Article by: Giovanni Roselli, PurLife Regional Director Of Personal Training
Strength train with weights. As we age naturally, our bodies have a tendency to lose muscle. If you diet without exercise or just do cardio as your only means of exercise, you will not be affecting your metabolism in a beneficial way. The old expression is if you are shaped like a pear and manage to lose a few pounds with diet and just cardio, what you will end up looking like is a smaller pear. Performing weight training will increase lean muscle tissue and increase EPOC (exercise post oxygen consumption) so your body will be burning more calories even when not exercising. It will change your body composition to be leaner and tighter. Ask yourself: Do you want to lose weight or do you want to lose fat and inches?
Work out with a partner. With a buddy by your side, you will be much more likely to get to the gym. It’s easier to bail on your own. In addition, having someone that you have a good relationship with will make going to the gym an enjoyable experience.
Don’t go to any party hungry. One of the worst mistakes people can make is eating too little the day they have a party or event. Eat throughout the day, so when you arrive you aren’t jumping on the hors d’oeuvres and overeating because you are starving. If anything, fill up before the party so when you get there you aren’t tempted to pick, pick, pick. Specifically, prioritize protein and vegetables early on in the day. In addition, do your absolute best to get in a workout on that day. Not only will it help with your metabolism and your energy, but it will spur you to eat well as people generally do not want to cancel out a great workout by eating poorly. Also, concentrate on your portions. Yes, unhealthy food options will inevitably be at your fingertips. If you are at a buffet, a good strategy is to choose a smaller plate. Studies have shown that you will ultimately end up eating less.
Keep the alcohol in check. Try to alternate your alcoholic beverages with water and lime. The vitamin A in the lime helps the liver process the alcohol more efficiently.
Learn from your past holiday experiences. What situations did you find yourself in where you felt you did a poor job in managing your eating? Think about what you can do to anticipate making that outcome different. Remember, the biggest mistake you can make is repeating the same mistake.
Don’t get thrown off by the “healthy” moniker on food labels. For example, a lot of “low-fat” or “nonfat” products are usually loaded with sugar and/or other unhealthy processed products. However, people will have a tendency to buy something that says “low-fat,” “only 300 calories,” “light,” “low carb,” and things of that sort when a lot of these foods are still unhealthy options.
Speaking of sugar. Instead of choosing foods, mainly desserts, that are mainly sugar, look for foods that contain fat as well. The fat will help slow down the rate of sugar entering the bloodstream. This will aid in eliminating the sugar spikes.
One final tip: Be suspicious of people who tell you that “this is the best way” or “you have to do this because it’s the best thing that works.” What may work for some people may not necessarily work for you (lifestyle-wise and/or physically), and you may not even have a lot of interest in it. Be especially cautious if additional costs are involved and you “have to do it my way because it’s the best way.” Truth is, there are a lot of good ways. You just need to find the best way for you and your current lifestyle.