May is here and I am sure most of us are excited that summer is right around the corner! Don’t get ahead of yourself just yet! Prepare your body and mind for the impending warmer months with a few tips to jump-start your metabolism and will have you feeling energized and ready to tackle the next few months!
Eat 5-6 smaller meals a day: eating only 2-3 larger meals a day can cause you to overeat later in the day, snack a lot more, and may cause weight gain. Instead, try to consume 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day, you are less likely to skip meals or eat late at night. By consuming less more often, blood sugar levels will remain stable as well as your metabolism.
Choose healthy food choices: maintaining a healthy weight is easier if you can follow a balanced diet high in vegetables, fruits, and protein. Many vegetables are easy to prepare, taking no more than 5-7 minutes to cook. Add in your favorite fruits such as apples, grapes, bananas, and kiwi, which not only adds color to your meal, but fruits and vegetables are a main source for vitamins and nutrients. Protein is required for the human body and should be a part of every meal. Consider low-fat options such as chicken, fish, or tofu. Even breakfast items such as yogurt, eggs, and milk are loaded with protein. Skip the empty calories which can leave you feeling sluggish and craving more of these foods. Instead of soda, try 100% juices or stick to water with fruit for flavor. Instead of fried chips, try baked versions, nuts or whole-wheat pretzels which are healthier choices.
Begin a workout routine: for beginners, starting a workout program can be scary and overwhelming. Find a buddy who is just as motivated as you are. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise a day. If you’re unable to get the 30 minutes in, begin with 10-15 minutes and work your way up. Try walking around the neighborhood or go for a stroll during your lunch break. After 2 weeks, consider increasing your time and length of exercise by 10% to increase endurance. Adding weights to your routine is a great way to burn extra calories and keep your metabolism on high. Walking with weights in each hand is a great way to increase calorie burn. After a few weeks, try doing some bicep curls or triceps extensions while walking or in-between jogging.
As always, check with your physician before beginning any exercise program.