Spring is the Perfect Time To Kickstart Your Weight Loss Goals
You’ve heard the expression that timing is everything, right? That’s never truer than when it comes to losing weight. And with spring underway and summer on the horizon, you’re smack in the middle of the best time of the year to drop pounds.
With the warm weather setting in, many folks are starting to acknowledge the few (or more) pounds they put on during those winter months.
OK, so it’s not swimsuit season. Yet.
But spring is creeping up on us. Second, to New Year’s Day, spring is the time when many people make a commitment to lose weight.
Even if grand New Year’s resolutions are already a faded memory, now is the time to tackle weight loss or fitness goals.
Below are several tips and suggestions to help you get started or inspire you to stick with good habits. The goal should be a true lifestyle change to reach a sustainable outcome. Just remember, you want to set new habits and not make just a temporary change.
1. Reflect on why you are losing weight
Good reasons why you want to lose weight include having more energy and maximizing overall health. Ask yourself: Why do I really want to lose weight? Why do I want to be healthier? Avoid negative self-talk and use positive reinforcement when setting your goals. To set yourself free from the chains that have bound you, you need to admit to yourself that you are brave, you are worthy, you are smart, you are capable, you are strong, and you are enough. I have yet to have a person be successful in long-term weight loss for just a number on the scale. It must be a deeper, more meaningful reason.
2. Set realistic goals
Too much! Too soon! It’s tempting to think of a huge goal, but starting small is a solid strategy. Before crafting your goals, look at where you are in terms of your eating & exercise habits. With summer around the corner, it can be tempting to create super lofty goals and just focus on the big picture, which can be daunting and wind up sapping motivation. One of the biggest obstacles is extremism, whether it’s dietary or exercise. You don’t want to set goals that are unrealistic. It is important to keep it simple. Then, map out a bigger plan later.
3. Expect setbacks but don’t give up
When you were first learning to walk, you didn’t fall down and think, “Well that’s it, maybe this isn’t for me.”No, you got back up and eventually learned to walk. Success doesn’t always happen on the first try. When you face defeat—and you will—remember your younger self, who didn’t know the meaning of failure. Rise up and try again and again because the only time you truly fail is when you quit. Good thing our younger selves never quit or you’d still be crawling around everywhere
4. Strive for progress, not perfection
Some people quit because they’re frustrated by slow progress. You need to recognize that slow progress is still progress. Stop looking only at the weight scale or your 3D body scan results for validation that your healthy habits are working. Although those are both very helpful to track your progress. Also, look for the “non-scale” victories in your life: You have more energy; your clothing feels and looks better on you; you sleep better at night; you are more optimistic; your skin is clearer; you think clearer. That’s real progress. When you celebrate those victories, you’ll find the motivation to overcome even the hardest of days.
5. Spring clean your refrigerator and pantry
Your pantry and refrigerator are an embodiment of the way you view food. They’re the first place you go when you want something to eat, and often somewhere you go without even knowing what you’re after. So naturally, they’re going to have a big impact on what you eat, how much and how often. When you make a commitment to losing weight and/or making a lifestyle change, it’s important to give yourself carte blanche. A fresh start! Revitalize your relationship with food and your view of it by completely cleaning out your fridge and pantry. You might be surprised by what you find hiding in that pantry. Ditch the tempting treats and restock your pantry with all the right stuff. Springtime is the perfect time for a spring cleaning of your pantry and your fridge. Make sure you place the most highly nutritious foods in the front, and less nutritious foods in the back, and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark “food” joy.
6. Eat slower
Take your time chewing your food. Many people eat too quickly and have overloaded themselves before their stomach signals their brain that “I’ve had enough.” I know this sounds odd but test it for yourselves, trust us, it makes a difference.
7. Is it thirst or hunger?
Many people say they’re hungry but often they’re just thirsty. Stay hydrated by drinking a minimum of 2 liters (that’s about 8 cups) of water every day. You’ll notice that cravings and hunger will diminish when you are staying fully hydrated.
8. Avoid liquid calories
Speaking of staying hydrated, focus on water or healthy juices. Soft drinks, fancy coffees, and alcohol are loaded with calories. Cut back, or eliminate them as much as you can.
9. Pick healthy options & plan your meals in advance
You remember your mom saying, “Eat more fruits and vegetables,” well, we still agree. They’re loaded with helpful vitamins and minerals, and aid your body in a variety of ways. Mix in plenty of whole-grain foods, too. Avoid processed foods as best as you can. Also, when you plan your meals in advance, It produces less waste and often leads to better choices. Again, start slowly. Meal planning can be daunting, so start with one meal a day and build up from there. It can become a habit that is sustainable.
10. Write it down
Food and exercise tracking and journaling can help you see what you consume or how often you are making it to the gym. If you notice a bad pattern, work to eliminate it. If it’s good, congratulate yourself and reinforce it.
The more you workout, the more benefits you will experience. There isn’t just one magic exercise program that fits everyone. So, which do you choose? The best choice is to exercise with the least obstacles and what you enjoy the most. Also, remember adding variety to your workouts also provides a multitude of benefits and keeps your fitness fresh. Do things that are realistic.” Joining a gym without the vibe or community you are seeking or vowing to run 100 miles a week if you’re a beginner is likely setting yourself up for failure and injury.
12. Make exercise a family affair
Now that spring has sprung and it’s daylight savings time, take advantage of the long days and go for a walk after dinner. Grab the kids and make it a family affair. a nice walk together or a fun Team Training class boosts metabolism, helps control weight, and makes you feel happy.
13. Take advantage of Spring Temps
Winter, with its cold temps and long, dark days, doesn’t exactly lend itself to outdoor activities. When spring hits and the temps start to soar, getting outside can do wonderful things for your weight loss goals. Spring days contain beautiful sunshine and refreshing, light winds, making it the perfect time to get outside. Take advantage of the warmth and go for a long stroll at the local park or around your neighborhood. Enjoy some fun, outdoor home workouts and keep yourself outside and moving in the beautiful weather. You’ll burn calories *and* soak up some of that much-needed vitamin D that’s been so hard to get all winter.
14. Get enough sleep, it really matters
People who sleep less than seven hours a night are more likely to weigh more. In fact, a major review found that shorter sleep durations increase your likelihood of obesity. Yes, really. Sleep is super important! And even though we know this (or we should) sometimes… life gets in the way! And you get busy. And sleep simply takes a back seat. You can re-prioritize sleep by practicing good sleep hygiene. Keep the bedroom for sleep (and special cuddles) only, steer clear of social media in the hour before bed, keep your bedroom clean, dry, and cool, and never go to bed when you’re not tired.