Summer slimdown: 5 tips to help you lose 5 pounds by Memorial Day
By Brittany Anas
Pool openings and the unofficial start to summer are now just a few weeks away. And while you can’t completely transform your body in a few weeks, there are a few weight loss tricks to help you lose 5 or 6 pounds before Memorial Day. (Remember: Healthy, sustainable weight loss is defined as about 1 to 2 pounds a week).
Here are five tips that will help you lose 5 pounds by Memorial Day (which falls on Monday, May 26 this year).
- Just say no to work food. If your office is anything like the ones we’ve been in, there’s a communal table that has an offering of treats: Leftover Easter candy, chips and queso on Cinco de Mayo, homemade pastries in the morning for no other reason than the day of the week ends in the letter “Y.” It’s a table of good intentions — one of your co-workers ridding his own home of sugar or maybe your boss just wants to share her homemade pie. But those treats tend to be unplanned and, by the end of the week, can add several hundred calories to your diet. Alternative: Maybe you love the friendly conversations that occur at that gathering space? Try bringing in some healthy snacks or inviting a co-worker for a walk during lunch.
- Increase the intensity of your workouts. Having trouble losing those last few stubborn pounds? Celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels has a simple trick to overcome that hurdle: Up the intensity of your workout so that you’re working out at 85 percent of your Maximum Heart Rate. For example, the average maximum heart rate of a 40 year old is 180 — so a heart rate target zone of 50 to 85 percent would range from 90 beats per minute to 153 beats per minute. Try wearing a heart rate monitor to your workouts to get an accurate measure of your heart rate. You can wear a heart rate monitor on either a chest strap or a watch. We like this easy-to-wear Wahoo Fitness TICKR Heart Rate Monitor chest strap that connects to your smart phone to deliver results. (It’s $60, which is a steal). You can find a selection of heart rate monitors at REI, where you’ll earn an extra 4 percent Cash Back when you shop with ShopAtHome.com, plus other exclusive deals.
- Load up your plates with veggies. Limit your meat to 3 to 4 ounces and keep full with veggies and salads. The high fiber in veggies will keep you from overeating. Now that it is grilling season, make some chicken and veggie kabobs, going heavy on the veggies.
- Add weights to your walk. Lots of personal trainers advocate a daily, 30-minute walk. It’s not just an escape from your frantic schedule, but it will help you burn some extra calories — which may be much needed if you’ve been at your desk all day. Bring along some light weights on your walk to get the most out of your time and to add some strength training. (You’ll be loving the muscle definition by the end of the summer).
- Cut the soda. Think about it this way: If you drink one can of soda a day, that’s about 140 calories a day, or 980 calories a week. If you’re craving something fizzy, pour yourself some San Pellegrino with a a dash of low-calorie cranberry juice to sweeten it up.
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