As spring arrives and the shortest, darkest days give way to longer, sunny days, it gets easier to get outside, increase activity and enjoy the sunshine. Below you will find many reminders and tidbits of information to help you put your Spring Shape-Up Strategy into action:
- Try Intermittent Fasting to break a stall in weight loss or as a healthy lifestyle change. Intermittent Fasting can be approached in a number of schedules but an easy pattern is to restrict normal daily eating to an 8 hour window of time you are awake. For example, if you wake in the morning at 6, you would choose to eat meals and snacks only between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. or 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Research has shown that this simple lifestyle change can promote weight loss, normalize insulin and leptin sensitivity, reduce triglyceride levels, and reduce inflammation and free radical damage. 
- While you cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet, exercise can help to lift your spirits and energy levels, which often helps us to be smarter about our food choices. Muscle (created best through weight bearing exercises versus aerobic exercises) helps to increase metabolism and takes up less space than fat, which makes you look thinner.
- There are many things in food that interfere with burning fat and losing weight, not to mention overall good health. We recommend avoidance of artificial sweeteners, gluten, sugar, soy, and food additives such as MSG, nitrates, nitrites and hydrogenated or trans fats. Stick to real, whole food and restrict or eliminate grains.
- Be intentional and plan your splurges. For example, if you know you are attending an event on Wednesday evening, make Tuesday, Wednesday day and Thursday times of healthy choices, plenty of hydration and exercise. Putting these days of healing and health before and after your evening of splurging helps you to minimize the damage and stay focused on what is important.
- Healthy fats are essential to losing weight, being satiated and overall good health. Be sure every meal includes a source of naturally occurring, undamaged fat such as raw or expeller pressed coconut oil or coconut, cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, avocado, grass-fed butter, raw nuts and seeds, olives or free range eggs.