It’s never too early to get beach-ready! Slim down and shape up for summer with our celebrity fitness challenge! From AcroYoga to cardio and strength training, these Hollywood workout tips will get you fit-minded in no time.
I’d rather live a healthy lifestyle than go on a diet any day–that’s for sure. But sometimes I just have to buckle down and actually diet in order to get rid of those pesky five pounds that keep staring back at me from the scale.
It sounds easy enough: Eat less, move more. But it takes a little more than that, doesn’t it? In the April issue of Health magazine, motivation expert Dr. Heidi Grant Halvorson offers up five strategies for making your diet work for you.
1. Be specific: Don’t just tell yourself you want to lose weight. Be specific about your goal and what it will take to get there. For instance, if you weight 170 and want to weigh 150, you know very specifically that you’d like to lose 20 pounds.
2. Plan ahead: Tell yourself what you want to eat and stick to your plan. If you’re going to a business lunch, tell yourself ahead of time that you’ll eat a colorful salad–and then do it.
3. Track everything: Keep a handy-dandy notebook with you at all times and take note of every bite that goes into your mouth, every workout, every emotion, every success and every challenge.
4. Practice realistic optimism: Losing weight isn’t easy. Losing 10 pounds in two days (as some fads would promise) isn’t realistic. I know I’ll never weigh 120 pounds, so I don’t beat myself up about not getting there. Set realistic goals and work to achieve real results.
5. Strengthen your willpower: Practice other activities, like sitting up straight instead of slouching, that work your willpower. Then, take baby steps from there. Instead of going totally junk food-free overnight, eliminate chocolate chip cookies first and replace them with a piece of fruit.
By following these five healthy habits of successful dieters, you’ll get there. And I will too!
Family Circle magazine offers New Year’s resolution assistance by reviewing websites designed to help those looking to lose weight, save money, or both.
I’d love to know the number of New Year’s resolutions lists that begin with “Lose weight.” It’s a goal for most of us for 2012, and the January 2012 Family Circle had a great article on how make sure you stick to this year’s promises.
We use our computers for every other area of our life; why not for weight loss? Today there are several online social networking groups that help like-minded goal setters who are trying to lose weight. And if you don’t want all your Facebook friends following your every pound, you can even register anonymously for most of them.
Family Circle’s tech writer Christina Tynan-Wood tried a few out before jumping in. The spark she got from making it public was just the thing she needed to tip the scales (pun intended). “Within days, my own previously private nutrition and exercise goals had become part of my public (but still anonymous) online identity,” she wrote in the article. “And when I stepped on the wireless scale, I got to hold myself accountable–my small success was instantly posted to my virtual profile. Backtracking now will cause my online identity to lose.”
I know lots of people who’ve had great success with Weight Watchers, mainly because of the weekly weigh-in meetings. You’re more likely to stick to your goals if you have someone monitoring them. I’m not the type to join an in-person Weight Watchers group, but I can totally see myself participating in one of these online networks.
If saving money is more important than losing weight in 2012, there are online tools to help you there too. The article mentions a service from Mint.com called Goals and Budgets that helps you keep track of spending in relation to savings goals. It even sends a text message to you instantly when you exceed certain budgets. Eek! The guilt I’d feel in the Target parking lot.
Here are a few of the sites the magazine reviewed and recommends:
Sparkpeople.com: Diet plans, online and mobile tracking tools and inspiration.
DailyBurn.com: Use a wireless scale for weigh-ins and you’ll never be able to cheat.
Mint.com: Budget and track your money and be held accountable with text messages when you blow it.
CreditSesame.com: Use a game-type system to help improve your credit rating.
Anyone who has ever tried to lose a few pounds has undoubtedly heard a very simple piece of advice: “Just eat less and move more.” For many, that’s easier said than done.
I’m four weeks into an 8-week program at my gym where I’m working with a personal trainer and a dietician. As the big 4-0 approaches, I want to lose a few pounds, sure, but more than that I want to live every day in a healthier way. I can’t say that the pounds are melting off, but I am losing at a healthy rate. Without even thinking about the scale though, I feel better, my stamina and endurance are increasing, and I look forward to my workouts. A good workout makes me want to eat well, and a day of eating well makes me want to get a good workout in. It’s a positive cycle that I’m hopeful I’m turning into healthy habits.
I roll my eyes at the “eat less, move more” idea. For anyone who has struggled with 5 or 50 pounds or even more, we know that it’s about much more than that. Although I’m not holding myself to a strict set of rules (rules are meant to be broken, after all), there are some simple ideas that seem to be helping me along the way. Maybe they can help you too.
- Make the healthier choice. Whether I’m in a restaurant trying to choose an entree or at home with a sandwich trying to decide on a side, I tell myself simply: “Make the healthier choice.” Tomato soup beats chips on the side of my sandwich. A grilled chicken dish trumps a fried one when I’m eating out.
- Enlist a friend. Finding someone who understands the frustrations, the challenges and the successes that come with losing even 5 pounds is vital. They can celebrate milestones with you, encourage you when you need it and provide support. You can do the same for them.
- Schedule fitness. Do more than tell yourself that you’ll get to the gym three times this week. Put it on the calendar! Make sure everyone in the house can see it. Scheduling workout time is just as important as scheduling a meeting with a client. It deserves a slot on your calendar.
- Forgive and forget. Eating healthy doesn’t mean that I can never again have another cupcake for the rest of my life. I had one Sunday in fact. I was hungry for one, so I had one. Having one and moving on was much better for me than wanting cupcakes and thinking about them for days, and then gorging on four in one sitting.
It’s not easy, but with a few simple thoughts guiding me, I know I’m heading in the right direction.
It’s November. That means we’re probably still snacking on leftover Halloween candy, planning the family’s Thanksgiving menu and being bombarded by Christmas ads already. By some estimates, we’ll gain 5-7 pounds between now and the time we ring in the New Year.
I don’t want to gain 5-7 pounds. I don’t want to gain a single pound after losing 15 this year! So I’m starting now. While magazines like Whole Living are touting “Thanksgiving Sides—6 Dishes You’ll Want to Eat All Year” and “Healthy Holiday Desserts You Can Indulge In,” I’m going a step further with my own plan to survive the next two months in the same size jeans I’m in today. Going down a size would be fine too.
Here’s my plan:
- I will take more walks with the dogs. We go on a long walk every morning to kick the day off right, and now that the temperatures are staying under 100 degrees, I can add an evening walk to our routine. That could mean walking 7-10 additional miles each week!
- I will steer clear of alcohol. I’m not a big drinker anyway, so this one isn’t really that difficult for me. Plus, my friends will be happy to always have a designated driver!
- I will seek out fruit and veggies. Holiday party tables are beautiful things, overflowing with gravies and chocolate and potatoes. I make a promise to myself to fill my plate with vegetables and fruit first.
- I will keep a healthy snack in my purse. Lots of miles are put on my car this time of year–shopping, errands, traveling to see family and friends. And it’s so easy to just eat on the go. Instead of hitting the drive-thru, I’ll keep a bag of almonds in my purse for emergency snacking.
- I will schedule fitness. Just like I add important phone calls and meetings to my calendar, I will schedule trips to the gym too.
- I will focus on friends and family instead of the buffet table.
What about you: Do you have a plan, and what’s included in it?