Local fitness trainer Lisa MacDonald shares ways to stay on track with a fitness and healthy eating plan. Follow her tips, and you’ll look beach body-ready in a few weeks.
By Lisa MacDonald
With summer around the corner, it’s no coincidence that many of my clients are working hard to get their bodies bathing suit-ready for the pool. Now is a great time to get back on your fitness program and incorporate healthy eating into your routine. With a bit of work, it will be easy to make a grand splash in that new bikini!
Many people create a resolution at the beginning of the year to be physically ready for summer — and by the beginning of February, they have converted back to their old habits. They find themselves skipping workouts and grabbing convenience foods. Instead of making this commitment at the beginning of the year, I ask my clients to evaluate and create goals throughout the year to prevent getting stale and bored. Variety is the key to the longevity and success of a healthy lifestyle. By evaluating your progress regularly, you can make adjustments that help keep you on track so you are not rushing to try and fit into those shorts in two weeks.
Changing your body takes time and rushing to get fit only sets yourself up for failure. It is important when setting goals to be realistic and honest with yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Do you have an injury that prevents you from doing certain activities? Does your body respond better to a high carbohydrate diet versus a high protein diet? Each person has unique needs and requires different approaches, so knowing what works best for you will increase your chance of reaching your goals.
Lastly, set goals that are realistic and achievable, so that you become your best self. Learn to love the body that you were given and don’t try to be someone else.
Follow these tips to help you stay on track with your eating plan:
- Write out your meal plan for the upcoming week on Friday.
- Check your calendar for events that conflict with your meals.
- Have containers available to store the meals. I prefer recyclable ones just in case I am traveling and won’t get home to wash them. Convenience is important.
- Buy all your groceries by Saturday, and save time by using a delivery service for groceries if possible. I love Instacart for those days I can’t get to the market.
- Set aside two hours on Sunday to prep your meals for the week, and make dinner for that night as well.
- Change your meal plan weekly so you don’t get bored with the same foods.
- Have recipes that are easy to prepare and keep well for a few days or can be frozen and reheated.
- Keep meals simple: a protein, a vegetable and a complex carbohydrate such as quinoa.
- Organize your fridge with your meals for each day, so you can grab what you need each morning.
- Lastly, if you hate cooking, enlist a friend who likes to cook and prepare meals together. You can clean and maybe learn to love cooking in the process.
Follow these tips to help you stay on track with your fitness program:
- Schedule your workouts on your calendar and set a reminder.
- Sign up for an event that you have to train for such as a 5k.
- Enlist a friend to work out with a few times a week.
- Do activities that you enjoy: try biking if the thought of running makes you nauseous, try yoga if you feel awkward lifting or try a HITT class if you are tired of pilates.
- Pack your exercise clothes the night before, and set your bag by the door or put it right in your car.
- Change your program every six weeks to prevent overuse injures and burnout.
- Update your workout wardrobe so you are dressed appropriately for the activity.
- Evaluate your body and determine what areas you want to target: Do you want a more sculpted back? Do you want more toned arms? Those goals require specific types of training, so make sure your training program is specific to your goals.
- Traveling? No problem. Try a class at Soul Cycle or Barry’s Bootcamp, which are in several cities across the U.S.
- Most importantly, have a goal that you work toward: 10 pull ups, 100 push ups, or a 6-minute mile to name a few ideas.
Lisa MacDonald founded Franklin-based Fitness Driven with the mission to provide world-class health and wellness services to her clients. A fitness and nutrition specialist, Lisa professes the importance of eating whole foods and is often found creating new recipes to suit her healthy lifestyle. Combining her knowledge of exercise science, athletic conditioning, pilates and nutrition, Lisa creates unique programs that are tailored to meet the goals and specific needs of each individual.