Five Tips for Winter Weight Loss

By now you are two weeks deep into your New Years Resolution. At this point you are either killin’ it with your goals, forgotten all about them, or are somewhere in between. Of course, if your goal has to do with weight loss, January is not the most ideal time to start this mission. Not only are humans programmed to eat differently in the winter and to store fat for survival, our Vitamin D and Serotonin levels drop, which are both partially responsible for regulating appetite control (source: The Week). While storing fat for survival isn’t really necessary for the modern person, it’s still coded in us, and can make weight loss at this time more difficult. Not to mention while our ancestors were out fighting the brutal cold, we are inside sitting at our computer moving less. If your resolution (or whatever you’re calling it) has to do with weight loss, then try some of these tips:

Add in more vegetables, whole grains, and protein to naturally crowd out unhealthier056dc8b9-0d45-4361-9623-ac8de532a497 foods. The more you can fill up on healthy, whole foods, the less room you’ll have in your stomach for junk. Everyone is different, so while you may thrive on a high-carb diet, others might do best on a high-protein diet. Experiment for yourself and find what works best for YOUR body. Whatever you find, stick to warm, grounding foods in the winter and try as much as possible to eliminate processed foods, soda, and sugar from your diet to see weight loss results.

Eat more sweet vegetables. If you’re at all like me and get crazy sugar cravings, then try incorporating some sweet vegetables into your diet like carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, or beets. I’ve found this helps satisfy the craving, and if it doesn’t, then sneak in a little bit of quality dark chocolate earlier in the day. Because our will power is strongest in the morning, I like to add some cacao nibs to my breakfast smoothie to get that craving out of my system.

infused waterDrink more water. Sometimes when you feel food cravings come on even though you just ate a meal and shouldn’t really be hungry, this can be a sign of dehydration. Try having a tall glass of water before reaching for the snacks, and if you want extra weight loss points, then fancy up you water by infusing it with a lemon slice or some cucumber slices. Lemon water has great benefits for weight loss by helping with digestion and detoxifying the body, but the benefits are greatest when the water is served warm.

Eat more mindfully. How many meals have you consumed in your life without even having a chance to really enjoy or process the meal?  Maybe it’s because you didn’t eat all day and by the time you eat you’re starving, or maybe it’s because your busy schedule doesn’t allow you time to sit down and even smell your coffee, but eating more mindfully means sitting down, chewing your food, breathing as you eat, and really appreciating the meal. It’s not unusual in our fast-paced society to just scarf down a meal (sometimes even on the go!), so just make a bigger effort to give yourself enough time to eat. The slower you eat the greater chance your brain has to catch up and realize when it’s full. This is often the cause for overeating when you eat so fast that your mind doesn’t catch the moment it should be signaling you to stop eating. If you want a book full of tips on how to eat more mindfully, check out this book by Thich Nhat Hanh.

Switch up your workout. I’ve found that switching up my work out has incredible results for weight loss. Changing things up gives your body a challenge and helps you work the various muscles, versus doing the same routine and plateauing with your weight loss. Although I’ve learned by now that abs are truly made in the kitchen, exercise is still important for weight loss, plus mental and physical strength.Sweat Ladies, I cannot stress this enough, DO NOT BE AFRAID TO LIFT WEIGHTS! Weight lifting gets you toned and builds strength without bulking up, not to mention it’s important for bone health. Mix this into your workout at least a couple times a week if possible, and try out some other fun exercises like walking, dancing, barre classes, pilates, swimming, etc. If you don’t really know where to begin with your exercise regime, I like to tell my clients to think back to what activities they loved doing as kids. Quite often the same activities we loved as kids still are fun for us now, especially if you can find a workout buddy to do them with. I’d also like to note that you should listen to your body. If you’re feeling burnt out, or if you just did an intense workout the day before, do not be afraid to do a restorative yoga class or go for an easy walk, something that still gets you moving without overdoing it.

 

If you found this post inspiring, or if you have tips of your own, please share in the comment section! Just remember to keep a positive attitude with your weight loss goals, because weight loss doesn’t just happen over night.
Learn to fall in love with the process and the results will come!

Squeeze Some Exercise Into Your Vacation

I just returned from a trip back to the East Coast, thus explaining the delay in new blog posts.  My boyfriend’s family rented a beach house in New Jersey, an annual tradition, so I spent the week out on the beautiful shore of Long Beach Island.  In the past, it would have been unlike me to even attempt exercising on vacation.  This trip, however, I’d be in a bikini all week and, if I knew my boyfriend’s family, then we would be drinking and eating lots.  I wanted to look and feel good, especially since I’d really gotten into my fitness routine before our trip, so I decided to commit more to exercise this trip.

I am going to share with you some tips that helped me in hopes that you too can find your motivation while traveling.

Here is my most important tip: Pack your Sneakers!

Bringing a pair of sneakers with you makes the possibility of exercising on vacation that much more plausible.  If the opportunity to exercise should arise, or if you should have the desire to work out, then you’ll be prepared with comfortable shoes.

advise

Another obstacle I often encounter on vacation is figuring out what exactly to do for exercise.  On this trip back east, I ran one day with my boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law, swam in the ocean for hours, and played soccer on the beach, which is a killer workout, by the way!  Depending on where you are you may have access to a gym or pool or you might be doing some fun activities, but sometimes you’re left to your own devices to sqeeze a workout in.  If this might be the case, here is an idea of a routine you can do in your room that’ll get your heart rate up quickly:

50 Jumping Jacks

Mountain Climbers (45 Seconds)

Plank (1 Min)

10 Push Ups

20 Squats (Weighted if possible)

10 Tricep Dips

Wall Sit (1 Min)

Plank (1 Min)

30 Sit Ups

Side Plank (1 Min/Side)

Yoga is another great thing to practice and is something I highly recommend doing both on vacation and at home.  Being able to include yoga in your day really rejuvinates you and relieves any stress if you’re feeling stressed.  Here are some poses to make you feel amazing:

Remember, the choice is up to you whether to make time for exercise.  If you do decide to make time, it will feel super rewarding and your whole day you will be better.

Punch Up Your Workout!

Kickboxing can be an insane workout and it’s one of my favorites. Something about punching and kicking the air feels so empowering and always leaves me sore.

I found this kickboxing abs video by fitness expert Jessica Smith. This 10 minute video will get your heart rate up while targeting your abs.

Work It!

Exercise has become an important part of my routine and I highly recommend it!  The feeling of euphoria post workout actually gives me more energy during the day and makes me a happier person in general.  I love taking different classes at different gyms or creating my own workouts outdoors (the beach is my favorite).  I’m not a huge gym rat because I love the competition and comradery of working out with a group of people.

Fitness

Here are some exercises I love for getting the heart rate going:

80 Jumping Jacks

20 Push ups

40 Sit ups

50 Squats

20 Lunges/Leg

1Min Wall Sit

(Extra points for doing a few sets)