Saturday, April 3, 2010

Spring Forward with 50 Diet/Exercise Tips

  1. If the scale isn't budging, try reducing your intake by 50-100 calories per day for each time you lose 10 lbs.
  2. Try not to go three hours without eating so your metabolism doesn't shift into starvation mode.
  3. No alcohol! Alcohol slows down your metabolism and robs you of your willpower.
  4. Avoid and/or reduce any foods that are WHITE (sugar, flour, bread, pasta, etc.).
  5. If you're going to indulge, take a few bites of a naughty item. You don't have to eat the whole thing!
  6. Carry around a healthy snack (an apple or granola bar) that way you are prepared if you get hungry. This way, you won't be tempted to go get fast food, raid the pantry, or head over to the vending machine.
  7. If you get cravings, go brush your teeth. You won't want to ruin that minty freshness! (In general, it's good dental hygiene to brush your teeth after every meal.)
  8. Want something sweet? Chew sugar-free gum. One piece of Orbit gum is 3.5 calories whereas most other brands are 5 calories a stick.
  9. If you're eating out, do not eat the bread or chips that are put in front of you.
  10. Try Claudia Schiffer's trick: Eat only fruit before noon.
  11. Take your vitamins!
  12. Try drinking green or herbal tea between meal times to stay hydrated and beat cravings.
  13. Eliminate mayo from your life. Instead, put low-calorie mustard on your sandwiches.
  14. If you want to feel full, eat foods that are high in water content (fruits and veggies) since feeling full is based on volume and not calories.
  15. Want to start a new habit? Be super specific with your goals. Do not say, "I'm going to exercise more." You should be saying, "I will go for a 2 mile run at 5pm every other day."
  16. Eat less salt. Not only will this cut the bloat, it will also decrease your risk for high blood pressure when you are older.
  17. Have serving of fruit or vegetables at every meal.
  18. Never use the elevator. If your legs are functioning, take the stairs.
  19. Try doing strength workouts (weight lifting, pilates, lunges, squats) twice a week to get definition and tone. This will also give your metabolism a boost.
  20. Ditch the girl-pushups. Real pushups are the perfect core and upper body workout. They tone your chest, arms, shoulders, back, and abs all at once. Challenge yourself to keep doing them until you can do 50 in a row.
  21. Alternating one or two minutes of cardio at your usual pace with one or two minutes at a faster pace burns fat faster than a regular workout.
  22. Make tweaks to your workout routine every six weeks to keep your body guessing.
  23. Serve yourself on food on smaller plates. It will trick you into eating less.
  24. Ditch soda. Allow yourself a diet soda if you must, but when you cut this out from your diet your sweet tooth should fade away.
  25. Satisfy your chocolate cravings with 4 large strawberries dipped in 2 TB of chocolate syrup (less than 150 calories).
  26. Challenge yourself to do pushups, squats, crunches, situps, or lunges during commercial breaks or study breaks.
  27. If the weather's cooperating and your destination is less than three miles away, take your bike or walk there.
  28. Eat slowly and take sips of water between bites. It takes the brain 20 minutes to realize it's full.
  29. Incorporate more fiber into your diet. It keeps you regular and keeps your blood sugar at a more consistant level.
  30. If it's fried, don't eat it. Period.
  31. Eating out? Order something small like a salad or make sure you box up half of your entree.
  32. Eat the lowest calorie food items on your plate first and eat the meats and starches last. By the time you get to the heavier foods, you might realize you're full.
  33. Fruit juice has loads of calories. Have fresh fruit instead.
  34. Keep a food journal.
  35. Pack a healthy lunch and take it to work or school. You'll save on money and calories.
  36. Try reducing your meat intake. Eliminate red meat and instead eat more lean protien like chicken, turkey, fish, soy, and beans.
  37. Other tricks for managing a sweet tooth: sugar-free hot cocoa, frozen red grapes, fudgsicles, Tootsie Rolls, and sugar-free hard candy.
  38. Having problems with overeating at night? Have three square meals a day: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
  39. If you must eat bread, eat whole grain or wheat varieties.
  40. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Make sure you read those nutrition labels!
  41. Look up the calorie content of restaurant foods before you go, so you know what is safe for you to eat.
  42. Try getting eight hours of sleep a night. You'll be more likely to overeat if you don't get enough sleep. Plus you want to be well-rested for your workout!
  43. If at all possible, limit arficial sweeteners. I still choose Sweet 'n Low over refined sugar always.
  44. Learn to like black coffee. I make my coffee (usually hazelnut or a dark roast) with one packet of Sweet 'n Low and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg.
  45. Trade your normal pasta for wheat pasta.
  46. Switch from white rice to brown rice.
  47. You have to have a deficit of 3,500 calories in order to lose a pound. Figure out your daily calorie requirements based on your current height, weight, and activity level and subtract 500. Aim to eat this much OR increase your exercise your exercise so you burn this much. (You can also decide to burn off 200 calories through exercise and eat 300 calories less.)
  48. Experts recommend losing 1-2 pounds per week. Losing more the five pounds in one week probably means you are losing muscle mass if you aren't severely overweight.
  49. Generally, women should not consume less than 1,200 calories per day. (I am guilty of disregarding this advice.)
  50. Your weight may fluctuate 1-2 pounds on a daily basis, so avoid weighing yourself daily. It's easy to get obsessive, and it's easy to become discouraged if the number is high because you're holding onto some water weight.
Was this advice helpful? Tell me what your favorite tip was from this list, or tell me your own trick. I might do more posts like this in the future if you girls like them!

For me personally, I need to start doing #20, 21, and 26. It's been awhile since I've done a pushup! Shame on me, right? When I was younger, I could do 55 pushups in a minute. There's no time like the present to ramp up my exercise regimen. I came up with a brilliant plan earlier today to help me do just that. Every time I workout for 30 minutes, I'll drop a quarter in a jar. On May 4th (one month from tomorrow), I'll take all of that exercise money and buy myself a treat. My goal is to have at least $8 in there, which is enough to buy a set of earrings or a nice lipstick or eyeshadow palette.

1 comment:

  1. love all the tips! only one i disagree with is the last one. i have read, and agree that weighing yourself everyday makes you more aware of your goal/weight and ppl that weigh themselves everyday as oppossed to once a week tend to lose double the amount!

    you should definately do more posts like this! love them! :)


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