Ready to put on that winter layer of fat? We’re quickly approaching the holiday “eating” season: High-calorie tailgate parties. (Football’s a holiday, right?) Thanksgiving dinner. (At how many different places?) Christmas parties, food gifts, and dinners. (At how many different places?) And then, to deal with that winter layer of fat you’ve worked so hard to build up, there’s that cursed “New Year’s Resolution” season.
Don’t fall victim to that cycle … again. Forget the New Year’s resolutions; instead, create a Lifestyle Revolution! Now is the time to establish an effective workout routine and formulate good eating habits. Here are 12 tips to implement NOW to take a healthier you into 2012!
- Train with a buddy. Knowing that someone else is counting on you to show up is a great motivator!
- Utilize a professionally designed weight-training program to help you use correct weight-lifting technique. Weights are your most important ally. Increasing muscle translates into burning more calories all day long.
- Make every weight-training day worthwhile by choosing weights that challenge your muscles and stimulate growth. Plan on a minimum of two 50-minute sessions a week. If doing cardio on the same day as weight-training, do cardio AFTER you lift.
- Variety is the key. Change the amount of sets and reps you do for each exercise, as well as the type of exercises you do. Your body adapts to the workouts and stops improving once it gets used to the same exercises and sequence. So change it up every few weeks to maximize muscle growth, strength and endurance. You’ll also be maximizing metabolism and fat loss.
- When performed in a progressive manner on a regular basis, cardio makes your muscles more efficient at processing fat. Exercise aerobically three to six times per week for 40 minutes. Try interval training, alternating 30-second high intensity intervals with 2- to 3-minute recovery times.
- Sign up for a class you’ve never tried before, and try walking or jogging on your lunch hour.
- Clean out your kitchen cabinets and fridge. Remove all the processed, sugary, sodium-filled items that might tempt you.
- Make a healthy shopping list: fresh produce, healthy carbs and lean proteins.
- Keep a food diary. You’ll be amazed at how many calories you actually consume. Be honest!
- Never skip breakfast. Your first meal jumpstarts your metabolism. Eat smaller, balanced meals consisting of lean protein and starchy and fibrous carbohydrates five to six times a day. This keeps insulin levels consistent, helps burn fat, speeds metabolism, and deters fat storage.
- Don’t eat after dinner!
- Use common sense and information to help you stay away from unhealthy foods. Avoid all processed foods. Avoid high-fat and high-calorie foods. Keep an eye on the low-fat and fat-free foods too; they may still contain way too many calories and processed carbs. Veggie-based dishes may pack fewer calories, but may not provide adequate protein or complex carbs for fueling your fitness program.