GET TONED! GET FIT! GET MOTIVATED TODAY!!!!!!!! =)
February is the month of love for many reasons: Valentine's Day, chocolate candy, sweet(tarts), red roses, romantic dinners and of course, the beloved wedding proposal. February makes a lovely month for other reasons too: the Super Bowl, the Daytona 500, the sorting out of “March Madness” and my personal trainer favorite, the weight loss plateau. Another way to explain February is pivotal, 80% of health & fitness “resolutionists” will have hit their plateau and quit losing weight by the end of the month.
Don’t let February be that month for you, to get toned and be primo for Spring Break, you must grasp the three most important components of achieving any desired weight loss or body fat percentage goal and break the weight loss plateau - hit it and quit it!
Caloric intake – be accountable for the food you eat every day. Journal what you consume until you are familiar with how many calories or “kcals” you are eating. Don’t cheat, if you won’t go write it down, don’t eat it. Each person depending upon on size, shape, fitness level and age, require a specific amount of daily kcals to build muscle mass and/or burn body fat. There is no magic diet or pill; find fresh fruits & vegetables and quality protein. Pay attention to portion sizes so that you can nourish your body and become healthy.
Caloric expenditure - yes EXERCISE!! It doesn’t have to be in a big gym or running five miles either. There are many ways to increase the total amount of calories you burn in a day. For example, walking one flight of stairs burns 25kcals, and walking briskly for 10min (total) in a day can easily burn an extra 80-100kcals. You can take it one step further and participate in organized structured physical activities with family and friends. Plan a fun day together and play sports or participate in parks and recreation, the added support and camaraderie can lead to extra effort and therefore more kcals burned in a day. The most effective way to maximize your time and effort would be to hire a health & fitness specialist that can formulate a personal nutrition and workout plan that is specific to your body type, lifestyle and be able to take in consideration bone & joint limitations and/or medications.
Variety – “the spice of life” third and most important. You can have the greatest diet and perfect workout routine and still hit a plateau and quit losing weight. The body likes for things to be balanced and in harmony, after 4-6 weeks of the same food and workout routines your body will adapt and you will cease to see results. Once you hit this plateau of no change, measure your results, make evaluations, then vary the amount/type of food & exercise you choose to do. Simple as that. If you hit a weight loss plateau, quit what you’re doing and vary it up.
By February’s end, hitting a plateau is the signal for change. Bodies that were once good at storing fat and gaining weight through winter will now become bodies that are primed to burn fat and lose weight for spring and summer. Having mental focus, family support, and the knowledge to change, you too can make February your month to love.
About the author: David has made physical fitness and healthy living a lifelong quest. He is the owner of a local fitness studio in Bowling Green. He holds a M.S. in Excercise Science from WKU and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.