It’s that time! Pull out the swimsuits, lose the parkas and get ready to welcome summer. If you are like me, grabbing that swimsuit may be a reality check. Winter’s toll on our body is noticeable, and for many of us, we don’t feel beach ready. The great news is the body can tell us exactly what we need to do in order to lose the winter weight.
From working with thousands of women (and men) over the years, I’ve found that “happiness” is much more than a magic number on the scale or a certain size. Good self-esteem, self-worth and fulfillment, along with your health, play important roles too! So with that in mind, let’s look at how you can set a realistic goal and target specific body zones to get you healthy and looking great.
Step 1 – Grab a full-length mirror
In the privacy of your home, put on your swimsuit and take a few moments to analyze your body. Account for your frame and your predictable history of where you typically gain weight- what you are really looking for is where your body may have changed in the last few months.
Step 2 – Find your target areas
“Zone” in on your problem areas. For example, I always gain weight in my hips and thighs first—I think it is a family legacy! However, there is no reason for me to have excess abdominal weight or upper body weight.
Step 3 – Listen to your body
What is your body really telling you? In working with patients and even myself, there are patterns in our bodies that we just need to interpret. Once you find your target zones and what your patterns tend to be, then you can interpret what your body is telling you.
Reach up to your scalp and pull a strand of hair. If your hair breaks easily and shows signs of thinning, then you may have a nutritional deficiency, which affects your overall metabolism.
Analyze your scalp. Thinning hair at the crown is often a poorly balanced thyroid. If at the temples- your estrogen to progesterone ratios may be off. Thinning everywhere? You may have high androgens or testosterone levels. Get your hormones checked through blood work with your physician.
Zone 2 – Face
What is your face telling you? A puffy, swollen face suggests you may be getting too much salt. Lower your total salt intake to 1500 mg per day. Drink at least 6-8 glasses of lemon water to help flush your liver. You may also notice that your cellulite diminishes over the course of your detox.
Zone 3 – Arms
Arms are often a sign of overall weight gain and worsening insulin resistance. They also signal an electrolyte imbalance. Add 1-2 servings of electrolyte water per day, for seven days and you will notice some improvement in your mid-arm circumference.
Zone 4 – Obliques / Back
Noticing more back fat? The trouble here: too many carbohydrates. Increase your protein to 60-75 grams per day and lower your total carbohydrate load to under 50 grams per day. Over the course of 10 days, watch this fat start disappearing!
Zone 5 – Belly
An expanding belly is a sign of poor digestion and insulin resistance. Burn this fat by increasing your movement throughout the day. Twenty minute bursts of activity three times per day is better than the hour-and-a-half workout, which can leave you exhausted and wanting more food.
Balance your digestive system and eat probiotic foods like bone broth, kefir, and yogurt.
Zone 6 – Thighs / Butt
Balance your workout between weights and isometric training. Add two days of yoga and two days of weight training to get this area in shape. Gaining weight in these areas is also a thyroid imbalance- another clue from your body that your hormones may be off.
Zone 7 – Calves and Cankles
Weight gain here signals fluid and electrolyte imbalances that may be more serious. Try adding electrolyte water daily. Use yoga and pilates to improve circulation. Keep your legs elevated when sitting, but most importantly, see your doctor to rule out any heart or lung issues.
Listen and obey your body to find your personalized summer fat fix. Welcome this summer with your best body yet!