Summer is in full swing, and for most college students, that means losing as much weight as possible. Without the temptation of late night snacks, buffet style options and drinking, summer seems like a reasonable time to get your inner (and outer) balance in check. Here are a few easy options to watch that weight shed off while living a healthy overall lifestyle.
1. Choose the stairs
It is easy to take the elevator everywhere you go, but taking the stairs can add a few more steps in your day that will add up over time. Note: I do not mean taking the stairs down. Take the stairs up too! What if there are only escalators? Well, escalators weren’t invented to stand on them. While most people do use the escalators as a secondary elevator, escalators (like moving floors) are used to speed up the process of walking. So continue to walk as you are on the escalators!
2. Go for color
Whether you’re at a restaurant or at a barbecue, having a plate full of color is a easy test to make sure you are getting all the food groups. If your plate looks like it is mostly brown, it could be high in fat and carbs! Fruits and vegetables hold bright, vibrant colors. Ensuring you have those colors on your plate ensures that you have your serving of fruit and veggies.
3. The hour rule
Every hour, purposefully get out of your seat to stretch or walk around. Spending too long sitting can increase your risk of heart disease, obesity, diabetes and more. If you work at an office, getting a desk that allows you to stand while working is another alternative. Those who stand or move around every hour are more likely to be awake and attentive at work.
4. Recharge in the sun
While staying in the sun for a prolonged time can be seen as a problem, the sun gives off vitamin D, which the body needs daily. I know for me personally, getting vitamin D is essential to keeping my mental health in balance. The sun can help add a little pep and smile for the day!
5. Make it from scratch
A lot of pre-made or frozen food has preservatives and unhealthy additives. For some meals, the calories may seem lower, but they make up for it in the fats and sodium levels. Not only are they a bad habit, frozen meals are usually lacking color and freshness (of course). Find your favorite frozen meal and make it from scratch!
Well, maybe not like them.
6. Download some helpers
The best app out there, in my opinion, is the MyFitnessPal app. You can log your activity (work outs, steps, etc.), water and food intake. You can also take a start picture with your weight and at the end of the summer, an end picture to see your transformation. The most important thing is to track your calories for a while. And along with that…
7. Portion it out
I’ve found that buying a scale helps me portion my food correctly. I never would have realized how small and big some portions are. It helped me change my few on how big of meals to eat and how to properly care for my body.
8. Eat breakfast
The most important meal of the day! You’ve probably heard this since you were a kid and for good reason. Eating breakfast can help keep your sugar levels balanced throughout the day, which can help decrease overeating later. I recommend reading this short article to help understand the important of eating breakfast.
9. Stay positive
The road to becoming healthy again can get frustrating when you feel like you’ve tried everything and see no results. Studies have found that those with a positive and healthy relationship with their body are more likely to lose weight than those who are not.
If you are really looking to push yourself to achieve the best body you can before the end of summer, start by creating a goal. If your goal is to lose 20 pounds, see how many pounds a week you would need to lose to reach your goal. You can do this here or by using the MyFitnessPal app.
Next, commit yourself to working out at least three times a week. Even on your worst day, if you can get in a small session, you will thank yourself later. No workout is a bad workout if you’re getting work done. Make sure to mix cardio AND lifting (yes, women, even you) to achieve the best results.
While the gym is easy, your diet is going to be the most important thing. Keep the portions controlled and food fresh. Meal prepping for the week can help you keep balance without frantically looking for a lunch and/or dinner. Personally, I am on a lower carb diet with high fat and protein. Macros is a more precise way to track your diet because calorie counting can neglect the attention of calorie dense food without nutrients.
I would not recommend cutting carbs out completely because that is what your body goes to first for energy. Especially if you’re running, like me, you need carbs in your body still or you will become fatigue. Also, as a side note, NEVER starve yourself in hopes of losing weight. Your body will store fat in a state of shock and survival. Finding the right balance for you is key.
Only you can change your health. Why not start today?
How I Get My To-Do List Done:
8 glasses of water a day
1 meal prep meal for lunch
1 positive attitude