It may already be the end of February, but it’s never too late to make or restart your new year’s resolutions!
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If you’ve been slacking off your workout and diet routine because it’s just too hard to sustain on a daily basis, here are seven things you can do over the weekend so you can get back on your weight loss track more easily.
1. Plan how much you want to lose a week
This vital step is often skipped. In order for your diet and workout to be sustainable in the long run so you achieve your body goals, make sure you pace your weight loss, rather than cutting down on food or exercise based on your feelings that week.
Diet experts recommend giving yourself a consistent target of half to one and a half kilograms of weight loss a week, depending on both how intense your diet is and your body type.
2. Plan workouts
Have you heard of the saying that 21 days make a habit? If you only exercise when you “feel like it” during the week, chances are that you’ll not do it as often. It’s easier to say “yes” to an impromptu dinner invitation at 3pm, if you only decide to exercise after work at 2pm.
Plan your fitness regime over the weekend and pencil them into your weekly schedule. Planning ahead also ensures two more things: you’ll be doing cardio workouts like running, swimming, or cycling, as well as strength training, and to book classes/courts for yoga, kick-boxing, tennis or badminton games that you’ll need to secure ahead of time.
Also, make sure you don’t put off washing your workout gear. Get them clean as soon as possible, so it doesn’t turn into an excuse to take a break from your workouts!
3. Grab your friends
If you’re finding it difficult to have the motivation to go to the gym, calling up a friend (or two) in advance to join in can really help to keep your health in check. Try signing up for fun workout classes so you don’t get bored, like these fitness bootcamp classes, aerial yoga classes if you’re looking for a less intense experience, or even engaging Zumba dancing lessons!
4. Keep track of calories
Counting calories can be demoralising and difficult in our daily lives. To simplify the process, use interactive diet apps like LifeSum or MyFitnessPal on your phone to keep track of your meals by keying in the type of food you eat each day.
However, take note that the average calorie intake for women should be around 2,000 calories a day, and 2,500 calories a day for men, so don’t stray too far from this target, as studies show that our health can get seriously affected in the long run. In addition to lowered blood pressure, hair loss, and trouble concentrating, our metabolism also slows down when we eat too little, which instead counteracts our efforts.
5. Plan your meals
Ensure you have a balanced diet by having enough protein, carbohydrates, and fat in your diet, so you stay healthy and energised throughout the week, and not lethargic.
Although a low or no carbohydrate diet helps you lose weight, there’s a higher risk of giving in and binge eating on high calorie food, as you get hungry without filling carbohydrates. Plus, it’s difficult to completely swear off carbohydrates, they’re everywhere: sugar and milk in your coffee, in your favourite cakes and cookies, and even fruit! Instead, try planning meals with moderated levels of carbohydrates, and cut down the amount slowly as your body adjusts to this new diet.
Figure out what diet suits your lifestyle most before committing as the wrong diet can be unsustainable and won’t work effectively. For example, try the Paleo diet if you want to shrink your waistline, and are willing to cut out sugars and processed food from your daily life, and substitute it with lean meat and vegetables instead.
6. Prepare meals
This is linked to the previous point. If you’re intending to pack your own food, prepare those that you can ahead of time, and doesn’t perish easily. For instance, if you’re intending to have salads for lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, consider doing a larger batch and storing them in three boxes in the refrigerator. This way, you can simply grab a box and go, on those days you’ve planned for it.
For inspiration, search Pinterest and YouTube for easy-to-follow meal preparation ideas to suit your different needs!
If you’re feeling extra fancy that day and have time to spare, treat yourself to nutritious and healthy salads. Here are easy salad recipes that you can get inspiration from.
7. Rest early
To start your Monday afresh and filled with energy for work and workout, get sufficient rest. Inadequate sleep is also bad for recovering muscles that are sore from the previous day’s workout. Plus, less sleep causes slower metabolism, which means you’ll see your weight loss results slower. Take this as an excuse for more beauty sleep!