5 Secrets to Losing Weight03.07.11
Swimsuit season is quickly approaching. And for many of us, that means losing weight and toning the body this spring as we aspire to our bikini fit bodies for the fast coming summer season. Dr. Carrie McCulloch, co-owner of Kinected – a popular pilates studio in New York City, shows us the right moves and the correct attitude to get your body in optimum shape.
Ladies, realize that “quick ways” to lose weight are often not healthy, nor sustainable. Change –both in habit and body – takes time. So if you are bent on making a quick change, make your first goal a change in your habits themselves (ex: “I will get out of bed three times this week for spin class,”) instead of focusing on an arbitrary outcome (ex: “I must lose five pounds by March 31st.”) Enjoy the process, and be present in it – recognize, acknowledge, and perhaps even journal the emotions and thoughts (both elating and frustrating) that arise during the journey. The strength afforded by your new found awareness alone may surprise you.
Now, while you are enjoying the process, here are five secrets to help keep you on the path to success.
No 1. Do what makes your heart beat
If your attempt at regular morning “Rocky” runs has failed miserably in the past, then try something new. Perhaps running bored you, or maybe it did not suit your schedule or body type. Whatever the reasons for your prior fitness fumbles, acknowledge them and move on. Staying in shape takes commitment, but it should also be fun. So take a step out of your comfort zone and experiment a little. Try a swing class, dabble in water aerobics or fly on a trapeze – until you find an activity you enjoy.
No. 2 Strength in numbers
Studies consistently show that working out with a friend is a) more fun, and b) more fruitful. Pick a partner (a friend, co-worker, spouse, etc.) and sign up for workouts together. Accountability does a body good.
No. 3 A recipe for success
Dish out at least five 30-minute heart-pumping sessions per week, work in a few effective toning and strength-training sessions, and don’t forget to spice it up. Add a spinning class to your weekly running routine, work in intervals and inclines on your treadmill treks, throw in a Downward Dog with your Teaser. Whatever mix you choose variety will keep you balanced – both physically and emotionally – and interested at the same time. Remember your brain requires a workout as well.
No. 4 Multitask with a snack
Always on the go? Keep a stash of satisfying snacks (i.e., a bag of almonds, a protein bar) and a bottle water with you at all times. They will come in handy as healthy sustenance to ward off fast-food cravings and maintain focus.
No. 5 Wherever you go, work up a sweat
Staying in shape does not require you to always be in a gym or a pilates studio. Shift your attitude. Realize that you can work out wherever you are, and you won’t be so apt to fall of the fitness wagon. Stuck at work? Take the stairs for the day. Travel a ton? Check out online Web sites, such as Yoga Today and Pilates Anytime, for fantastic classes that you can do anytime, anywhere. Or before you leave town, ask your instructor or trainer to create a 15 to 30 minute morning routine that you can practice in your hotel room before heading out for the day.
Written by Carrie McCulloch, MD
Dr. Carrie McCulloch is a former journalist, who began studying pilates prior to entering medical school in 2004. As co-founder of Kinected, a chic pilates studio in Chelsea, Manhattan, Dr. McCulloch has won a number of awards for her creativity and teaching from the Northeast Group on Educational Affairs of the Association of American Medical Colleges as well as from Mount Sinai.