Easter is over, the children are back in school, the better weather is (hopefully) on its way, so how do we look and feel our best when we put on our summer clothes (and how do we ensure last year’s clothes still fit)?!
We need to be realistic; if we have been hiding in winter clothes and neglecting our exercise because we don’t feel like leaving the house in the evenings when it is cold, dark and wet, then it is likely that we have added a few extra pounds over the last few months. But the good news is that safely, we can lose 1-2 pounds of body fat a week, so there is still plenty of time to feel confident by the time the summer holidays arrive.
We talked about calories in versus calories out back in the blog of March 2018, so pop over and refresh your memory if need be, as we need to use more calories than we eat to lose pounds, but here are some general tips to help you.
- Drink plenty of water. This is definitely easier in the warmer weather! We should be drinking 1 litre of water per day per 25 kg of body weight. So, carry water with you all the times to keep sipping it throughout the day, and if you sit down ensure you have a glass nearby.
- Increase your daily intake of natural diuretics (which speed up the passing of fluids through the body, hence reducing bloating). These include cucumber and lemon, both of which could be added to your water to make it more palatable, and also green tea, which has many other additional benefits too.
- Get back into your exercise routine (if you have let it slip a little). Use the lighter nights to go back to classes/the gym, aiming for 3-4 sessions per week. Try to include one session with weights, as well as cardio sessions (Boogie Bounce Revolution and Kettlebell AMPD are ideal to add to your weekly schedule). If you remember, we talked about the benefits of strength training back in January of this year.
- Focus on eating more vegetables to fill you up, rather than starchy and processed carbohydrates, which tend to lead to bloating and water retention. And always have a portion of lean protein on your plate at each meal, including breakfast. If you need a reminder about the major food groups, then pop over to the blog from November 2018.
- Reduce alcohol (if you do drink it). Sometimes we find that when we are in the house during the long winter evenings, it is easy to have a glass of wine to wind down after work instead of exercising the stress away. So now is the time to cut back on alcohol (as it provides calories but no nutritional value) and increase water intake as already mentioned.
- As well as organised exercise, use the better weather to increase your Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT) by walking more and generally being more active. It’s easier to park further away from where you want to go when the weather is better, or even not use the car for the journey at all. Make sure you are hitting the recommended 10,000 steps a day, which may well have slipped over the winter months. This is a great habit to start now, and then continue over the summer as we mentioned in last year’s blog about exercising when the children are off school.
- Improving posture is another way to look and feel better, so add yoga or another similar style class to your weekly schedule and lengthen your muscles and strengthen your core. Yoga has many other benefits too, which we discussed in last year’s April blog.
Apart from nutrition and exercise, use positive talk and affirmations to help you feel confident about how you look. Treat yourself to some new makeup, accessories, a haircut, an outfit, whatever you feel you want to make the most of your assets. Walk tall and proud and enjoy the better weather/lighter evenings.