After the New Year’s resolutions have come and gone, it can be a challenge to continue to keep the weight off and stay on track.
Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer whose clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday people. He trains the Kardashian’s, Jennifer Lopez, Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and Hugh Jackman, as well as top athletes from NBA, NHL, NFL, and NCAA teams.
Gunnar recently shared some of his top tips on how to keep the weight off and stay healthy!
Find a training program that works for you and stick with it. Too many people set unrealistic expectations, and then either lose interest or give up because it is too hard or they are not seeing results fast enough. This is where new technology like Epson’s Pulsense fitness activity trackers can help you keep track of your workouts and intensity to help keep you honest with your training and motivated. Pulsense tracks your continuous heart rate, steps, calories burned and sleep all directly from your wrist.
Mix up your program. With that being said, once you have found a good program that works for you, it is important to change it up to avoid plateaus. For example, during a cardiovascular workout, change up the type of activity, such as interval training instead of steady state cardio or vice versa. Go for a swim instead of a run. It’s all about working your body differently and keeping your body guessing. The more your body has to adapt the more it has to change.
Get your workout in. We all lead busy lives. Whether it’s traveling for work, picking up the kids or running errands, sometimes our daily activities can make us feel like we don’t have any time for the gym. My recommendation is to find a way to get your workout in. For example, it could be pushups in your hotel room when traveling for work or sprints with your dog out at the park. Do something and stay active. The little things can help you stick to your goals.
Intensify your workout. Rather than spending countless hours in the gym per day, you can get the same if not better benefits by shortening your workouts and ramping up the intensity. You can also use trackers like Pulsense PS-100 band and PS-500 watch to monitor your intensity and make sure you’re getting the most out of your workout. Pulsense displays LED lights that show different heart rate zones that you’re training in, so you can easily track intensity.
When limited on time. Speaking of limited time, if you only have a short window to hit the gym, get the most out of your workout by mixing in multi-joint strength movements (examples: push-ups, squats, lunges, rows) with high intensity bouts of cardio.
1. Doing too much too fast. Often times, people try to right a lifetime of wrongs two weeks before a deadline. Overhauling their lives instead of improving it piece by piece in a way that will work for the long-term.
2. Neglecting nutrition. Many people put in all of the hard work in the gym, but then lax on their diet. Nutrition is just as important as your training, and a balanced diet that includes protein, vegetables and complex carbohydrates will help you stay on track. Avoid process foods, refined sugars, and fruit juices.
3. Not drinking enough water. Water helps with recovery, and keeping your body hydrated. It helps to flush out the toxins and keeps you healthy. It will also keep you more full throughout the day, helping you to avoid binge eating or snacking.
Nutrition is also a very important part of the weight management process. I was lucky enough to speak with Kim McDevitt, MPH RD, National Educator at Vega.
Kim shared with me some of her top nutrition tips.
What are simple day to day habits you can get into to keep the weight off?
The key to weight maintenance is staying consistent in your daily habits. You’ve (hopefully) adopted some solid healthy behaviors that have gotten you where you are today. Now it’s time to stick to them! While you don’t have to adhere to the same exact boring eats and exercise day in, day out, keep the general principles in practice.
Whether it’s an early morning sweat session before work, group fitness classes at the local gym you’ve joined, or race training that motivated you to get moving, stick to it.
In terms of your diet, don’t stop planning and prepping. Both meal planning and food prep are key for weight management. Embrace cooking as a way to explore new healthy foods and connect with the people you love. Also, make an effort to sit down to enjoy healthy, mindful, homemade meals with family and friends.
Does it help to have a group or forum to be involved with to keep the motivation going?
Motivation is a huge element of successful weight loss. The majority of people who successful lose weight are independently motivated. However, being part of a group that’s going through the same transformations (emotional and physical) can be extremely supportive. Tempted by the morning office donuts? A co-worker on the same dietary journey might be your rock when your guard is slipping. Skipping your early morning workout is less tempting when your best friend got up early and is counting on you to be there. Try a Vega One Shake to maintain your weight loss, the shakes are amazing for breakfast smoothies and contain a number of key nutrients.
How to make long term changes for maintaining weight loss?
Long-term weight management is very much mental. You need to shift your thinking from “I’m following a diet” to “This is how I eat now.” Instead of a temporary quick fix, view your healthy eating as a permanent shift in your dietary lifestyle and daily habits.
This might include:
• Viewing food in a different light, such as appreciating it for all of its wonderful health benefits.
• Embracing a diet full of nutrient-rich whole foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
• Considering your plate. Aim for higher amount of protein and fiber with each meal, to keep you fuller for longer.
• Eating with the seasons by reaching for fresh ripe produce that is going to be packed with both flavor and nutrients.
• Limiting highly processed and refined foods.
• Practicing mindful eating. A simple exercise can be to sit with your plate and take 5 deep breaths before starting your meal, or practice taking slower, deliberate bites, enjoying the taste, texture and flavor that each bite offers.
Other tips for keeping the weight off and keeping active?
• Start smart at breakfast. A healthy breakfast is an important place to start. When you make a smart dietary choice at breakfast you’ll be more motivated to eat healthy the rest of the day.
Looking for something quick and nutrient dense?
Stay hydrated! Water helps sustain your energy, keeps your body systems working efficiently, and satisfies your snack cravings. Buy a water bottle to keep at your desk and another for your car, and make an effort to drink more water throughout the day.
Switch up your exercise! Daily exercise not only benefits your overall health, it’s also a key part of weight maintenance. Try adding in a different exercise class, weight routine or incorporating hills or sprints into your current cardiovascular activity.
What are the top myths about weight maintenance?
Once the weight is off, I can eat whatever I want. Portions are key when it comes to maintaining healthy weight. We’re always going to be tempted by processed, calorie-laden choices, and many social events happen around food.
Rather than feeling like you can never indulge or be social, be mindful of your choices. Pay attention to how much food you put onto your plate. You likely already know which foods you can load up on (think green veggies) and others that require more moderate portions and self-restraint (like the guacamole and tortilla chips).
Skipping meals is a good way to cut down on calories to keep the weight off. In theory it might make sense: skip the meal, skip the calories. The problem is that skipping a meal is likely going to leave you feeling hungrier at your next meal, meaning you’ll eat double the calories you normally would (sometimes without even realizing).
I am going to use all of these tips to stay healthy and lean in 2015!
Your suggestions are always welcome, as I continue on my journey to enjoy life to the fullest. Let’s have the very best 2015!