Medium shot of a woman exposing a fit abdomen

While we could adjust well to living off bone broth in our winter sweaters for eternity, we also know that summer is coming — eventually.

Glowing skin and a strong body are important to us year round, but the long cold winter has also brought it’s fair share of neglect, as elbows, knees and everything else have been wrapped up behind closed doors. NYC dietitian and founder of Real Nutrition, Amy Shapiro shares the key to bringing our bodies back into balance as the seasons change…

As a registered dietitian running a private practice based in NYC for over a decade, I know all too well the patterns of wellness, weight loss and fitness that my clients cycle through with the changing seasons. Of course it feels great to go all hygge and wine-y during the winter, but is the frantic summertime crash diet worth it?

Let me drop a bit of wisdom on you. Summer bodies are made in the winter and healthy bodies are made through consistency. Yup, that means hard work every damn day (of course with room for wine, comfort food and lazy Sundays here and there). Now that it’s March, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite lifestyle tips you can start to incorporate now. You’ll meet your goals with a little bit of planning and without deprivation.

Trade your yoga mat for kettle bells. I love yoga and the health benefits that come with it, but if you want to change your body, pick up some weights and start lifting heavy (at least a few times a week). Weight training is the original HIIT workout and torches calories while sculpting your body and keeping it safe (even after you leave the gym). And, it’s not just about building muscle. Weight lifting will also help to prepare your body for all those activities you love to do in the warmer weather like cycling, running, boating and more. Get strong to stay fit.

Go vegan before six. Mark Bittman introduced this idea a few years back, and I truly love and live by this. During the day, focus on eating plants (don’t worry, you’ll get the protein you need) and at night, enjoy whatever your friends and/or family are eating. This is a simple idea that will decrease the amount of animal products you eat (often mindlessly — hello, cheese in everything!) without suffering from cravings. It does take a bit of planning, but I tell all my clients that being prepared is half the battle.

Try intermittent fasting. Yes, this has gotten a lot of airtime recently and that’s because it works. Research — as well as my own clients’ experiences — shows that individuals who eat within shorter windows lose weight and feel great. Is it because you cut out mindless eating on the couch late at night or because your body actually has time to use its reserve energy for fuel instead of storage? Both hold true and, if that isn’t enough, IMF has been shown to improve relationships with food for those individuals who struggle. The best part is that you don’t have to cut your calories, you just have to time them to lose! LEARN MORE

It’s not always about salad. I promote eating lots and lots of veggies, but if I’m honest I simply don’t dig an all-raw salad. Why? Raw veggies don’t always feel satisfying to me. Sure they crunch and the texture is nice, but I feel so much more satisfied with cooked vegetables. They digest easier, they’re warm, they feel decadent. I recommend including both raw and cooked veggies at every meal (okay, maybe not at breakfast, although I do!). Add a side of sautéed greens or broccoli when dining out, hit up your favorite salad place, but add in a few of the cooked veggie options (sweet potato, squash, Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, onions) or pack leftovers for your workday lunch. Another trick: Have a small soup to round out your salad or sandwich. You’ll feel more satisfied, and the variety of textures in your dish will prevent boredom and mindless eating later.

Dry Brush. You have all heard about it, but do you do it? I challenged myself to do this regularly and absolutely loved the results: boosted energy level, healthy looking skin, and (possibly?) the reduced appearance of cellulite. Dry brushing stimulates the lymphatic system of the body, which helps with immunity. It removes dead skin cells, increases circulation, helps with digestion and provides a natural energy boost. If you start dry brushing now, by summer, your skin — even if it’s pale — will be ready for revealing! LEARN MORE

This booty-perfecting workout from Tone It Up might just be what your summer fitness mission needed.
Also check our top suggestions for things  to cut out of your life in 2018.

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