No one likes not being able to zip the very same pair of pants that fit like a glove the week before. You don’t, however, need to go ham at the gym or with your diet just because you’ve had a momentary lapse in wellness-related judgement calls. There are a number of healthy, sustainable, and totally feasible ways to quickly melt of a pound or two. We asked May Tom, the on-site dietitian for Cal-a-Vie Health Spa, an upscale, all-inclusive Mediterranean-style wellness resort in California, to share with us her 10 favorite.
Do some high-intensity interval training
Interval training causes the body to have an exercise induced growth hormone response, also known as EIGR. Human growth hormone contributes to fat burning and muscle building. The other two ways to naturally increase human growth hormone are below!
Clean up the sugar
Balancing blood sugars by back off refined sugars and carbohydrates will give you results! That includes the candy, cupcakes, bagels, muffins, cookies, and ice-cream, not to mention the big elephant in the room — beverages like alcohol, soda, energy drinks and sweetened coffee drinks.
Get those ZZZs
It may sound counter-productive to be supine for more hours of the day, but believe it or not, hormonal balance is imperative to weight loss and nothing puts more money in your hormonal bank account than getting those ZZZs in. Human growth hormone is secreted during deep slow wave sleep. Hunger and satiety hormones are recalibrated during sleep. Also testosterone’s peaking at night depends on getting at least 3 hours of sleep with normal rhythms. This means if you snore, make sure you rule out sleep apnea, which can wreak havoc on testosterone levels.
Use it or lose it
Do weight training of some kind at least 2-3 times a week — increasing muscle mass is one of the best ways to increase your fat burning capacity. Muscle burns calories for you long after you’ve worked out — in fact, it’s burning calories while you sleep!
Get your steps in
In addition to going to the gym, make sure to increase your ADL activities of daily living. Get an activity tracker and aim for a minimum of 10,000 steps. Breaking up long bouts of sitting with a quick climb up and down some flights of stairs or even doing some squat jumps and push-ups for 1 minute has countless health benefits in addition to weight loss.
Refuel after workouts
Ideally within 1 hour of working out — a carb to protein ratio of 2:1. This could be a clean protein smoothie, or a hard boiled egg and an apple, some nut butter and a small banana, or hummus and some rice crackers. This will help replenish glycogen storages and ensure that you won’t be burning muscle for energy. Losing muscle is the wrong type of weight to lose!
Believe it or not, dehydration actually is one reason why the body retains water in attempts to conserve volume. Drink 20 ounces within 1 hour prior to working out, a couple gulps of water every 15 minutes during your workout, and 20 ounces for every pound of body weight lost after a workout.
Build in a 12 hour fast between breakfast and dinner the night before. This helps your body shift into burning fat at night versus food in your stomach.
Break the fast right
Make sure the break the fast with a low glycemic real food breakfast — fueling properly first thing in the morning is the best way to get your engine fired up. Stay away from the pancakes, hash brown and orange juice combinations as they can send you on a blood sugar roller coaster ride.
Eliminate every day
Nothing is worse than lugging around waste products in your gut. Not only does it weigh you down literally, but it is a source of inflammation and toxic overload. Water and fiber are first to look at. Taking some magnesium at night can help if you are really plugged up.