The holidays have come and gone, and you may still be trying to shed those extra pounds you gained over family dinners―and your tighter, lighter spring clothes may not be so happy about your pace. The bad news is: a fit life is more than just diet and exercise. The good news is: there are a few tricks you can learn that will aid you in getting fit for spring.
Believe it or not, sleeping is an intricate part of being fit and healthy. When you don’t sleep well, you end up eating more throughout the day since your body is trying to compensate for its lack of energy. The average adult should get between 6 and 8 hours of sleep a day. It will clear your thinking, make you binge-eat less, and, hey, it may give you the energy you need to hit that gym!
Snacking is important. Eating between every meal will raise your metabolism and make you eat less when it’s time to sit around the table. The key is healthy snacking. Pick up some raw, unsalted almonds and an apple; a banana and some yogurt; or if you’re really feeling hungry and need energy for a few hours, try slicing half an avocado and half an apple, sprinkle some crushed pecan nuts over them, and then add a spoon of honey. Yum!
Afternoon Sugar Fix
Right after lunchtime is when our blood sugar levels hit their lowest and we crave sugary treats. Now, this part is tricky because what most of us do is grab a dessert or even just a piece of chocolate. It’s okay to do that every now and then, but there is a simpler way and a way that will help you stay in shape. An article in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of Women’s Health magazine suggests that walking for ten minutes or even doing a yoga pose can decrease your cravings. The article suggests that a little movement will infuse your body and brain with oxygen that will quell your need for a sugar fix.
Think Before You Drink
With warmer weather, you may find yourself inclined to order some cocktails, or you may still be sipping on those salted caramel macchiatos. But don’t forget that you can consume calories from drinks, too. Just because they don’t fill you up doesn’t mean they’re not loaded with calories that will make you run miles to burn. Resort to more basic drinks, like coffee, green tea, and water. A glass of red wine is good, too, especially because of all the antioxidants in it, but just don’t overdo it.
What does the way you breathe say about your waistline? It says a lot actually. Irregular breathing means your brain and body are not getting enough oxygen, which could lead to stress, among other things. And one of the reasons people have trouble losing weight especially around the waist area is because of stress.
Try this breathing exercise: Take a deep breath and count to ten while doing so, hold for ten seconds while contracting your abs, and then release for ten seconds. Do this ten times throughout the day.
Another breathing exercise is something I learned in a yoga class a while back. It’s essentially breathing in from one nostril and out from another. Close the index and middle finger of your right hand. With your ring and pinky fingers, close your left nostril and breathe in from the right; then, close your right nostril with your thumb and open the other nostril and breathe out. Do this three time, and then use your left hand and this time breathe in through your left nostril.
All in all, a good diet and exercise will get you far, but tweaks in your lifestyle will help you notice the effects of healthy eating and working out a lot faster, and it will help you maintain your weight loss for a longer time. Spring cleaning is not just for your cupboards and closets; change your lifestyle and get ready for a warmer season and a hotter body.
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How to Get Fit for Spring: Featured image courtesy of Getty