Fourth of July is fast approaching and you are FREAKING OUT. PRETTY MUCH ALL THE SUMMER PARTIES mean bathing suit season is HERE and you have been avoiding it like the plague for the past eight months. So….You read up on all the latest cleanses. Detoxes. Jucing. Starvation Diets (let’s try this bone broth thing…) And then think OMG CARDIO ALL DAY EVERY DAY.
Your typical googled low calorie diet packed with 60 minutes of cardio is NEVER going to be sustainable long term. Will it trim you up for the 4th? Sure. Will it last all summer long? All year long? Sorry folks, go fish. You’ll also be starving, tired and cranky. What a FUN 4th of July party!
THIS IS WHY YOU'LL NEVER GET IT RIGHT OR GET IT TIGHT:
Step 1 (Bring it!): You go on a cleanse, detox, super restrictive diet and start hitting the gym every single day.
Step 2 (YAAS): You lose weight. (fat and muscle) You see results. You’re PUMPED.
Step 3 (I’m starving): You’re hungry. You start eating more than you had before this diet. And it’s not your fault, because your body wins every single time. IT’S HUNGRY! This could happen two weeks in, or it could happen two months in. But it will happen. Pinky promise.
Step 4 (What, when and how?): You gained the weight back? WHAT?! You’re bloated and you may have gained more weight than you originally lost. By starving your body, you mess with this lovely thing called metabolism. After these crazy fad diets your metabolism is a lot slower than it started out because your body begins storing the food you are eating, not knowing when you’ll feed it again. You’ve decreased your muscle mass (therefore you’ve lowered the number of calories your body is burning on a daily basis). YUP, that happened.
As a dietitian, I know there are still some of you (you know who you are) who aren’t buying the whole “don’t starve and run yourself skinny” mentality. And then we all use those two words again…lifestyle change. It makes you run for the hills, but WHY?! Personally, if I’m going to walk around in an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini, I want to feel good and not just for that 4th of July party. So LETS DO THIS!
LET’S ACTUALLY GET IT RIGHT AND GET IT TIGHT:
Step 1: You don’t have to cut out whole food groups (which isn’t good for your body) if you practice portion control. This also limits the need for binging on cravings like those cookies that have been calling your name all week. Watch your portions, plug in whole grains, vary up your veggies, stick to lean proteins and allow yourself to eat one or two squares of chocolate (GASP). You’ll feel better without feeling deprived. BONUS? You won’t want to punch your coworkers in the face because YOU ARE STARVING. DOUBLE BONUS? Eating regular balanced meals will get that metabolism BACK!
Step 2: Get out there and MOVE YO BODY! Cardio is great but if you are trying to get it tight (building muscle = increases fat burn) you need to incorporate weight bearing activities. There are plenty of party like a Rockstar workouts out there, my favorite? Burncycle PDX or SoulCyle if you’re in LA or NYC. Spin class that incorporates weights PLUS have club music playing. THAT IS MY JAM. How about this thing called Barre? Looks easy, right? SO NOT EASY. Orange theory Fitness (whoo raa). The list goes on. So, don’t spend 60 minutes staring at the elliptical tv and wanting to poke your eye out. Get your jam on, make new friends and GET IT TIGHT.
Step 3: DITCH THE SCALE. Everyone is so worried about numbers. When you start working out and building muscle mass the scale will most likely stop going down and may even go up. GASP. It’s okay, it will all be okay. I always suggest using your clothes as a guide, you may be up five pounds but down two dress sizes. I think I would call that a win, no?