7 Holistically Healthy Tricks to Lose Those Last Few Pounds For Spring

04/03/2012

Veggie wrap photoIt’s crunch time and I don’t mean that painfully localized version of a sit up we hold so near and dear. Rather, it’s almost bathing suit season and for some of us that means we're getting down to the wire. 

If that’s the case for you, I feel your pain and I know the stress that can go along with losing those last few pounds. But here’s the deal, freaking out makes it that much harder to lose weight. If you take a calm and collected approach you’ll be much more successful.

1. Find Out Your Caloric Intake

Calculate the amount of calories that you can have for the amount of time you have to lose the weight. This also includes your activity level. Use this calculator to figure it out.

2. Pick 5 Easy Go-To Recipes

Part of losing weight is learning to cook. If you eat out it’s difficult to control your caloric intake because you’re not sure the ingredients restaurants use. But that doesn’t mean you have to kill yourself cooking. Pick out five recipes that you enjoy and make them again and again.

3. Too Much Variation is Hard to Track

Try and keep breakfast and lunch the same everyday and then vary dinner. This way it’s easy to keep track of calories without it taking over your life. For me, it’s homemade granola, coconut yogurt, and fruit each morning and for lunch it’s a sandwich with either hummus and veggies or tempeh tuna salad. This way I know where I am calorically but I don’t have to write it down.

4. Go Plant-Based

Cutting out the saturated fats present in meat and dairy is a great way to lose weight that’s why vegans and vegetarians tend to weigh less. In its 2010 dietary pyramid, the USDA gave vegetarianism an outright endorsement saying in addition to improved heart health, a vegetarian diet was associated with lower rates of obesity. Another study in 2009 by Oxford researcher Tim Key found that vegetarians and vegans had body weights 3 percent to 20 percent lower than meat eaters. 

5. Measure Every Sip of Alcohol

Alcohol has no nutritional value and it’s loaded with calories. It’s best to measure every liquor drink or glass of wine you have. If you’re at a restaurant, be honest about the amounts. Drinking makes you eat badly while you’re drinking, but it also makes you eat badly if you’re hungover the next day. One glass is considered safe for a women and two glasses for men, who are better able to metabolize alcohol. Anything more than this is considered excessive drinking. 

Kids cooking photo

6. Cook Ahead of Time

Each Sunday, after I have gathered my farmers' market ingredients and know what I have to work with, I plan my meals for the week. Meals include leftovers so that I don't have to start anew every day. And with the help of a slow cooker and some creativity, I make my attempt at a low impact week of eating. Here are some go-to recipes to get you started. Most of these recipes work for lunch and dinner, so make enough to have leftovers and you're set. 

7. Chill Out With Aggressive Exercise

It’s important to exercise nearly each and every day but if you overdo it, that’s also a problem. Stick to less aggressive forms of exercise like gentle yoga, walks on the beach, biking, and swimming. Beating up on your body is the worse decision you can make. Additionally, too much aggressive exercise makes you famished, which causes overeating.

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Photos: Thinkstock


Sara Novak writes about health and wellness for Discovery Health. Her work is also regularly featured in Breathe Magazine and on SereneKitchen.com. She has written extensively on food policy, food politics, and food safety.


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