Given the weather and time of year, there's a good chance that you'll find yourself in a bathing suit sometime this month. If you are like most people then that realization will 1) bring a grimace to your face and 2) will motivate you to lose some weight. Wanting to lose some weight and get healthier is certainly commendable, but be careful to not believe all the bs out there.
Given the gazillion pages of fitness information (and misinformation) on the internet nowadays, it's super easy to fall for the latest trend or infomercial gadget. With Spring (and Spring Break) here, everyone is searching for that beach body, but getting there isn't as easy as people hope it will be. So what happens? They grasp onto the first thing they hear or listen to their skinny friend who "knows fitness".
Well, let me warn you: There's no magic bullet. no "quick-fix". Don't waste your time on these:
Myth #1: Starve the pounds away
Attempting to lose weight by starving yourself is not only ineffective, it's also dangerous. It may seem that severe calorie restriction would deliver the quickest weight loss, but your body is complex and by doing so you'll disrupt your metabolism and slow your results.
Tip: Don't starve yourself - instead eat healthy small meals throughout the day.
Myth #2: Take diet pills to boost your effort
It's so tempting! The commercials make compelling claims about the power of diet pills, but don't fall for it. The 'magic pill' has yet to be discovered (it has been discovered - exercise. It's just not in pill form…). Diet pills are more likely to damage your health and burn your pocketbook than to slim you down. This is one of the products I hate the most as it prays on people's desire to get maximum results with zero effort.
Tip: Don't pop a pill - instead burn calories with exercise.
Myth #3: Do extra crunches to flatten your abs
We all want our midsection to look toned as we stroll down the beach, but excessive crunches aren't the answer for tight abs (they're not even the best exercise to build abdominal muscles). To achieve a lean look you'll have to focus on burning off the layer of fat that is covering up your abs.
Tip: Don't obsess about crunches - instead focus on fat burning.
Myth #4: Eat packaged diet foods for speedy results
It is amazing to see the kinds of foods that are packaged as 'diet' or 'weight loss' aids. More often than not these products are packed with refined sugar and other artificial ingredients that your body doesn't need.
Tip: Don't eat packaged diet foods - instead stick with nutritious whole foods.
Myth #5: Avoid all carbohydrates in order to slim down
Carbohydrates have been given a bad rap. When most people think "carbs" they think bread, pizza, pasta, rice, etc. "Carbs" encompass way more than just grains and the notion that all grains are unhealthy and should be categorically avoided is too extreme.
It'ss unfortunate because you can (and should) eat carbs while losing weight. The key is to stick with fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Whole grains have many benefits. Amongst them are:
On top of that, research shows that whole grains (with varying degrees of success), seem to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Instead of refined grains try grains such as quinoa, amaranth, and kamut or bread with grains that have been sprouted (e.g. Ezekiel bread) or fermented (e.g. sourdough). Additionally, avoid processed and refined flours and sugars.
Tip: Don't swear off all carbohydrates - instead stick with wholesome carbs.
Now that you know what not to do in order to look great this spring and summer, it's time to go over your beach ready game plan. Here's what you need to know in 3 simple steps:
Step One: Cut out the junk
The best way to do this is to start by purging your kitchen. Get rid of sugary, processed and fat-filled foods. Once the junk has been cleared out don't buy any more of it. Remember that your beach ready abs depend on what you eat - don't eat junk!
Step two: Focus on whole foods
Replace the junk food in your life with plenty of the following: cooked and raw vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, moderate amounts of seeds and nuts, lean meats and low fat dairy. Clean eating really is that simple.
Step Three: be held accountable
Don’t leave your motivation to chance. Find someone (or group) to hold you accountable. Most people don't want to dissapoint others. If your personal trainer, coach, boot camp instructor or workout partner is waiting for you, then you're less likely to skip a workout. It is sooooo easy to hit snooze or to talk yourself out of the gym as soon as your behind hits the couch after work. Take the option of skipping your workout out of the equation.
step four: pay attention
Be aware of what and how much you eat. This simple concept will save you from hundreds upon hundreds of calories each week.
To apply this rule, don’t eat while your attention is distracted by another activity. Only put food in your mouth when you are hungry and conscious of it. This means turn off the T.V., get out of your car, and no matter what you do, don’t graze in the kitchen while cooking.
Step five: find a good personal trainer / coach
This is the most obvious step. :) You're ready to get into great shape and regardless of how busy you are, I'm in a unique position to make that happen for you. Contact me to get started on a plan that will energize you, get you healthier and look great on the beach, and all year round.
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Coach George here!