Spring has finally sprung in the Northern Hemisphere. Gone are the days of hiding under multiple layers of sweat pants – the sun is shining and the beach will be beckoning in a matter of months.
The change in weather for most means wanting to shift a few stubborn pounds. Luckily, you don’t have to go all out, military-style, to do that. Here are five simple steps to get you on your way:
1. Commit to high quality eating
It’s time to ditch the comfort food and embrace clean eating. Ditching sugar and gluten are the obvious ones to start with. But go a step further by incorporating more raw foods into your diet in smoothies and salads, upping your seafood intake and decreasing red meat and dairy.
Cooking more meals at home forces you to up the ante in the health stakes too, so cut back on your restaurant outings and instead focus on cooking wholesome meals from scratch.
2. Keep a food journal
This is the first thing I advise my health coaching clients to do. Most people don’t realise how much they are eating throughout the course of the day. Those milky lattes, mouthfuls of random snacks throughout the day glasses of wine in the evening add up. While I don’t encourage calorie counting, writing everything out in a journal will help you get an accurate picture of exactly what is going into your mouth, and will give you an idea of what you can cut back on.
3. Enlist a workout buddy or sign up for new classes
There is nothing like financial commitment to get you to the gym. Ditto for agreeing to meet a friend at 7.00am. When you know they will be there, you are much less likely to hit the snooze button.
Grab a hard copy of your gym’s class schedule and highlight the classes you will do for the week. Write them down in your diary, as you would with any other appointment, and stick to them! Remember to focus on resistance training classes, not just cardio, to tone up quickly.
4. Incorporate more incidental exercise into your day
Now that the weather is warmer and the sun is out, take the opportunity to walk places you previously drove to. Get off the train one stop earlier, or simply take more strolls on your lunch break. The key is to keep your body moving as much as possible, so these little things do count.
5. Close the kitchen after dinner
Many people report difficulty overeating at night. No matter how good they are during the day, it seems all bets are off once the day turns into night. At dinner, make sure to serve yourself once only, and clean up as soon as the meal is over. Pack away any leftovers before you sit down to eat, to reduce the temptation to go back for seconds. If you’re really bursting at the seems to continue eating after your meal, distract yourself – remove yourself from food entirely, or try brushing your teeth. Fresh minty breath is not inducing to eating more food!
Take these steps and incorporate them into your daily routine. They don’t require a huge shift in your daily habits, but each is a positive step forward to achieving health and wellness this spring.
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