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How to make a comeback after taking “time off” from fitness

“Through every generation of the human race there has been a constant war, a war with fear. Those who have the courage to conquer it are made free and those who are conquered by it are made to suffer until they have the courage to defeat it, or death takes them.” ~Alexander The Great

Have you struggled with getting back into shape? Maybe you were a former elite athlete that stopped competing, or you recently changed jobs, uprooted, had kids, got back from an extended vacation, or like many, you look at a chocolate cake and automatically gain weight.

We see top fitness models in peak condition and don’t realize just how fine tuned their daily routines are. It takes work and dedication.

Don’t worry, there’s hope! I sat down with two fitness coaches and they share some of the “essentials” when it comes to hitting a smart “reset” and kicking off a healthier lifestyle.

Here are our Top 10 tips to get your fit bod back on track after taking time off from fitness:
1. Cut out sugar. 
If you have to have it, no more than 15 grams a day and stay away from artificial sweeteners. (No diet soda).
2. Drink lots of water with fresh lemon. 
 
Or you can use a few drops of any 100% lemon/citrus essential oil. Hydrate or “diedrate” is key.
 
3. Use a smaller plate.
This simple tip has helped many clients (and myself) really connect to the concept of “portion control.”
4. Slow down. 
Eat with chopsticks or scale down the size of your utensils. Use a small fork and a teaspoon, for example.
5. No white bread, rice, flour or pasta. 
Stick to 100% wheat or better yet, go gluten free. Quinoa, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, and cornmeal, are all gluten free and delicious!
6. Eat soup. 
Have a vegetable based, low sodium soup as dinner for at least three nights in a row, or every other night for a week. Or juice! Blend all of the good ingredients and drink your food. This is a great summer treat!
7. Avoid red meat. 
Eat cold water fish and organic poultry, and keep the portions to the size of a deck of cards.
8. Eat the rainbow. 
 
Enjoy colorful, organic vegetables at every meal and organic berries for breakfast and snacks.
9. Prepare for eating carrots, celery, peppers, etc. in advance. 
Meal Prep: Wash, chop and put in baggies for easy access.
10. Eat a cup of Cheerios or Chex if you need a snack. 
(Did you know Chex are gluten free?) This will help when you get the crunchy munchies.
11. Do NOT sit and eat while watching TV. 
Take up knitting, reading, scrabble or something.
 
12. Get off your butt, get moving and CHALLENGE yourself to break a serious sweat at least 5 days a week for an hour. 
Get out of your comfort zone–sign up for a boot camp class, take a boxing lesson, do an intense yoga dvd, lift some heavier weights. Go at your own pace and enjoy it!
And the hardest one of all for me, maybe even you…
13. BREATHE. Relax and let go. 
Turn off the gadgets and meditate or sit still for a few minutes at least once a day. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply in and out.
Visualize your path….healthier, happier, slimmer, stronger, sexier, feeling good, and taking care of you.

Write it down.

  • 3 lines- WHY are you doing this, WHAT do you want to achieve, HOW will you feel after?This is your goal- dig deep!

Take a picture, jot down your current weight, log your fitness and determine your foundation – set a baseline to work off of and stay true to your goals.

It’s a journey, not a marathon. Everything is easy day one, so make sure you keep it simple and stay consistent so that you can continue it well after week 2. They key? Find something you love and stick to it!