By Dr. Scott Rosenthal
Bathing suit season is coming up, which is often a motivator for those who want to lose a few pounds before summer. But even more important is the role that a healthy diet and exercise can play in avoiding diabetes, preventing cardiovascular disease and lowering cancer risk!
It’s not necessary to make your body ripped and hard as steel, as some health club and product marketing might lead you to believe. I want to provide you with a comfortable, easy and doable game plan that does not over-sell what is possible, but will bring meaningful results. You will be healthier and will look (and feel) marvelous.
Whether it’s a June pool party or a goal of better health (year ’round!) that’s motivating you, follow the regime outlined below to trim down by as much as 10-20 pounds before summer arrives. So, lay down your bag of chips, lace up your sneakers and feel the excitement of taking positive action!
1. Interval Training Routine:
- Use your favorite piece of cardio equipment (I prefer to alternate between a stationary bicycle and elliptical machine).
- Start at a very low intensity setting accomplishing about 50% of your target heart rate for 2-3 minutes.
- Increase the tension enough to achieve about 70-90% of your target heart rate or to the point where you feel like you “run out of gas” after about 10-60 seconds (depending on your fitness level). Changing the tension is superior to just going faster; it wears less on your joints and prevents injury.
- Follow the high intensity with another 2-3-minute period with no or little tension while your heart rate drops back down.
- Repeat about 6-7 times with high intensity and end with a 3-5 minute cool down.
- Perform on an empty stomach—preferably in the morning before breakfast (this dramatically increases your results).
- Take at least one day off in between work outs for adequate recovery and to avoid the fat-stimulating effects of over-exercising. Perform this routine 2-4 times per week.
- If you do not have access to a bike or machine, a pair of sport shoes and the great outdoors will be fine. I use a free interval timer app that I downloaded onto my phone and alternate between walking and sprinting (my dogs are fond of this method).
- Although interval training can be modified and performed safely with most individuals, it is demanding on the heart, lungs, joints and muscles. Please check with your doctor prior to starting a routine. Also, be sure that you are properly trained to use the chosen piece of equipment.
2. Smoothie Breakfast: Dr. Rosenthal’s Morning Mega Mix (produces about 16-20 ounces):
- One apple, pear or orange and ½ to 1 cup of berries. Try to avoid or use sparingly the sweeter fruits such as mangos, bananas, etc.
- Add about ¼ cup of organic raw nuts and/or seeds. I use chia, hemp or ground flax seeds or a mixture containing two. Raw walnuts are also a welcomed addition in the mix. This step may be omitted if greater weight loss is desired. Instead, eat ¼ cup of raw walnuts or almonds as a mid-morning or afternoon snack.
- Add a scoop of premium protein powder containing about 15-20 grams of protein. Try to avoid soy.
- Toss in kale and/or spinach. My rule is to add as much green food as possible without making the smoothie taste like a salad. If proportioned just right, it should taste delicious and fruity! About 1-2 cups of greens works well.
- Purified water is added to a desired consistency. Remember, avoid fruit juices and the added sugar they bring.
- Make this your complete breakfast at least four times each week.
3. Big Salad Dinner:
- Use chickpeas, a few medium boiled eggs or chicken to provide protein and satiety.
- Throw in some raw pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
- Go with the more nutrient-rich greens such as Romaine, Green Leaf or Red Leaf.
- Toss in some spinach or kale.
- Eat this as a complete dinner at least twice per week.
Want to increase your weight loss even more? Implement the below along with the big three above:
- Start several other meals each week with a small salad.
- Bag the chips, can the sodas and roll the donuts away! Leave the fattening Garbage-Hydrates at the store! This includes sweet beverages such as sweetened tea and fruit juices.
- Eat less. Increase the vegetables on your plate by 25% and decrease everything else by 25%.
- Limit or avoid heavy carbohydrate foods (pasta, potato, etc.) at dinner. Try to eat most of your daily carbohydrates at breakfast, some at lunch and few to none at dinner.
- 20-30 minutes after dinner, brush and floss your teeth. This helps make dinner the last food consumed for the day.
- Eat at least three meals each day.
Please see Rosenthalchiropractic.com for an archive of articles that expand upon the above actions. If you have health challenges or concerns about making dietary changes and/or exercising, please speak with your health care professional before implementing any of the above suggestions.
Grab a partner. Start today. Have fun. Even adopting just part of the suggestions will bring welcomed results. This is for you. You deserve it. It’s easy. You can! You will look great, feel better and inspire others. It’s infectious. Join the team and recruit friends and family. Be the example for your children. Go for it—you have everything to lose!