handy.
6. Have a friendly wager.
These days, most of us want to lose weight. A few years back, several attorneys at local firm entered into a friendly competition where they challenged one another to see who could lose the most weight in four months. Once the competition was over, over 200 pounds had been lost. Not to sound trite, but yes, everyone walked away a winner. Consider having a similar competition at your office or organization.
7. Food is not a solution.
Food will not make the stress go away. It will not help you deal with the tough case. Develop coping mechanisms that don’t involve food.
8. Eat breakfast.
Skipping breakfast is one of the leading causes of weight gain. A healthy breakfast lessens the urge to binge later in the day.
9. Eat protein with every meal.
Whether you eat egg whites for breakfast, turkey cold cuts at lunch or fish for dinner, eat protein at every meal.
10. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
Instead of three large meals, consider six smaller meals throughout the day.
Quick Tips – Exercise
1. Start slow.
If you haven’t worked out in a while, start slow. Just a few push-ups, a short jog or a few minutes with a jump rope will help you ease in to a more substantial routine. Start with 15 minutes a day, not an hour.
2. You don’t need a gym membership.
Buy a flat bench, a set of dumbbells, a set of elastic bands, push-up bars, a pull up bar, a medicine ball or two, a yoga mat and a jump rope. You’ll never need to step into a gym again.
3. If I could only do four exercises…
They would be push-ups, pull ups, squats and jump rope – in that order.
4. After three months…
Consider an upgrade – for instance, you can upgrade your home gym with a weighted vest.
5. Work out when you travel.
Traveling for business or pleasure doesn’t have to throw a monkey wrench into your fitness routine; pack your push-up bars, jump rope and elastic bands in your suitcase.
6. Warm up and stretch before working out.
Warm down and stretch at the end of each workout.
7. Study which exercises work for you.
When you find the right combination, use them as the foundation for your workout. Consider buying a book that has hundreds of exercises to choose from (and has suggested workout routines). I often refer to The Men’s Health Big Book of Exercises, which has over 600 exercises. (For women, there’s The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises).
8. Split your workout.
Do half of your workout in the morning before work to get your day started and the second half in the evening to help eliminate the day’s stress.
9. Keep a log.
Keep track of how many reps you do and how much weight you use. The advances you make will encourage you to stickwith it.
10. Don’t beat yourself up.
You will have bad work outs; you will have missed work outs. Don’t worry about it. Just make the most of the next one!
No matter how limited your time or resources are, with a few adjustments to your schedule and routine you can meet your health goals!