It’s the first few weeks of January and either you or someone you know is probably on some type of diet — no sugar, no carbs and no dairy are most likely some of the food groups that are not being consumed.
I think anytime of the year is a good time for a reset, but after an indulgent holiday season the first few weeks of January are a good time to focus on health and lifestyle goals. I don’t like to put so much pressure on myself when it comes to “dieting” but I’ve noticed that eating clean low-carb meals and sticking to a variety of challenging workouts is best for me.
In the past few months, and around the time I turned 40, I kicked up my workouts with Providence, RI-based fitness trainer, Larry Iadonisi, who goes by “Larry” for those in the know. His heart-thumping classes, which are based on his own fitness program and always different, incorporate cardio, floor plyometric, weight training and resistance training. I’m always challenged in these classes and notice changes to my body when I focus on the workouts and eat well.
In the New Year, Larry is encouraging clients to do a 14-day reset, which incorporates a series of varied workouts to torch calories, a diet of clean eating with no processed foods, no alcohol and added sugar, and a few minutes of meditation a day. “The idea of this plan is to reboot after the holiday season and start the year off with some good momentum,” he says.
This program is totally doable and while I have not had a drink in ten days, I did splurge on a few french fries (well maybe more than a few), some dark chocolate and went a little crazy on some fried rice one night (it’s gluten free right?). If you focus on good eating, which consists of a lot of meal planning and trips to the grocery store, and kicking up your workouts, you will definitely feel better and lighter on this program. Plus, I think it teaches you how to be aware of your body and what works for you and what may not.
So if you are looking for a little reboot now or before a special occasion. Here are some things to think about:
“The bottom line is that you need cardio for keeping your body healthy and you need some form of resistance training to keep it strong,” says Larry. “Something like HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is a very effective style especially if you don’t have 45-60 minutes to do a steady state cardio session. If you go all out during your workout, 20 minutes of HIIT can be just as effective as an hour of moderate cardio.” Think burpees, rounds of Tabata, squats, mountain climbers and lots of abs exercises.
Kick up your workouts and aim for 6 to 7 days a week ranging between 30-60 minutes (at least three of the workouts with weights). This you can do at the gym, workout studio or at home. And by all means if you prefer some days to do cardio that works, too. But make sure to add some sprints or intensity to make it more challenging.
“With regards to losing weight one specific way of eating does not work for everyone. There is no guarantee that if two people follow the same exact eating plan for six weeks, they will have the same results. That being said, eating healthier foods (fruits and vegetables) and having less sugar and less refined grains like flour in our diets will reduce the chances of developing diseases associated with metabolic syndrome. And for some, it will help them lose weight.”
— Eat a ton of leafy greens
— Two to three servings of protein (salmon, shrimp, white fish, chicken, turkey eggs and raw nuts in small portions.
— Limit portions of starchy carbs (rice, beans, potatoes) to one to two servings a day.
— Eat healthy fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado)
— No alcohol
— Drink a ton of water; seltzer and mineral water is okay, too.
Larry suggests carving out a few minutes of time to be aware of your breathing meditation. “The actual goal is to see thoughts as thoughts and not to be lost in the them.” If your mind wanders don’t get discouraged. “Simply note, my mind has wandered and come back to the breath.”
So for now, this is the reboot that I try and follow when I want to look and feel better. Do you have a fitness or eating plan that works for you? Please share in your comments below.