Follow this Winter Waistline-Killing Routine to Get Fit by Memorial Day

Blame the lazy Sundays and buffalo wings of football season. Or the fact that every jogging path from Reno to Bangor has been iced over since November. Whatever your excuse, cold-weather hibernation took its toll on your health. But spring is springing now, and it’s time to take back your body. We tapped fitness and nutrition expert Marc Halpern, C.S.C.S., RD, for some easy tips to get looking and feeling better by the start of summer.

Diet

Start by writing down everything you eat and drink for a couple days, then calculate how many calories you’re taking in on a website like myfitnesspal.com—it shouldn’t take a nutritionist to figure out that you should cut out sugary drinks and empty carbs like donuts and potato chips. If you have fat to lose, eat so that you take in about 9-12 times your bodyweight in calories each day. For example, a 200-pound man would eat 1,800-2,400 calories. And no matter your weight, make sure that you consume about one gram of protein per pound of your body weight (or desired body weight—whether adding mass or shredding fat) to help you build lean muscle. “When you’re eating that much protein, there isn’t room for much bad stuff,” says Halpern.

Exercise

Halpern advises developing a fitness routine that trains movement patterns instead of working individual muscles. “Humans move in five different patterns,” he explains. “Push, pull, squat, plank, and hip-hinge. Training those movements makes your body work as a cohesive unit.” The result: Each move has a bigger impact, and will make you more athletic. Do the following circuit workout three times a week, and add one or two 30-minute cardio sessions into your week. Start with the first exercise, then move onto the next until you’ve finished all five. Rest as needed, then repeat. Do more circuits as you get more comfortable and build stamina.

1. Pushup Position Plank

Get in pushup position with your arms and body completely straight. Hold the position, without allowing your hips to raise or sag.
Reps: Hold for 30 seconds

2. Hip Raise

Lie on your back, your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Raise your hips as high as you can, thrusting them towards the ceiling. Bring your hips down.
Reps: 25

3. Goblet Squat

Grab a weight— a dumbbell works great—and hold it in front of your chest. Push your hips back then bend your knees, descending into a squat. Push yourself back up.
Reps: 15

4. Batwing Plank

Stand with your back against a wall, your elbows at your side and arms bent 90-degrees. Drive your elbows into the wall as hard as possible, and try to bring your shoulder blades as close together as you can.
Reps: Push for 30 seconds

5. Half Getup

Lie on the floor on your back. Bend your right knee, positioning your foot on the floor, and reach overhead with your right arm. Spread your left arm and leg to a 45-degree angle from your body. Roll onto your left elbow and forearm, then slide your hand backward slightly. Straighten your arm and prop yourself onto your hand, keeping your back straight and eyes on your hand. Do all your reps on one side, then switch sides. You can also hold a kettlebell in your extended arm for added complexity.
Reps: 10 Each Side

—Michael Beck

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