Be Scary In Shape This Halloween

Today’s August 31 and you know what the means… it’s exactly two months before Halloween!

Okay, I know it’s kind of early to start thinking about what costumes you’re going to be wearing, but the holiday will be here as soon as you know it, and if you want to win the best body costume award at the Halloween party you’ll be attending this year, you need to start preparing for it, well, today.

So ladies, do you think you want to go the sexy nurse route showin’ off some leg? And gentlemen, are you going to show off those abs in a revealing caveman outfit? Whatever it is, if you’re planning on showing some skin this Halloween, you need to start preparing for it NOW to have that fit body you’ll be confident to reveal on the big day, according to Juli Stockstill, a certified personal trainer at Private Fitness/ The Pilates & Yoga Room in Anahiem Hills, Calif. She says that two months is the perfect amount of time to get the body scary in shape for the Halloween season.

“It will take your body 3-4 weeks to reset your metabolism- almost conditioning yourself to see really great results,” says Stockstill who has been in the weight-loss business for 19 years. “You don’t lose much weight [the first month] because the body is adjusting to a healthy lifestyle and it takes your body some time to condition yourself to really get at that point where you’re really dipping into those stored fat cells for energy during exercise.”

But don’t give up if you’re not happy with what you see in the mirror by September 31! She promises that you will start seeing results by the month of October.

“The next four weeks you’re really going to see some good results,” she says. “You’re body is already in full swing of what you’re doing as far as working out and have been, you know, consistent with what types of foods you’re eating.”

Many people start thinking about how they’re going to lose weight or get in shape for Halloween a week or two or even days before the actual date, and it often results in them finding desperate ways to quickly shed some pounds, like crash dieting. Although it may be a quick fix, research shows that fast weight-loss by crash dieting can severely harm your long-term health, and Stockstill is not for it.

“I don’t like crash dieting because if you do it too often throughout your lifetime, you’re definitely going to compromise your metabolism long-term,” she says. “What will happen is- your body is used to burning a certain amount of calories every day and having a certain amount of calories to burn… then all of a sudden you restrict those calories… and your body will end up going in, what they say, starvation or storage mode because whatever you do end up eating, your body feels that it doesn’t want to burn through those calories that it is getting, and so your body starts becoming very conservative with what it will burn.”

Stockstill says crash dieting does make you skinner, but the ultimate result is making you fatter (Yep, just dropped the F bomb, please excuse my language).

“If your metabolism has been constantly comprised through your early 20s, when you start to get into your late 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond, your metabolism had a toll taken on it, so you tend to gain weight easier,” she says.

So crash dieting is just a big no-no. Plus the weight that disappears during crash-dieting is not the fat you want to lose (because the body is trying to store it to function), but rather muscle that is melting away- the stuff that makes you look good.

“Fat does not have shape, but muscle does, so when people say they want to sculpt their body, that can only come by gaining more muscle. And the way that you do that is through weight training or some type of resistance training,” not crash dieting, she says.

So the best way to get in shape this Halloween is not yo-yo dieting, but by working out and consistently fueling your body by eating right.

Here’s what she recommends:

Working out-

  • For people who haven’t seen the inside of a gym for quite some time now, she says you should be doing 45-60 minutess of cardio to get in shape. “For a person who needs weight-loss, they need to do longer 
  • cardio at a lower intensity,” she says. “For weight-loss, they say to keep your heart rate at a lower level, but to workout longer. It’s better for long term weight-loss.” She also says to add a little bit of strength training workouts. Do this at least 3 times a week.
  • For people who have been keeping up with the gym, she says you should be doing 20-30 minutes cardio at a high intensity and one hour strength training. “When you’re more fit, you can push yourself to do more.” Do this at least 3 times a week.
  • TIP: Intensity levels are very unique to each person’s fitness level. The goal is to push yourself and for some, that may mean running at 4.0 speed on the treadmill, and for others, it’s a 8.0 speed. Stockstill recommends using the “talking test” to figure out how hard you need to push yourself.
  • Talking Test: For lower intensity cardio, “you should be able to carry a conversation, but not be able to sing.” And for higher intensity cardio, “you should feel like it’s challenging to talk.” Another reason to workout with a friend! You’ll have someone to talk to.

Meal Plan-

Remember, calorie-intake varies for each person. “It depends on age, weight, height, and other things,” says Stockstill. She says keeping a clean diet with  low sugar and carbohydrates with high fibers, such as brown rice and yams, is best for anyone who is trying to get fit for Halloween. And here’s a plan, that she says, everyone can follow:

  • Breakfast- One egg with extra egg whites, a slice of whole grain/ high-fiber toast or a low-carb tortilla, and 1/4 of an avocado.
  • Lunch- One chicken breast, 1/4 cup of brown rice or half a sweet potatoe, and steamed veggies.
  • Dinner- 4 oz of protein (preferably fish), salad with mixed veggies (carrots, brocolli, cucumbers, etc.) with low-fat dressing, and crewtons for some crunch.
  • Snack- Greek yogurt with the highest amount of protien and berries.

So there ya go! Look and feel good this Halloween… the right way. Who knows, maybe this will become a routine and you’ll have a scary-in-shape body all year around.

“It’s all about clean eating,” says Stockstill, “and getting in a routine you can sustain long-term.”

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