7 Exercise Tips to Help You Spring Back Into Shape
Too bad the hibernation of your diligent eating habits has left a 5- to 10-pound residue of fat in places that can no longer be hidden by a heavy, winter wardrobe.
In lieu of panic, however, it's recommended that you apply this seven-point spring tuneup:
- Drink plenty of water. Water is the closest thing to a magic fat-loss potion. Sixty-four ounces a day is an absolute minimum. Twice that, or one gallon, is even more desirable. Also, make sure the water is ice cold. When you drink ice water, which is about 40-degrees Fahrenheit, your system has to heat the fluid to a core body temperature of 98.6 degrees. This process requires almost one calorie to warm one ounce of cold water to body temperature. In fact, an 8-ounce of ice water burns exactly 7.69 calories. Extend that over 16 glasses, 128 ounces, or one gallon - and you've generated 123 calories of heat energy, which is significant.
- Eat smaller meals more frequently. I've had excellent results in my fat-loss studies supervising subjects to consume six meals a day, with no meal containing more than 400 calories. It's also important to allow no longer than three hours between eating episodes. Such a pattern keeps you on an even keel - since you're never stuffed and never famished - which seems to be ideal for losing fat.
- Assert yourself when eating at a restaurant. You'll need all the help you can get to avoid gorging on rich, expensive, restaurant specialties. Here are a few tips:
- Don't open the menu. It may tempt you too much.
- Choose a simple green salad without garnishes. Lemon juice, vinegar, or low-calorie dressing is preferable to any creamy or oily dressings.
- Select one or two vegetables with nothing added. A plain baked potato is always available. Other good choices are broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.
- Ask the waiter what kind of fish is available. Order a white fish and have it baked, steamed, or broiled, with nothing on it.
- Be very specific with your order. Double-check to make certain that your waiter understands exactly what you want.
- Have decaffeinated coffee or tea for dessert, or at most, some fresh strawberries or raspberries.
- Pick an exercise you can stick with, but be careful if it's swimming (or anything in the water). While swimming offers some benefits, the thermal effect of being submerged in water is likely to cause you to eat more than normal. After reading my previous articles, you should understand that my recommended exercise is strength training. Strength training, more than any other exercise or activity, rewards you with a double-reducing advantage.
- Don't over exercise. Too much exercise tears down body tissue, increases the risk of injury, and makes you less active over the long-term.
- Get out from in front of the television. Decreasing your exposure to a billion-dollar advertising industry, much of which involves convenience foods, diminishes your temptations to overeat. Involvement in a household project, along with the extended daylight hours, will help this situation.
- Take to heart some advice borrowed from motivational author Zig Ziglar: "Life demands before it rewards. You've got to be before you can do. You've got to do before you can have. When you're tough on yourself, life becomes easy...You don't pay the price for good health, you enjoy the benefits of it. You pay the price for poor health."