I am sure you worked your booty off trying to get in shape before Memorial Day... (aka bikini season) and I am seriously so proud of you, but so many of us lose motivation when our bodies reach a plateau and results are harder to achieve. Before you start telling yourself summer is "SO OVER" and give up on squeezing into that Preen LBD, you should try my tips below. I swear keeping that bod, that you worked so hard for is easier than you want to believe.
- When it comes to dieting most of us focus on what we are "not allowed" to eat. I have tried cutting out every single category: gluten, dairy, carbs, sugar, etc. I can't say that cutting those things out won't work (because in most cases, it actually does) but it's seriously so hard to maintain forever (or even the entire summer). Not to mention the fact that, if you tell me I can't have something I want it even more. At a certain point, (maybe when your skinny jeans fit) you have to ease up on the restrictions a bit. When I get to this point, I shift the focus to what I CAN eat and (being the psycho that I am) I even take it a step further and start thinking about what I NEED to eat. Cue the FIBER.... Women should have at least 25 grams of fiber per day. When I focus on my fiber, I try to have 30-35 grams. For me, the key is to get a lot of the fiber in at breakfast. Fiber One Bread is actually pretty tasty and in two slices you get 14 grams of fiber (only 100 cals/per slice, but be warned that all of the carbs are still there, so eat this early in the day). I also order a Clean Start, which will add another 10 grams of fiber to your daily diet (you can only take these herbal supplements for 14 days, but they really help flush your system). I also try to eat lots of apples, raspberries, bran flakes, lentils, black beans, brown rice, brussel sprouts, etc. Click Here for additional tips and info on fiber.
- Eat a big breakfast, medium sized lunch, and a small dinner. You know, the upside down triangle approach. You know you are doing it correctly when you wake up and run to the kitchen before you have even checked your phone (ok, no one can actually do that, but the point is you wake up hungry as hell). If you find yourself starving at night and not so hungry in the AM, you can use exercise to flip the cycle. Try running, spinning, or something cardiovascular in the evening and then eat something green and/or lean after. Keep the portions very small, so you wake up insanely hungry and then allow yourself a big breakfast (oatmeal or bran flakes and almond milk or 2 slices of Fiber One toast with egg whites, etc). You may find yourself very hungry thoughout the day, but that's okay... you want to be eating during the day and limiting the carbs at night.
Changing your eating habits isn't enough, you also gotta move around a little bit, which brings us to exercise.
- When it comes to working out, I swear by the "shock your body" approach. This doesn't mean going to Barry's Boot Camp EVERY Monday and Wednesday and then spinning EVERY Tuesday and Thursday.... you may think you are REALLY mixing it up, but HELLO your body will get used to that pretty quickly (usually around 4 weeks). Changing instructors is a bonus but definitely not a huge shocker to the body, so stop kidding yourself. CHANGE IT UP. It's all about tricking your body and doing things that are out of line with your muscle memory. I could be really annoying and tell you to go paddle boarding, surfing, hiking, etc. I mean those are very obvious ways to shock your body, but you're probably sitting at your desk, waiting for the slowest intern ever to get back with your 3pm caffeine buzz and most likely not making it to the lake tonight. So instead, here are some realistic activities I like to mix in throughout the workweek...
- Physique 57 - (or any bar method class, I prefer Physique 57 and they offer online classes for $5, if you don't have any group classes in your hood.) I like to go for 6 weeks straight (2-3 times a week) and then skip for 2 months. Each time I come back after a long break, the classes are super challenging again. When I can get through an advanced class without taking a pause, it's time for another temporary separation.
- Running - If you run distance, run sprints instead. If you run inside, uhm it's June... go outside.
- Weight Training - Girls have a hard time catching on to this one, but it may be the biggest secret in fat loss. When you lift weights, you are ripping tiny tears in your muscle fibers. When you finish, (aka when you are resting) your body needs to use energy to repair and restore those fibers. I love the idea that while I am lying in bed, watching the Bachlorette, my body is burning calories repairing itself.
- Spinning - I am a Flywheel person. I usually go 1-2 times per week. (PS - Did you know they offer one free friends and family class a week? It's usually on Friday's around 12:30.. hello lunch break!! Call to find out when the F&F class is that week and show up - you are welcome). I prefer Flywheel because I like having the torque numbers to gauge my results. I know that if I am not at 150 by the arm portion, I have zero chance of breaking my high score and I am not challenging my body. Spinning is also my go-to when I am hung over. Personally, I find it almost impossible to motivate myself after a night out and must pay for someone to motivate me instead. I try to drink tons of water throughout the class and sweat out all of the alcohol. Every once in a while I will mix in a double spin class. Yes, that's back-to-back 45-minute classes. You feel insanely amazing after this and I swear the second class is easier, as your legs are warm and it flies by. After I do a double, I usually take the following day off, which brings me to my next point, rest.
Sometimes less is more. It is seriously important to rest and give your body time to recover. If you don't, you could stop losing or even gain weight. Our bodies have a "protective" mechanism and when you train too hard or too often, you start burning more calories than you are taking in. When this happens, your body goes into a protective mode (similar to the mode it goes in when girls starve themselves) and it will hoard fat while burning muscles to provide energy. When I train hard and then take two days off and continue to eat right, my stomach feels its flattest, I swear!
When all else fails, call Rachel. When you really need to hit the restart button or (she will kill me for saying it) if you need a temporary/quick fix... get a colonic. You will need at least two sessions for real results and they obviously work better if you are eating tons of greens and beets and are well hydrated (she will send you a prep list if you email her). But honestly, before any huge event, vacay or even when you have hit rock bottom and are straight up struggling to change your daily eating habits, a colonic can LITERALLY get you going.