A Trainer Explains: Top 13 Ways I Get Back In Shape
There’s a perception that trainers get to work out all day. Oh, those lucky trainers! Up early in the morning, get the kids breakfast, walk the dog, get the kids off to school, throw the dishes in the sink, then run out the door and exercise all freakin’ day! 

Even if that’s what I DID do, it would be insane. Who would move the car, run errands, straighten up the house, make sure there’s something healthy for dinner? 

Forget about finding time to read, write, record, film, create, relax. I’m going to be busy exercising all day long with my clients and therefore I’ll be forever skinny and in awesome shape! It’s a lot of pressure, a load of crap, and (for me) not even close to reality.

Yes, I’m a personal trainer and group fitness instructor (among all my other titles and passions) and I love my job and my clients. But I still have to face the battle of the bulge just like everybody else. Nobody wants a chubby, out-of-shape trainer. It’s not good for business.

Over the years, I’ve gained and lost a ton of weight with pregnancies. And it totally sucks that our metabolism slows and we start losing muscle mass as early as our 20’s. Muscle burns more calories than body fat so as time marches on it gets harder and harder to lose a few measly pounds and keep it off.

Yeah, I know your struggle. I live it everyday.

So, you ask, how do you do it?

I set goals for myself, just like you. I create time in my schedule to exercise, work in my yoga practice, focus on making healthy food choices, and I schedule in some down time whenever I can.

And, just like you, I see and feel those annoying extra pounds. I am not a happy camper when I reach my “oh shit” weight. I can tell when I’m packing on a few and for clarification there’s a certain pair of my old jeans (or a number on the scale) that lets me know it’s time to kick it into high gear.  
  
Here are my 12 tips to get back on track and start slimming down within a week:

1. Cut out sugar. 

If you have to have it, no more than 15 grams a day and stay away from artificial sweeteners. (No diet soda). 

2. Drink lots of water with fresh lemon. 

Or you can use a few drops of any 100% lemon/citrus essential oil.

3. Use a smaller plate.

This simple tip has helped many of my clients (and myself) really connect to the concept of “portion control.”

4. Slow down. 

Eat with chopsticks or scale down the size of your utensils. Use a small fork and a teaspoon, for example. 

5. No white bread, rice, flour or pasta. 

Stick to 100% wheat or better yet, go gluten free. (Quinoa, millet, brown rice, buckwheat, and cornmeal, are all gluten free and delicious! 

6. Eat soup. 

Have a vegetable based, low sodium soup as dinner for at least three nights in a row, or every other night for a week.

7. Avoid red meat. 

Eat cold water fish and organic poultry, and keep the portions to the size of a deck of cards.

8. Eat the rainbow. 

Enjoy colorful, organic vegetables at every meal and organic berries for breakfast and snacks.

9. Prepare for eating carrots, celery, peppers, etc. in advance. 

Wash, chop and put in baggies for easy access. 

10. Eat a cup of Cheerios or Chex if you need a snack. 

(Did you know Chex are gluten free?) This will help when you get the crunchy munchies. 

11. Do NOT sit and eat while watching TV. 

Take up knitting or something.

12. Get off your butt, get moving and CHALLENGE yourself to break a serious sweat at least 5 days a week for an hour. 

Get out of your comfort zone--sign up for a boot camp class, take a boxing lesson, do an intense yoga dvd, lift some heavier weights.

And the hardest one of all for me, maybe even you...

13. BREATHE. Relax and let go. 

Turn off the gadgets and meditate or sit still for a few minutes at least once a day. Close your eyes, breathe slowly and deeply in and out. 

Visualize your path....healthier, happier, slimmer, sexier, feeling good, and taking care of you.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Laura McDonald is a busy mother of three, a musician, writer, foodie, and an ACE certified Personal Trainer in NYC. She is studying at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and working on her yoga skills. She loves training her clients outdoors, writing rock songs and creating recipes full of love. Her successful Slim Down programs are now available on her web-site and her unique fitness program has been featured on NBC. Laura is on a mission to help busy men and women of all ages create a leaner, sexier, stronger, body and mind.

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