If you long for a trim, healthy body but fear you don’t have the time — or energy — to do what it takes, check out these tips from celebrity fitness trainer Valerie Waters. The author of Red Carpet Ready says getting fit fast is possible if you know how to do it right.
1. Get moving with an effective exercise routine
All types of exercise are important, but to see optimal results, you have to incorporate a variety of full-body activities to maximize your efforts. If you strength-train, add cardio. If you’re a yoga bunny, add push-ups, lunges and spinning to your weekly workouts. You don’t have to spend all day in the gym; you just have to choose the most effective mix of workouts to see the results you want.
2. Get the most from your calories
“To maintain your healthy weight, incorporate healthful, nutrient-rich and calorically appropriate foods into your diet,” says Waters. For example, Florida grapefruit juice has 90 calories in an eight-ounce glass, compared to more than 100 calories in many commonly consumed 100-percent fruit juices. Half a medium grapefruit contains about 60 calories. The best part: Both are naturally fat- and sodium-free and provide a variety of essential nutrients needed for overall good health.
3. Commit to your New Year’s Resolution
Think of all possible instances in which you foresee being tempted to break your resolution and write down a plan of action to avoid the temptations. For instance, plan your meals a week ahead to avoid a “what’s for dinner?” decision on an empty stomach. Schedule your workouts as you would any other appointments and hold yourself accountable. Instead of calling your New Year’s Resolution a diet, consider this a total lifestyle change.
4. Help keep your immune system up and running
Nothing derails a fitness plan faster than illness. Help keep your immune system at its strongest by getting enough vitamin C in your diet. An eight-ounce glass of grapefruit juice contains at least 100 percent of the daily value for vitamin C — a healthy way to start your day.
5. Be realistic
Waters advises her clients to approach their daily diets with a 90/10 ratio. This means 90 percent of the time, you should fill up on nutrient-rich foods such as whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy, and fruits and vegetables.
Rewarding yourself is important, too. For the remaining 10 percent of the time, enjoy a piece of dark chocolate, a frozen yogurt or a slice of pizza. This philosophy will help you satisfy hunger without feeling deprived.
6. Involve your friends
Remain accountable for your fitness goals by getting others involved. Ask a girlfriend or colleague to go ice skating one day and mountain biking the next, or hit up a yoga class. Combine a mix of cardio, strength and flexibility, and you’ll both reap the rewards.
7. Rise and sweat
Working out in the morning gives you more energy throughout the day, raises your metabolism and helps you sleep better at night.
8. Sneak in a workout
Just because you finished your official workout doesn’t mean you can’t get in some more. Have an extra 10 minutes? Spend it jumping rope and burn an extra 100 calories. While catching up on your Tivo selections, try lifting five-pound weights over your head instead of snacks to your lips.
9. Stay hydrated
Often, our brains say we’re hungry when our bodies are actually thirsty. When you feel that urge to snack, have a tall glass of water first. Chances are that will curb your urge. If you are still hungry, a high-protein food — such as a handful of nuts — will kill your hunger pangs fast.
10. Hit the heights
Studies show that training burns calories faster at high altitudes than at sea level. If you can’t run to Denver for every workout, check your local gym. Many offer high-altitude programs in special chambers.