What Am I Doing to Stay in Shape
I get married in 74 days and I've been getting into shape. Before the New Year I was attending the gym regularly, about 3 times a week. I hadn't been pushing too hard but I did lose 5 lb. Now I have kicked my work-out regimen into high gear as well as tacking on dietary restrictions. You may be thinking, oh blah, blah, blah by now but what I want to tell you I think is truly good advice, well at least for women. Please note to consult your physician before starting any work-out regimen or diet.
Set Realistic Goals
It's one thing to say "if I could only lose 20 lb.", but it is another thing to do it. From my experience the larger you are the easier it is to lose weight but at some point you start "re-distributing" the weight. Meaning it turns into muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. I call it the plateau, leveling off. Stop stepping on the scale and don't give up because you think what you are doing isn't working.
Find another way to "measure" your body. Do something cheesy, like taking a weekly picture in your favorite too tight bikini or keep trying on those old clothes you put aside that you keep hoping will fit. I did that and now my old favorite jeans are not just buttoning but I'm also not seeing my muffin-top as much.
A good motivation for working out is to look better and be fit, not weighing less.
There is No Quick Weight-Lose Program
Losing weight takes time, effort, and self-control. I recently read that "It takes six months to get into shape and two weeks to get out of shape..." -Rita Rudner, Naked Beneath My Clothes. That is six months ladies!!! You have to stick with what your are doing, working out and eating right.
What is Eating Right?
Eating right is not buying expensive 100 calorie "proportioned" processed junk-food snacks, drinking diet soda instead of regular, and definitely not eating 500 calorie or less items at your favorite fast-food joint. Believe me I LOVE McDonald's, I mean LOVE. I love a Coke, cheeseburger, and fries but I can't have that on a regular basis anymore.
Eat at home and take the time to go to the grocery store. If you really want to get healthy you will find the time to do it. I hate when people say they don't have time to be healthy. If you can sit and watch TV for at least one hour a week, you have one hour to sit and make a shopping list with healthy food choices. If you are busy, spend the time you do have to cook preparing a good dinner with enough for left-overs. That way you can pack your lunch for work the next day.
This is most of my shopping list: (I even have the items arranged in order from entry to exit in a typical super market)
- Spinach (for salad and for cooking)
- Spring lettuce mix (better for you than romaine and ice-berg, more nutrients and stuff like that)
- Apples (good for sweet-tooth cravings)
- Oranges/Clementines (ditto)
- Bananas (good for muscles soreness when you work-out, potassium)
- Berries (whatever is on sale, best to get these at Costco)
- Baby Carrots (good filler, do not dip them in ranch dressing!)
- Sweet potatoes (very good for you and a good filler)
- Yellow & green squash
- Onion (for taste in cooking)
- Fat Free Cream Cheese
- Feta Cheese (for salads, sometimes you can find Reduced Fat)
- Goat Cheese
- Fat Free Plain Yogurt (not vanilla, has extra sugar)
- Fat Free Cottage Cheese (don't get the kind with fruit, again sugar)
- Real butter (I use Smart Balance, margarine is worse for you than real butter)
- Skim Milk
- Wheat tortillas (I don't like corn which is best and flour isn't good)
- Flavored soda water (not soda!)
- Chicken (skinless & boneless, you can get these single-wrapped at Costco)
- Fresh shrimp (from the butcher counter or frozen, deveined, and shelled)
- Tuna Steak
- Frozen green beans (frozen is cheaper and better than canned)
- Frozen peas
- Frozen corn
- Frozen broccoli
Good spices to have:
- Garlic Powder
- Chili flakes
- Cajun seasoning
Other cooking items:
- Lemon & Lime Juice
- Olive Olive
Items to avoid:
- Processed meat
- Red meat
- Sugar (also fake sugar, like Splenda it actually makes it harder to lose belly fat!)
- Fruity mixers for alcoholic beverages
- Dark liquor
- High-calorie beer
I know I'm screwing up your drinking game but I'll give you a quick cocktail recipe: vodka, soda water, and a squeeze of lemon or lime juice to your taste.
Don't know what to cook with the items above? I'm going to post some recipes in the future so don't worry!
How About Working Out?
Best way to do it (for me) is 1 hour a day, 3 days on, 1 day off. Most people feel they don't have time or are too tired. First solution: MAKE TIME! You have to if you want this! Second solution: Working out gives you energy. I call it the Hump, after a week it gets better and then you will notice it also makes you more "smart" too. Haha, it gives your brain energy!
What I do at the gym: (I'm at Planet Fitness, $99 for a year!)
- 30 minutes of Vigorous Cardio (get up to your target heart-rate)
- 30 minutes Focused "weight-lifting"
*Ammendment, I now work-out 4 times a week at Crossift Manassas.
Your target heart-rate is normally posted on the cardio machine you use or you can find it out
Focused "weight-lifting" is for toning your trouble spots: under-arms, muffin-top (love-handles lol), abs, legs, butt, etc. You use the machines and some free-weigths here. I know a lot of gals don't like free-weights but they help in some areas. You want to focus on one area during this work-out or two areas connected (like legs and butt). Don't jump around because then you aren't giving each area enough attention. Feeling the burn lets you know you are giving it enough attention!
I could go on for days so stay tuned for some other tips and tricks! Just remember, getting fit is truly a life-style change and has to be something you really want for yourself.
(Also remember I am not a Doctor and I don't have professional experience in health and nutrition. I just know what works for me, take it or leave it.)
See any errors? Email me, please!
Posted by Andrea on 01.15.13