5 tips to lose the quarantine 15 in time for summer
Get back on track with these tips.
Citation By Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD
If you’re like most of us who’ve been cooped up inside without access to a gym and full access to unlimited snacks, you might have noticed your pants fitting a little tighter these days. And with summer right around the corner, you might be feeling the pressure to stop any potential weight gain in its tracks.
While you can’t snap your fingers and erase the pounds, you can take some concrete steps today to get you back on track and feeling good in time for bathing suit season.
Here are five tips to help you transform your health in the coming months.
Change things up in the kitchen to keep body fat at bay.
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Track Your Food Intake
Weight loss, and fat loss for that matter, ultimately boils down to calorie control. Yes, food choices matter, but it’s impossible to lose weight unless you are eating less calories than your body burns each day.
And the easiest way to get your calorie control dialed in is by tracking your daily food and beverage intake. It’s also one of the best ways to hold yourself accountable and learn exactly which foods are blowing up your progress.
Most nutrition tracking apps will give you a daily calorie and macro goal for weight loss. Then all you need to do is make your diet match. If you’re not logging your calories, you’re flying blind and it could be the thing that’s holding up your results.
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Up Your Protein Intake
Outside of paying attention to how much you are eating each day, increasing your intake of protein in a calorie deficit is thought to help curb hunger, decrease cravings, and support fat loss.
As for how much protein you need to support fat loss, try shooting for roughly 30 to 40% of your calories from protein or about 1 gram of protein per pound of muscle mass.
And don’t just settle for any protein enriched, processed food, opt for more whole food sources like lean meats, low-fat dairy, and plant-based options. While the occasional protein powder, bar, or pancakes doesn’t hurt, foods naturally rich in protein also tend to provide good nutrition along with it.
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Plan Your Menu in Advance
While full on weekly meal prep can take some dedication, for a lot of people just thinking about what they are going to eat before they eat can be a real game-changer. This can be as simple as printing out a weekly menu and writing out your meals for the week – then pin it up somewhere to remind yourself… like on the fridge! Don’t forget to account for snacks, drinks, and even the occasional cheat meals.
One of the hardest times to choose a healthy meal is when you are starving and your glucose, and consequently willpower and good intentions, are depleted. Make it easier on yourself by having some sort of a plan. Planning out your weekly menu can also help you master your grocery haul to save money and cut down on food waste.
Meal planning works even better if you know your nutrition goals. Look for recipes and healthy snacks that help you stick to your daily calorie target.
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Skip the Booze
If you’ve found yourself having one or two too many wine nights at home lately, you might want to consider cutting back.
As much as we hate to admit it, alcohol can wreak some serious havoc on your fat loss goals. It’s not only a source of empty calories, but can also mess with your metabolism, energy levels, mood, and mental focus. Not to mention, heavy drinking can make you care less about your healthy food choices, leading to over indulgence and weight gain.
Yes it is possible to enjoy the occasional cocktail and lose weight, but if it helps speed up your progress, why not consider ditching the booze for a little while?
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Exercise tends to be one of the first things we reach for when it’s time to get back into shape, but it’s not the only way to burn calories. In fact, you can lose weight without exercising, as long as you maintain overall calorie control. It all depends on how much you eat and how much you move – and this means all types of movement, not just the hour you spend in the gym.
When you think about it, workouts only represent a small portion of your day. And while fitness is important, you should be trying to move more all day long to really increase your calorie burn and support your goals. So if you find yourself plopped down on the couch for a netflix binge after a hard workout, you might want to change the way you’re thinking about your gym routine.
Find creative ways to keep moving throughout the day – stand more, take the stairs, go for a walk, or clean the house. It may not have you sweating like a HIIT workout, but the calories add up and can make losing weight easier in the long run.
Change doesn’t have to be an all or nothing approach to lead to results, more often than not it’s the small things that help us build healthy habits that keep ur goals in check for the long haul.
Find one or two areas you can work on and start setting small goals that make sense for you. Then track your progress and check in with yourself often to see how it’s going. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling like your old self again.