Swimsuit Season Ahead!

March is generally a busy month here at Sensible Fitness.  While many are focused more on green beer and the Easter bunny in the month of March, many are thinking ahead to the shorts and sleeveless shirts that warmer weather will bring.

I am disappointed in whoever invented the calendar. They put the high calorie events like Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, Super Bowl, and Valentines Day in the cold weather months when we are already less active, which makes this time period especially hard in controlling the waistline.  With a solid weight loss of 2 pounds per week, St. Patty’s Day is an ideal time to start getting prepared for the swimsuit season ahead.

If you want to tight up the appearance before hitting the pool, here is what I suggest:

You MUST exercise.  An evil word for many, but it is a necessity.  Depending on your fitness level, even a casual walking program can cause a respectable drop in inches.  A brisk walk after eating supper is a great way to keep the metabolism churning, during what normally might be a very sedentary time. Losing weight with diet alone may make you look thinner, but you will also look soft and mushy.  Weight training will give you a firm and toned appearance with the curves in all the right places. Exercise is like many other things in life–the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it.  This means the higher the intensity, the more results you will see.

Be carb-conscious, but do not eliminate. You do not need to eliminate carbohydrates entirely, but rather pay attention to the source of your carbs.  Starches (breads, cereals, rice, pastas, potatoes, etc.) are not only high in calories, but also have an impact on your fat-storing hormones.  Therefore, attention needs to be paid to the timing of their consumption and to portion size.  Eat moderate portions of starches in the morning or after physical activity.  Replace all other carbohydrate servings with fibrous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower or asparagus.

Learn to control snacks. We all love them and it is possible to still enjoy them while watching the waistline.  Try to “time” your snacks between breakfast and lunch and/or between lunch and dinner.  Be careful not to eat a starchy stack.  Sorry, no fat-free pretzels allowed!  Healthy snack choices would include fruit, yogurt, or cottage cheese.

Avoid late-night cravings. For many people, eliminating late-night munching can make a huge difference in their weight loss.  This time of the day is followed by our most sedentary time, bedtime.  If you take in calories during this period, you can plan on them ending up where you least want them.

Sticking to these basic guidelines may easily keep you within a few pounds of your ideal weight throughout the year, which makes tightening up the figure for warmer weather a much easier task!

CategoryFitness, Nutrition

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