Spring weight loss tips that actually work
Spring weight loss tips are a dime a dozen. But these ones are straight from the experts at SFD. It’s natural that as the weather starts to warm up, our thoughts turn to beach days, BBQs and… eep, bathing suits. Spring is when a lot of people decide to lose weight, or recommit to their weight loss program of choice – in fact, it’s second only to New Year’s Day! So, we figured that it was time for a little spring jumpstart.
The SFD Squad is sharing our best Spring weight loss tips to get you cruising into summer like a pro. You’ll be rocking those summer dresses in no time flat.
1. Discover your Big Why
Have a good solid think about why you wanted to lose weight. Finding this deeper motivation is exceptionally important when you’re committing to a health goal. Take a few moments to seriously think about the reasons why you want to lose weight. Rather than just “I want to look good in skinny jeans” or “I want to fit into a size 10” it should be a deeper reason like “I want to be healthy enough to run around with my kids” or “I want to have more energy” or “I want feel healthy.”
It’s this deeper reason that’s going to give you the perseverance to keep going and the grit to say no to that second serving of fries or glass of rose.
Ask yourself: Why do I really want to lose weight? Why do I want to be healthier? Is this reason really my big why? If you’re stuck on a reason like “I want to wear skinny jeans” then think more deeply about what those skinny jeans are going to give you. For example, do you think you might go out more if you were slimmer, do you think your husband might find you sexier, or do you think you’d have more friends? Basically, you’re looking for the answer to the question: What is my ultimate motivation to lose weight?
2. Create realistic spring weight loss goals
Yes, even before you start, you should be setting goals! They might be weight loss goals, or size goals or health goals… or they might not be. Instead, they might be mindset, social or fitness goals. Goals are what get you going and keep you going. Basically, the minute you stop setting goals is the minute you stop achieving things. Which is a big part of why SuperFastDiet doesn’t end after 12 weeks, or even 24 weeks. It is an ongoing program. Because weight loss and health is an ongoing achievement. Simply maintaining your weight is a goal in itself.
As you move through the program, you may want to lose a few more kilos, or you may want to tone up your arms, or your goal might be to feel ‘free’ this summer and not worry about how you look. Alternatively, your goal could be health related – perhaps you want to walk 5 kilometres (or run!) or you may be motivated to get your cholesterol below 5.5.
No matter what your goals are or how quickly you achieve them, it’s important to keep reflecting on them and keep re-setting them. And to keep rewarding yourself too!
Here’s a good reminder of how to set realistic goals that will ensure you succeed.
3. Spring clean your pantry and fridge
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 a new health care routine or lifestyle, it’s important to give yourself carte blanche. A fresh start! Revitalise 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. Little things like chocolate, chips and high carb treats sneak their way in when you’re not looking. And when you’re hungry or snacky – well… they just happen to be there, don’t they? Ditch the tempting treats and restock your pantry with all the right stuff.
Spring time is the perfect time for a spring clean of your pantry and your fridge. Make sure you place the most highly nutritious foods in the front, less nutritious foods in the back and get rid of anything that doesn’t spark food joy. I feel better already!
4. Practise savvy swaps
The great thing about intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t require you to give up your favourite foods. But on a general basis, we can all benefit from limiting our bad food habits and swapping out things that perhaps aren’t so good for us with things that are a little less fried, fatty or deficient in nutrition. Making healthy choices is all about deciding what’s most important to you. And here at SFD, we totally encourage that. We’re not that annoyingly buff personal training who yells at you like you’re a five year old. We tell you what’s good for you, what’s not so good, give you all the facts and then let you decide for yourself.
Basically, chances are, you’ll achieve your goals even if you do enjoy a glass of wine or bowl of ice cream, but if you are particularly set on reaching those goals for spring, then you may have to exercise the willpower muscle a little.
It’s just a matter of deciding what’s more important. If you love your coffee, but you also really want to fit into those skinny jeans by the end of September, then why not try black coffee instead of a latte? You’ll cut more than 200 calories from your daily intake in a flash, and who knows, you might realise that you can live with drinking black coffee on some days of the week.
We’ve put together a great blog on some clever food and drink swaps you’ll barely even notice.
5. Get enough sleep to aid your weight loss
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 by 89% in children and 55% in adults. And another study, which limited a group of adults to five hours of sleep a night, saw an increase in weight by 0.82 kilos.
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-prioritise sleep by practising 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. If you do have trouble sleeping, get up after 20 minutes of trying and do something else, like reading a boring book or doing the dishes. A sleep tracker like this one can also help you to monitor your sleep duration and sleep quality.
6. Keep a food diary
Good habits and a good routine will keep you on track even during tough times. Sometimes little habits like keeping a food diary or a calorie tracker can give you the motivation and the determination you need to stick with it. Small wins like being under your calorie goal for the day, or finding a new low-calorie food give you a good little rush of dopamine, which is the reward chemical in your brain. It’s this chemical that encourages you to go after bigger goals.
Besides which, keeping a food diary is just good practise when you’re intermittent fasting or counting calories. It helps ensure you don’t develop calorie amnesia or I-don’t-remember-eating-that-itis. And the simple habit of writing down what you’ve eaten is a great way to keep yourself accountable and on track.
7. Watch your portions
Sexy portions equal sexy proportions. One of the first things our Super Squad members learn is how to measure the right portions for fish, meat, veggies and carbs. We use a simple trick where we teach you to remember the right portions by the size of your hand. One hand laid out flat is a good size for fish, a fist was a good size for a red meat portion. Your thumb is a good size for butter or margarine. Your two hands cupped together are the right size for a portion of veggies and your fist shows the size of one serving of fruit.
Little tricks like these help to short-circuit complacency and guestimation. We highly recommend memorising them, because they’ll help you out of any sticky situations where you’re really unsure. We’re also big fans of investing in 1960s style plates, or “grandma plates” as they’re sometimes known. As our appetite has gotten bigger as a society, our portions have become out of control. Investing in smaller dinner plates, bowls and dishes will make sure you don’t eat too much. A kitchen scale is an even better investment, because it’ll tell you exactly how big a serving is.
As a general rule, your plate should be made up of half veggies or salad, one quarter protein and one quarter carbs. And you should eat them in that order too! It’s never a bad idea to weigh things use our basic tricks of hand sized protein, lots of veggies and carbs or dessert last. (We certainly will be!)
8. Just eat real food this spring
As much as insta-models try to co-opt this phrase to sell you weight loss tea and faux food, we still think that at its core, it’s a good mantra. Just eat real food. Forget the fancy superfoods in shiny plastic packets that cost $40 per kilo. Forget the newest low fat fad cereal. Forget fancy juicers and low cal chips. Just eat real food. That’s it!
Real food fills you up. Real food gives you the nutrients you need. And real food helps you feel satisfied. Fill your plate with colourful fruits and vegetables. We know, from looking at hundreds of food diaries (including our own) that the kinds of food we tend never eat enough of is fruits and vegetables. Any vegetables are good. As long as they’re not fried or swimming in butter, you can eat up, safe in the knowledge that they’re very low in calories, provide great phytonutrients and contain lots of fibre, which is essential for your gut health.
9. And our final spring weight loss tip? Weave exercise into every day
Our last tip is all about moving it. Just a little bit. Now, you may (or may not) know that exercise actually isn’t great for weight loss. But it is good for your mindset, it’s fabulous for your health, it’ll boost your metabolism and it will help you tone up as you slim down. Most of us are guilty of spending way too long at a desk five days a week. And sedentary behaviour like this can have some absolutely horrendous health effects like increased risk of cancer and heart disease. So, to help you kick those weight loss goals and be as healthy as you possibly can be, weave a little bit of exercise into your days.
Whether it’s a pilates class at lunch time with your work mates instead of lunch, taking the train and walking instead of driving, or going outside with your kids (or grandkids) to kick a ball around instead of watching TV. The more you weave exercise in, the healthier you’ll be and the more you’ll want to move too! Besides, it’s so much easier to head out for a walk after dinner now that the days are getting longer again.
And those are our top spring weight loss tips, Super Squad! What are your best spring weight loss tips? Let us know by leaving a comment.
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