Healthy Diet Bootcamp: 6 Weeks to Get into Your Ideal Shape for Summer
Summer is about 6 weeks away, and like so many of us you’ve probably been enjoying the comfortable, cozy winter season a little too much. Now, the thought of putting on a swimsuit that covers only about 10% of your body may not seem like a fun idea, but 6 weeks is more than enough time to get you back to your pre-winter body and have more energy to boot.
Over the next 4 weeks I`ll be sharing key tips that have helped thousands of clients, including participants of the Last 10 Pounds Bootcamp achieve their weight loss goals. Today is our kickoff week which means no more excuses. It’s time to kick your butt to get you looking fabulous!
Bootcamp Week 1: 3 Essential first steps for successful weight loss
STEP 1: SET YOUR GOAL
Write down your goals for the next 4 weeks. What is your weight loss goal? What are the benefits of achieving this goal? Are your targets realistic? A healthy weight loss target for most is about 1-2 pounds per week. You may think that doesn`t sound like much, but remember: 1-2 pounds equals 3500 – 7000 calories, which would take a lot of sweat to burn on a treadmill. Set a target and a time frame in which you realistically hope to achieve your goal. I recommend 4 weeks, as it’s enough time to see serious results if you stay on track.
STEP 2: PLAN OF ATTACK
This is two-part. First, now that you know what you want to achieve, think about what has worked for you in the past when trying to lose weight. Did you boost your vegetables? Did you cut out refined foods and just have whole grains? Did you stop the late night snacking? Think about what was easy for you to stick to -- that was HEALTHY -- and got you results.
Here are 3 simple strategies that work for my clients:
• Cover ½ your dinner plate with vegetables everyday
• No 'white' foods -- i.e. whole grains only
• Don`t eat within 3 hours of bedtime
Next, look at what has kept you from being successful in the past. Old habits die hard, so you need to come up with strategies to overcome those challenges. Have you succumbed to emotional eating in the past? If yes, have a plan. Do this bootcamp with a friend or coach who can offer you support when temptation kicks in. Instead of running to the fridge, write down how you're feeling at that moment in a journal. The action may help quell the craving and begin a record of your triggers. Later you can revisit your journal for insight into what sends you to the fridge int he first place, which in turn should help with anticipating pitfalls in the future. If all else fails, leave the house -- go for a walk or to the gym! What's most important is that you take physical action against your cravings and emotions. Don't just rely on will power here, it won`t work.
STEP 3: KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE
Keep your goal front of mind at all times, especially in the beginning stages, otherwise you`ll lose your steam and old habits will kick in. We need to break your regular pattern, so you don`t just continue on autopilot. The first week is vital in breaking a pattern, so stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. As you put days and weeks behind you, a new routine will take root and you'll be well on your way!
Coming up: Week 2 of Bootcamp – What to eat & sticking to the diet.
Looking forward to working with you!
P.s. Make sure to follow me on twitter @MariaNutrition for tips to help you stay on track
*Editor's Note: This is the healthy eating portion of Slice.ca's Get in Shape for Summer Bootcamp. Katya Mohsen, our fitness expert, will be kicking off her part of the bootcamp this Thursday, with tailored exercise routines. So stay tuned!
Maria Thomas is a registered dietitian and owner of UrbanNutrition.com.
Also by Maria Thomas
Ducking Dating Desperation
You’re finally over the guy whose name will go unmentioned and you’re ready to hop back on the dating wagon. But it’s been way too long since you’ve gone on a date and you’re having a hard time determining what’s a good approach for finding a fella you fancy without giving away the fact that you’re a little raw. Here are 5 ways to send out the good vibes without the desperation.
Summer lovin’ (well, spring, too — and fall, and winter!) is all about crushing and wanting and having fun. If you’re into someone, make your intentions known. Set the wheels in motion. It needn’t be any kind of flamboyant declaration, either — send a flirtatious open-ended Facebook message, not asking any questions, just putting yourself out there. Make sure it’s something simple that puts no pressure on him to respond because, let’s be real here, this is reverse psych 101. If he is into you, you can bet he’ll be messaging you back and will make efforts to maintain the conversation stream.
Don’t be pushy
“Hi, my name is James, and I want a girl who is needy, pushy, aggressive and desperate.” Who said that? No one, ever. So, once you’ve made your intentions known, let him do the work. A gent who’s into you will be reeled in by the bait and will respond positively. (See: FB flirt, above.) Now, if you don’t hear back from him, don’t follow up and absolutely do not try to convince yourself that he didn’t get your message. Just let it be and move on to the next guy with your dignity intact. (Don’t take it personally, either: You never know another person’s situation, and their decision to write back or not is about them, not you.)
If your conquest responds positively to your pursuit, and you make plans to see one another in person, make sure to set a romantic, versus a friendship, tone, right off the bat. You can accomplish this by simply touching his arm in a subtle fashion, bumping his shoulder when you walk down the street, grabbing his hand (and quickly letting go) when you are making a point — basically, make some type of physical connection in order to test the waters and set the aforementioned tone. This makes it impossible for him to mistake that you might just be hanging out with him just because; this confirms for him that you have other intentions.
Say yes to set-ups
If you have friends that want to play matchmaker, let them do the work for you. (Kind of like tip #2.)Think of it this way: Your friends know you like no one else, and are likely to have a pretty accurate idea of what you’re looking for in a mate. Let go of the idea that going on a set-up or blind date is for people who can’t land their own lovers. In a best-case scenario, you’ll be (pleasantly) surprised by the people you meet. And if it doesn’t go well? Advantage: you — because, since your friends did all of the Cupid targeting, you can’t be referred to as that girl that hits on every/any guy.
Date multiple men
Oh yes mama, you read that correctly. You have not just my approval but my orders to date men aplenty. When you date more than one guy at once, you aren’t as needy or overbearing. Desperation: annihilated! Sometimes clients of mine fall prey to the spell that is the initial lust for a new guy, and spend all their free time texting, Tweeting, trying to plan dates, etc. By dating multiple men, you will not only be able to easily discern the options and variety, but also know that if things don’t work out with one guy, your feelings and spirit will be safeguarded because you didn’t give too much away to one person, too soon.
The bottom line for those of you re-joining the dating scene: Be positive, believe in yourself, and trust your instincts. If you don’t hear back from new guy #1, move on to #2 (and #3 and #4 and #10 and beyond); know when to walk away from the wrong situation. The longer you linger, the more “crazy girl” you become. That’s not good for the most important person here — you.
Jen Kirsch is a relationship expert, columnist and blogger. For quick tips and tricks, follow her on Twitter @jen_kirsch. Read her posts every Tuesday on Slice.ca.
Also by Jen Kirsch