May, that time of year when you know in just a few short months you are going to be going on vacation, hanging out at the beach, attending weddings, and reunions. That time of the year when you want to look your best. In your mind, its crunch time. So you do what anyone else would do, restrict your calories and go hard at the gym everyday religiously for the next 2 months (you have to make up for lost time.) The first 10 lbs. comes off easy, but as you get closer to your vacation you see the weight become stagnant, and you panic. So you do what anyone else would do, eat less, workout more. You find yourself at work getting irritated by your co-workers, needing more coffee to stay alert at work, and finding those week old cookies in the break room to be very tempting. So what gives?
You have put your body in a state of stress my friend. By restricting food intake, then placing large demands on your body to perform off of very little fuel, you are asking your body to run on fumes. Hence, the lack of energy, irritability, and craving for sugary foods you normally wouldn’t look twice at becomes a daily occurrence. Your body in an attempt to protect itself from complete shut-down will start to conserve its energy by cutting off valuable nutrients to certain bodily functions that may not need them to survive in the short term. As such, your metabolism slows down, and as hard as you try you just can’t shed those last 10 lbs. before that high school reunion.
Now, let’s talk about how you CAN lose weight effectively in the short term:
1) First, do not expect to lose more than 4-8 lbs. a month. Shooting for the moon will likely be frustrating for you, when you get on the scale and find that with all your hard work you have only lost a few pounds. Just like you did not gain the weight overnight (even though you may want to convince yourself otherwise), you cannot lose it overnight either. Slow and steady is the way to go.
2) Vow to exercise 5-6 days a week for 30-60 minutes each time. Strength train 2-4 times per week for an hour, and cardiovascular interval training for 30 minutes 2-3 times per week.
3) Eat whole foods. Create 4-6 small meals a day with fruit, vegetables, animal proteins, healthy starches and healthy fats.
4) Avoid processed foods, sugar, and alcohol.
5) Seek a San Diego fitness trainer to help keep you accountable, motivated, and on track. We all can benefit from having a coach guide us through a tough workout created for us, someone to help us problem solve through obstacles, and keep us motivated to keep pushing forward.