10 Ways to Spring Ahead & Lose WeightArticle posted in: Lifestyle
Spring has sprung, and so has the fact that bathing suit season is right around the corner. Get outside and enjoy everything this season has to offer, including plenty of opportunities to spring ahead and lose weight—all in time for summer!
Enjoy spring weather the South Beach way with these 10 tips to get back on track with healthy living:
1. Get Back Outside.
The snow has melted; temperatures are climbing; and the daylight is lasting a little longer. Remember those evening walks you used to take after dinner? The lunchtime strolls you took? Make them a priority again. According to Harvard Health, a leisurely 30-minute walk can help someone weighing 125 lbs burn 120 calories; someone weighing 155 lbs burn 149 calories; and someone who’s 185 lbs burn 178 calories. A game of Frisbee burns 90, 112 and 133 calories, respectively. If you’re not exercising at all yet, easy activities like these are great starting points. If you’re already doing some vigorous exercise for 30 minutes a day and you add these activities, you’ll accelerate your weight loss exponentially.
2. Row, Row, Row a Boat.
Have you ever tried rowing? Or snorkeling? Or racquetball? When you try a brand-new activity, not only will you obtain the calorie burning, weight loss promoting benefits of exercise, but you’ll also help your brain stay sharp. Until the mid 1990s, researchers thought people were born with however many brain cells they would die with, but new Harvard research suggests that’s not the case. Challenging the brain, staying physically active, and being social engaged can help generate new cells, protecting the brain and keep it more resilient to cognitive decline, dementia, hearing loss and depression. Activities like yoga or Tai Chi can also help with stress management.
3. Do Some Spring Cleaning.
Remember those calories-burned figures you read up there in point number one? Well, here are a few more examples: According to Harvard Health, a 125-lbs person can burn 135 calories washing their car, windows, and scrubbing floors. A 155-lb person can burn 149 calories raking the lawn or planting seedlings and shrubs. A 200-lb person can burn 222 calories for every 30 minutes they spend laying sod or crushed rock. Yes, you can hire a house cleaner or landscaping company to help you get ahead, but you’re missing out on those extra opportunities to exercise and reap the health benefits that are associated with being outdoors. Exposure to greenspace reduces the risk of type II diabetes, cardiovascular disease, premature death, preterm birth, stress, and high blood pressure. It also improves sleep duration, according to a July 2018 article published in Environmental Research.
4. Discover New Places.
Have you ever seen the cherry blossom trees in bloom in Washington D.C.? Ever seen Arizona’s red rocks or colorful desert vegetation that hits its peak during spring? Plan a vacation. Fewer Americans are going on vacation nowadays, despite data that suggests vacations help people de-stress, feel happier and boost productivity and mood. Harvard Business Review found that Americans used to take three weeks of vacation in 2000 but took slightly more than two weeks in 2015. And, even when on vacation, more than 60% keep working remotely. In the spring, when nature is in its glory—or those popular tourist destinations aren’t as busy as they will be the summer—take a vacation and do some exploring on foot or by bike. And, do some research before you go on where are the best farm-to-table restaurants so you can plan to eat healthy, hearty meals. Take your South Beach Diet snacks in the car so you won’t have to stop for fast food.
5. Start a Garden.
Whether you have an acre of land you could till for a robust garden or you only have a windowsill with which to work, it’s possible to grow your own produce and not only eat better but save money as a result. Beans, beets, squash, kale and peas—not to mention herbs like basil and mint—are some of the easiest crops to grow from cheap, accessible seeds, according to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Start prepping your garden area now and then visit a local gardening center for tips and advice on when you can begin planting. (It’s usually after the threat of frost has passed.) Thirty minutes of gardening burns around 167 calories for someone weighing 155 lbs. Digging burns 186 calories. Plus, if gardening is a new venture for you, this falls into that “try something new” category that will help keep your mind sharp.
6. Take a Cooking Class.
It’s a wonderful thing to know how to prepare healthy meals. It’s even better if you can create meals that are different so as to never get tired of eating nutritious foods. A fun activity for you—or you and a friend or spouse—is to take a cooking class. Sign up for a local class, or maybe you know a chef or experienced cook who works in a restaurant, church or happens to be a family member. If so, ask them to come give you a few lessons in your kitchen. Tell them in advance you’re following a low carb diet and they should have no trouble offering up fresh ideas.
7. Spring for a New Water Bottle.
Like your water really cold? Buy an insulated tumbler. Have no idea how much you’re drinking in a day? Buy a bottle with ounce marks or even words of encouragement like… “almost there” or “keep going.” From shatterproof glass and stainless steel to dishwasher-safe plastics, there are literally thousands of options out there to help you get your 64 ounces a day (the recommended daily amount we advocate here at South Beach). Water helps keep you full, helps your body flush out waste, improves digestion, hydrates cells, the list goes on. It’s also calorie-free, so and the perfect beverage to drink when weight loss is your goal.
8. Go to Sleep.
Yes, you lose an hour of sleep in the spring thanks to Daylight Savings. BUT—if you embrace your tiredness at your new 10:00 p.m. and hit the hay, you’ll get more sleep and maybe even launch a healthier sleep pattern, which has positive effects on mental and physical health as well as eating choices. In the March 2016 issue of Sleep, researchers reported that sleep-deprived people seem to consume more and eat unhealthier foods—possibly because they’re not able to fight unhealthy cravings. You can up the energy ante by partaking in early morning exercise, which has been proven to increase energy levels and focus throughout the day.
9. Lay off the Salt.
Your body tends to hold onto fluids when you eat foods high in sodium and so many of those hearty soups, casseroles and wintry crockpot creations can be high in salt. In this season of all things fresh, watercress, arugula, spinach and artichokes are in and there’s no reason to add more than a sprinkle over your fresh salad—if any salt at all. Always pay attention to the nutrition labels processed foods. Seek out lower-sodium alternatives whenever possible and try seasoning foods with herbs, spices and lemon or lime juice.
10. Skip the Detoxes, Cleanses and Fad Diets.
It’s tempting to want to “spring clean” your system so to speak, but there’s no reason to drink only liquids, skip meals or deprive your body of nutritious foods in the name of weight loss. The South Beach Diet advocates lean proteins, healthy fats, tons and tons of vegetables, and no empty or sugary carbs. In short, you’ll lose weight and improve your health and overall nutrition and you’ll learn how to eat healthy for life. If you’re sold on the idea of detoxing, check out a healthier way to do it. >