Has the summer routine of rooftop cocktails and backyard barbecues caught up with you? We feel your pain. While we all know that moderation is key to staying fit and healthy all year round, there's something about summer that messes up our internal compass... resulting in a few added pounds, right around the time we're reaching for that swimsuit.
Sweat it out
Exercise is an essential part of any healthy routine, and it's no different when it comes to losing a pesky, persistent pound that you picked up somewhere between June and August. According to LiveStrong, one pound of weight is equal to approximately 3,500 calories, so aim to work out at least that much — broken out over several days, of course. Here are our favorite daily workouts to burn about 500 calories (repeat for seven days to kiss that pound goodbye).
1. Extend your resistance training to 70 minutes at the gym.
2. Swap your commute for biking: 2 hours and fifteen minutes of cycling should do the trick.
3. Get your friends together for an hour of Zumba class.
4. Head to the community center pool for 45 minutes of treading water...
5. ...or 45 minutes of practicing your breaststroke.
6. Grab a jump rope and have school-playground flashbacks while you jump for about 45 minutes.
7. Give it your all with a 30-minute HIIT session.
8. Explore your city with a long walk: about two hours of moderately-paced walking will meet your quota for the day.
9. Take your exercise out of the gym and into a club — dancing for one hour with your girls can burn 500 calories (just lay off the accompanying alcoholic beverages!).
10. Trade happy hour for a group rock-climbing session: Stick to it for 40 minutes to see results.
11. Instead of laying out at the beach, challenge friends to a volleyball game (or two, to hit 50 minutes).
12. Go old-school and hit the Stairmaster for 50 minutes.
13. Try out the latest fitness craze with a one-hour barre class.
14. Channel your inner Rocky by logging an hour at a boxing gym.
15. Polish up your summer surfing skills with an hour on the waves.prevnext
Make healthy swaps
Exercise is great, but experts agree that the best way to reach your weight goal is from a combination of both diet and exercise changes. Aim for 2-3 of these healthy swaps per day to shape up your regular eating habits.
16. Substitute "cauliflower rice" for white rice in your next stir fry. (Here's how to make it.)
17. Avoid high-calorie salad dressings and opt to make your own with lemon juice, olive oil and seasonings.
18. Swap in skim milk instead of whole on your next latte (and skip the whipped cream... and mocha drizzle!).
19. Substitute zoodles for regular noodles in your next savory pasta dish. (These are our favorites.)
20. Replace sugary sodas with unsweetened iced tea with lemon.
21. Pop your own plain popcorn (and add seasonings) to satisfy that desire for a crunchy snack.
22. Try kale chips instead of potato chips.
23. Swap out chicken for tofu as the protein in your next meal.
24. Sprinkle chopped nuts on a salad instead of croutons...
25. ...and replace that sprinkling of mixed cheeses with Feta, which is lower in fat and calories.
26. Replace calorie-bomb bagels with whole wheat toast.
27. When ordering sushi, skip the rice by opting for sashimi instead.
28. Swap beef for your favorite fish or lean ground turkey.
29. Instead of a morning latte, go for a nice cup of black brewed coffee.
30. Satisfy a salt craving with a package of seaweed snacks.
31. Opt for clear, broth-based soups over thick, creamy bisques.
32. Get your carbonated beverage fix by swapping soda for seltzer.
33. Substitute spaghetti noodles for spaghetti squash.prevnext
One place those extra calories might be coming from? The bar. Many people don't realize how many added calories they're consuming by indulging in beer, wine and mixed drinks. If you must imbibe, consider the below substitutions to keep your calories under control.
34. Swap out your screwdriver with a vodka soda (with a twist of orange, if you prefer).
35. Opt for diet sodas in your drinks that require a Coke mixer.
36. Convert your glass of wine into a spritzer...
37. ...and be sure to opt for Chardonnay, which is lighter than other wines.
38. Celebrating? Don't feel too guilty about that glass of Champage, which only has 90 calories per glass...
39. ...but be sure to check the label for "brut nature" or "brut zero" to ensure it's as low-sugar as it can be.
40. Try mixing bourbon with unsweetened iced tea for a low-cal variation on this southern pairing.prevnext
Take a holistic approach
Don't limit your calorie-cutting just to the gym and the kitchen — make a few changes to your everyday lifestyle to ensure you're getting the most out of routine activities.
41. Reach for water all day, every day. This can curb overeating and can keep a host of other issues at bay, too.
42. Measure your portions; even when eating well, it's common to overestimate what is a true "serving". (Here's our guide.)
43. Add more movement to your routine, whether it's parking a bit farther away from the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator.
44. If you can stomach it, wake up early and do a quick workout first thing in the morning, even before eating.
45. Do a total home-clean to kill two birds with one stone — you'll burn calories and have a sparkling environment to enjoy.
46. Keep healthy snacks nearby, especially while you're on the go; there'll be less temptation to stop by the drive-thru on the way.
47. Instead of catching up with your girls for wine or margaritas, try inviting them to a new fitness class or a creative outing.
48. Cook at home whenever possible... you'll be amazed how much more control you have over your caloric intake.
49. Keep a fitness and food journal to monitor your progress.0comments
50. Make the scale part of your a.m. routine — apparently daily weigh-ins make a difference!
Photo Credit: Happily Greyprev