Tuesday, January 4, 2011

New Year, New You

It seems like every year, we all make some resolution of toning or shaping up. After all the holiday gluttony, I can see why. And let me tell you now, I'm far from being immune - though, I tend to make resolutions every three months until I collapse from exhaustion (have you tried partaking in a turkey eating contest with my family?). Well, this year is different from the last. I'm going to learn how to self motivate and keep up with my exercises and possible diet. 

Now diets have gotten a bad rap from several mediums. A lot of people say they don't work and for the most part, these people are right. The diets they're talking about are fad diets, which rarely work at all - think Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. Real dieters will tell you, however, it's not so much the portions you eat a day, but what those portions are made up of. 

Here are a few diet books that I've personally tried and seen results:

  1. The Abs Diet - Now in a new edition, David Zinczenko - the editor-in-chief of Men's Health - combines common sense diet knowledge, a great exercise regimen and meal plans to help you get back into shape. I can't tell you much about what the new edition contains, but the older edition did help me shed off extra pounds - up until I stopped, anyway. There's a supplemental cookbook and a recipe book that you can purchase, a women's version of the diet, as well as, workout DVDs (for the ladies) if that's your fancy.  
  2. Also from the editors of Men's Health comes The Belly Off! Diet - written along with Jeff Csatari. Not to be confused with Flat Belly Diet, Belly Off! started off as an idea online. It compiles true results stories of people online, combines techniques used by several online users and created this great diet and exercise plan. Like The Abs Diet, Belly Off! includes an exercise section that'll aid you to complete your weight-loss goal. It also includes recipes - so you don't have to go off and buy another book - and a grocery list. 
  3. Now there's nothing more common sense than the Eat This, Not That series - also from Men's Health (I'm sensing a pattern here). Because there are several, the most important guides are Supermarket Survival Guide and the Restaurant Survival Guide. If you have kids who are less than active, you might want to think about getting the for Kids! edition.
  4. Because the time to mold your beach body is now, rather than the week before Spring Break, your best bet is to check out P90X. I warn you - as I have found out for myself - these are intense workouts - even the yoga pretty much crippled me. It's not for the faint of heart or those easily discouraged. If you do take this route, I suggest you start out with a lighter workout first. That way it's not too much of a shock when you step into it. Check more info either via Amazon or the Beachbody website. The package includes a nutrition guide, an exercise planner and 13 DVDs. It's pricey, so it's not something you want to buy unless you're determined. 
Setting all this aside, if you want to lose weight without spending money, the best laid plans are ones that make sense. Drop the fatty foods you know are bad for you. Stop eating out as much, and choose healthier foods if you wind up at a restaurant. When preparing your own meals, choose lean cut meats and chickens, fish containing Omega-3. Make sure to have plenty of veggies - try the thirds idea, where you divide your plate into three sections, dedicating two-thirds to veggies and carbs (not too much of the latter if you're not openly active). Take walks and bike rides. But most importantly, find a partner who is motivated if you don't happen to be - they'll motivate you if it kills you. And don't drop your healthy choices once you're at the achieved goal. Otherwise, you'll just slump back into bad habits. Remember, three healthy meals a day tagged along with three healthy snacks in between. Trade your potato chips for carrots and your candy for nuts. You can do this.

10 Minute Trainer - Workout for the Busiest People

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