These are some of my tried and true tips, things that have worked for me over the years. I have culled them from a variety of sources including fitness and fashion magazines, cookbooks and nutrition books such as Clean by Dr. Alejandro Junger. And I am living proof that these things work.
- Drink lots of water daily. Consume half your body weight in fluid ounces. Figure out what this number is and how many bottles you need to drink and then make it happen. For example, I weigh 115 lbs, so I need 58 fl. oz. daily. My smart water bottle is 33.8 fl. oz. so if I drink that during my workout and refill the bottle at the end, I must simply finish the second bottle throughout the day and I’ve done it! You can make this happen.
- Get 1-2 hours of exercise at least 4 days a week. If I’m on a mission to lose a few pounds, I ramp it up to 6 or 7 days per week. Aim for 30 minutes of cardio (or even 45 if you have the time) every day, weight training every other day (it could be just arms or just legs on a given day, or both if you have the time) and yoga/pilates mat work on the non-weight days. Always stretch at the end. Join a gym and get a few personal training sessions to start so that you can develop your own routine that works well for you and your body type.
- When dining out, always get the sauce on the side and SKIP DESSERT. Many restaurant sauces are ladden with hidden calories. Buerreblanc translates to fat on the thighs for me, so I don’t hesitate to always ask for the sauce on the side. You can still use a little if you like by dipping the tips of your fork into the sauce and then brushing a miniscule amount onto your food. This tip goes for salads & salad dressings too. I always ask for lemon wedges with my salad and if there are tomatoes or citrus in my salad, I use my fork and knife to cut up these ingredients so that they let out some juicy liquid into the salad. I find that lemon wedges and shaved or shredded Parmesan cheese can make many salads satisfying and delicious with absolutely no dressing at all!
- Limit animal protein serving to the size of a deck of cards. When dining out, cut the entree in half and set aside one half on a side plate to take home as leftovers. Most restaurants serve portions that are too big and it’s great to get two meals out of one dinner entree. Often I will request “a small mound of greens” (could be raw spinach or arugula, with no dressing) and place the veggies from the dinner plate and the half portion of the entree protein on top of the greens.
- Indulge in small treats. Do not completely deprive yourself. Happily, recent studies have shown that small amount of dark chocolate and red wine are good for you. I also have a great recipe for homemade “granola” (oats, peanut butter and honey make it yummy) and a killer chocolate peanut butter banana shake. Sorbet, frozen yogurt (be careful here: may contain high fructose corn syrup) and berries or nuts (just a small handful) are also delicious. The more you an eliminate refined sugar and corn syrup the better.
- Avoid all bread. The less bread you eat the better. If you must, have it once a week, but skip the butter (dip in small amount of olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead).
- Don’t be hard on yourself if you slip up. I remember one yoga instructor, Katresha, saying to live by the 80/20 rule. Eat healthy 80% of the time and whatever you want the other 20%. However, if you are serious about leaning down, give it 100% for a couple weeks and you’ll see real results.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Your mother always told you this and it is true! Eating breakfast helps jump start your metabolism and is the first step to burning fat throughout the day. These days I usually have a smoothie drink with 1 c. water, 1/2 c. fresh or frozen organic fruit and 2 scoops of XymogenOpti-Cleanse Plus (in Chai or Vanilla flavor), available through Dr. Marcela Dominguez. Other great breakfast ideas include 1 serving cooked oatmeal topped with 1 T. brown sugar and 1/2 cup fruit (I like cubed apples, berries, mango or papaya) or Fage 0% or 2% greekyogurt topped with 1/4 cup Kashi 7 whole grain flakes and 1/4 cup diced fresh fruit.