With swimsuit season fast approaching, those of us who gained weight over the holidays are finally starting to kick our butts into shape. But anyone who’s ever dieted knows that those last five pounds are by far the hardest to shed. It’s not enough that you need to lose it, but it’s enough that, if you actually manage to get rid of it, you’ll feel infinitely better about those flouncy spring dresses you just ordered online. For a dose of much-needed fitspo, we turned to celebrity trainer and New Balance brand ambassador Harley Pasternak, who sculpts Megan Fox, Halle Berry, and Rihanna’s rock-hard bods, among others.
The fitness pro’s new 300-plus page tome, aptly titled 5 Pounds ($17; amazon.com), outlines a simple slim-down plan that promises to not only make you drop the specified amount of weight in five days flat, but also help you achieve your long-term weight goals with easy-to-make recipes and specially designed workouts that can be tailored to your specific abilities. For a quick cheat sheet, Pasternak shared seven nuggets of wisdom exclusively with InStyle that he’s confident will tip the scales. Read on below!
1. Walk everywhere. Wear a Fitbit ($100; fitbit.com) and make sure you log at least 10,000 steps each day. “In the morning, ditch the coffee machine at home and force yourself to walk to a local cafe instead,” says Pasternak. “If you have a phone call, try to make it on the move!”
2. Go to bed 30 minutes earlier. Myriad studies show lack of sleep can lead to weight gain.
3. Snack on strained yogurt. Research shows the populations that eat protein-rich dairy have lower body fat levels and longer lifespans. Pasternak’s suggestion? Kick off your day with a cup of Siggi’s yogurt topped with a handful of blackberries.
4. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can actually make us feel hungry, and lead to more eating. “I tell all my clients to drink at least six water bottles a day,” says Pasternak.
5. Leave your cell phone in the kitchen at night. The temptation to look at it and the distraction of it buzzing and flickering throughout the night can negatively impact your sleep.
6. Happy feet = more calories burned! Wearing the right shoes will make us more likely to move more often. Pasternak’s shoe of choice? His collection for New Balance, natch.
7. Blend at least one meal a day. We all have that one meal each day that we tend to be less healthy with. According to Pasternak, this is the perfect time to make a fiber and protein-packed smoothie. “Try adding yogurt, apple, banana, spinach, almond, and cinnamon to a really good blender,” he says.