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The Spring Break Dilemma

It’s finally here: second semester. After a fall full of exams, papers, cold weather, and general stress, second semester has arrived. It means homecoming, spring fair, warm weather, and (most importantly) spring break!

So the planning begins because, you know, you’ve got to beat the rush. You’re thinking tropical. There will be beaches, boys, sun, cocktails, and…oh no: bikinis, the dreaded two-piece that leaves very little to the imagination. Every year you promise yourself that this, this will be the year you get in shape. But every year you fail.  It gets discouraging, I know, but don’t worry! You’re not alone. Almost everyone struggles with the same problem, but this article will help.

These tips will help you begin to live a healthier lifestyle and reach your goals.

Drink more water. I know everyone says that, but it really is important. Soda and juices have a ton of sugar and calories that your body doesn’t need. Water is great in that it has no calories, it keeps you hydrated (obviously), and helps you feel less hungry all the time. Aim to drink about two liters a day— you’ll notice a difference!

Eat regularly. People commonly think that the less you eat, the more weight you lose. However, that is completely incorrect. While you may initially lose weight, your metabolism will slow down and you will gain all the weight back as soon as you start eating again. Think of your metabolism as a fire; if you don’t feed it, it will die out. But if you regularly feed it, it will burn big.

I recommend eating three meals and two or three snacks a day. This way, your metabolism is fueled 24/7 and is working its hardest— and you aren’t starving all day!

Aim to work out 3-5 times a week. Exercising along with adopting a healthy diet helps you maintain a healthy lifestyle. Exercise builds muscle and burns fat. The more muscle you have, the faster your metabolism will be and the more you’ll be able to eat (yes!!).

Try to alternate your workouts between cardio and weight training. Girls tend to get stuck doing cardio for every work out. This stops being effective because your body gets used to the same workout. I encourage you to start adding in some sets of light weight training, bicep curls, pushups, squats, etc. in between cardio sessions. You’ll see a difference in just a few days!

It’s true! Just don’t try to look like this woman..that’s not realistic.

Sleep! I know it’s hard to get the correct amount of sleep when you go to a difficult school, but it’s really important to try to shoot for at least eight hours. When you’re sleep deprived, you’re more likely to make bad decisions such as skip breakfast, drink calorie dense drinks and eat late at night.

Sleep deprivation affects the hormones that control hunger and fullness. For example, leptin is the hormone that makes you stop eating when you’re full, but when you’re sleep deprived, leptin levels plummet and you don’t stop eating when you should. To prevent this from happening, try to sleep seven to nine hours a night. You’ll feel more energized, motivated, and focused all day!

Finally, don’t get crazy! I have witnessed so many girls attempt extreme diets for the sake of looking good for one week. First of all, that’s incredibly bad for your body, and second of all, it doesn’t work. So be smart ladies! If you take care of your body, your body will take care of you.

Good luck and happy spring break!

Images courtesy of :

1) http://www.keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk/p/keep-calm-and-drink-more-water-22/.

2) ytfs.com

 

Anastasia is a senior at Johns Hopkins University. She is majoring in writing seminars and minoring in marketing and communications. She is also a singer in JHU's only all female a capella group, the Sirens, and she is passionate about fashion, nutrition, and fitness!
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