Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Five-Step Plan to Get in Shape

It is no secret that the quality of life is much better if we exercise and eat healthy... But how often have I promised myself to stock up the refrigerator with veggies and to sign up for a yoga class? How often have I gone for a late dinner, instead? And even worse, how often have I felt guilty for eating too many fries or ordering another martini?! Agh! Do you feel that way too? 

Okay, beating ourselves up for eating too many fries is never a good idea, but taking charge and finding the right balance is. 

Staying in good shape requires discipline ~ control of what goes into the body at all times ~ and there is no reason why we cannot do it. Are you with me?!

Here's my plan of action: 

1. Calculate how many calories you should consume daily

When I plan to lose weight, I always make sure I do it slowly, without feeling deprived, and consume just a little less (about 1/8th less) food than what I needed to maintain the desired weight. If I cut any more, I will starve and, naturally, drop the diet and overeat. I firmly believe in small and steady steps forward, and not in quick-fix-bound-for-failure-diets. I also should step up on my exercise routine, so that I would not have to completely cut myself off of occasional nights out (got to have them!).

2. Inventory what you eat
I use My Fitness Pal smart phone app to record what I eat. This app also gives me calorie count of each food. I love that I can scan the packaging and, voila, the entire information of this item is in my log. Brilliant! 

After two days of logging in what I ate, I confirmed that eating a home made food is so much healthier than eating out! He-he. No, seriously, night and day difference. It also became pretty clear where my problem lies ~ sweets and cheeses. To me, stopping at one small cookie is hard. Thankfully, I don't eat much breads or oily junk food. So my main job will be to control the cheeses and deserts portions!

What is your favorite food you can't stop eating? Don't say salad... or else...

3. Put together a few delicious go-to recipes
These recipes should taste delicious and should be made from whole non-processed foods, full of fiber and nutrientsThis way not only I won't be hungry, but also I will set myself for great healthy eating habits. 

Make sure to include a small portion of your favorite food, though. Otherwise, you will feel deprived. 

4. Exercise We need to exercise at least every other day. Every time I feel like skipping my yoga class, I remind myself that after every workout (with no exception!)  I feel happier, more energized, and ready to take on the world. 20 or more minutes of any of these exercises would do:
 ~run in a park, dance, jump on a trampoline
 ~core exercise like planks, crunches, push-ups, yoga, pilates

5. Don't give up and beat bad habits
A few years back, I got addicted to Starbucks' Caramel Machiato.  Well, before I knew, I quickly gained quite a few pounds, and then had to ween myself off the drink. It was so hard! To motivate myself, I bought a pair of skinny jeans a size too small and hung it at the most visible spot in my closet. Well, whatever works! No judgement!

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Are you going to join me in this journey for sake of health and skinny jeans? This can be an amazing lifestyle change! I would so love to hear from you ~ how many calories do you need to maintain your weight, what did you learn from your two day inventory, what helps you to stay focused on such goal, any recipes, tips and ideas?!

xo, Zuma A.
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