Health Healthwise

Making Your Summer Body a Lifestyle

Many people start their new year with a resolution to lose weight. Some break the pledge right away, while some keep up their weight loss goals for a few months before giving up. No matter how long the initial New Year’s resolution lasts, however, most people need help to make their weight loss goals and summer body a consistent reality.

At our offices, we’ve found that many people get discouraged because, consciously or unconsciously, they think of health and weight loss as a seasonal thing. Once summer weather cools and they get back into jeans and sweaters, many of our patients give themselves permission to indulge in unhealthy food and sedentary living. A better solution is to make your summer body part of your lifestyle—not a seasonal goal. This isn’t about being a certain clothing size or weight; it’s about maintaining optimum health for twelve months of the year. Here are some key tips for staying healthy year round.

Eating Right

When you talk to a doctor about health and weight loss goals, the first thing that comes up will probably be your diet. We all know what eating right means—plenty of leafy greens and lean proteins, whole grains, and small amounts of sugar. However, most of us don’t eat right consistently.

There are many reasons for not eating right, but one of the biggest is feeling deprived and hungry. Many of our patients have tried diets that restrict food or require heavy calorie-counting. For example, they go on diets that stipulate not having any carbs for two weeks or eating only vegetables and fruits. As a result, these patients battle food cravings and end up “cheating” on the diet.

You shouldn’t go on a diet unless your doctor recommends it, and even then, the diet should be healthy. I recommend the Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes fruit, vegetables, and whole grains but also allows “splashes” of healthy fats like those found in olive oil.

Exercise

Our bodies were designed to move, so regular, moderate exercise is a must. Many people say they don’t have time for exercise and that they find it difficult or boring. This is why it’s so important to find exercises that work for you. If you only have 10-20 minutes per day, lift weights at home or do short aerobics videos. Anything that works your muscles and heart is good for you.

Also, make sure you aren’t bored with exercise. Change up the machines you use at the gym. If you’re comfortable with only a few machines, change factors like speed or resistance. Listen to a book on tape or music, or watch television if you’re exercising indoors. If you prefer to exercise outside, take your pet or a friend with you so you can all get fit together.

Drinking (in Moderation)

Of course, the best thing you can drink to maintain a healthy body is water. Many studies have been done on how much water you should drink daily, but the answer varies depending on many factors.

While a glass of red wine is beneficial to your health, overindulging in alcohol is not wise! Whenever possible, drink in moderation, and always drink plenty of water when consuming alcoholic beverages.

See Your Doctor

Sometimes, weight loss doesn’t seem to happen no matter what we eat or how much we exercise. In these cases, factors like genetics, thyroid, or hormones may be to blame. For instance, if you’re a man with low testosterone, your hormone levels could be keeping you from peak physical performance. Women can have similar issues because of the imbalance of estrogen and other hormones.

See your doctor right away for a personalized nutrition plan if you suspect problems like these. If you need more information or want to schedule a consultation or appointment, Dr. Ferdinand Cabrera can be reached at his Genesis offices at 954-956-9556.