About now you're probably wrestling with the guilt of not sticking with your New Year's resolution to lose some weight and get in shape.
And to make matters worse, you probably packed on a few extra pounds during the holidays. You're feeling bloated, lethargic, and your clothes are becoming uncomfortably snug.
Well, don't panic. We're here to help you regain your health just in time for summer, so you can show off your rock hard abs and exquisitely toned body — or at least not be too horrified at the thought of donning a bathing suit. To show you the way, we consulted Angela Gallo, founder of Total Nutrition Technology (TNT). The company provides personalized nutrition and health management plans along with ongoing coaching and support to help individuals attain their goals.
Gallo, who has degrees in dietetics and exercise and sports science, operates her business out of two Charlotte offices, and also has licensed and certified instructors in about 10 local health clubs and personal training facilities. Gallo has developed a number of different programs designed to help a variety of clients, including people suffering serious health issues, athletes looking to improve their performance, to everyday folks with a penchant for couch surfing and cheesy poofs. Below she offers some advice and tips for maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.
"But you're not going to get in shape overnight," says Gallo. "You have to set a goal and work toward it. Health is not idle. Every day you choose to do nothing you're taking a step backward."
Take it one step at a time
Gallo says a big mistake a lot of people make is trying to do too much at one time. This usually leads to burnout and before long they fall back to their old, unhealthy habits. Instead, Gallo recommends making a list of goals — exercise daily, cut out fast food, etc. — and then pick one goal to focus on.
"Once you put that goal into practice and you feel like you've got it under your belt and it's part of your lifestyle — it might take a couple of weeks or month — go back to your list and tackle the next thing."
You're far more likely to adhere to a fitness plan if you tackle it in manageable sections over the course of a year as opposed to taking drastic measures in the hopes of seeing immediate results, she says.
Adopt a "can" do strategy
Instead of focusing on all the things that are off limits, focus on the things you can and will do, Gallo says. For instance, instead of bemoaning the fact that you need to cut down on sweets, alcohol or going back for seconds, concentrate on eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, or getting at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity. "If you focus on what you can do, the other stuff will fall in line," Gallo says. "If you eat your fruits and vegetables, you're likely to curb your desire for candy bars and sweets."
Keep it simple
Instead of worrying about complex exercise routines and diets, Gallo says to simply "move more and eat less." Look at your daily schedule, and figure out when you can find time to exercise, even if it's just a brisk 30-minute walk. "Any movement burns calories, and that's what you want," Gallo says.
Use this basic approach when it comes to your eating habits, Gallo says. For example, instead of grabbing a bagel for breakfast, some of which can have nearly 400 calories, opt instead for something like Arnold flatbread, which only has about 100 calories. Similarly, rather than slathering your bread with butter, which is pure saturated fat, switch to hummus.
"With small little substitutions like these, you can cut out at least 500 calories a day. Do that for a week and you've lost a pound."
For more information about Total Nutrition Technology, go to www.tntgetfit.com.
More from CL's Health & Fitness Special:
'Dynamite' diet with nutritionist Angela Gallo
Eating tips from Charlotte-area trainers
In search of gluten-free grub
The joy of grass-fed beef