Health & Fitness
Get In Shape
March 20, 2017
With swimsuit season rapidly approaching, it’s time to take action and slim down for summer! You don’t have to starve yourself or enlist in training boot camp to be bikini-ready; a few simple adjustments to your everyday routine and diet can work wonders. Read on for simple tips and tricks to help you lose weight and look fabulous this summer.
Drinking eight to ten glasses of water a day will do wonders for you! Not only will it flush toxins from your system and help you burn fat faster than if you are dehydrated, but it can also help to curb your appetite. Next time you’re feeling puckish, sip on a glass of water before you head to the fridge. Switch up sodas, juices and flavored coffees (which can have hundreds of hidden calories) for water to not only cut out unnecessary sugar and calories, but also to beat the bloat! It may sound counterintuitive, but the best trick to beating bloating is to drink more water, so drink up!
No matter how many times it’s been said, people still make the common mistake of skipping breakfast to help cut calories. Skipping breakfast will only slow down your metabolic rate and cause your blood sugar to drop, resulting in a lack of energy and setting yourself up to impulsively snack throughout the morning or eat bigger portions for lunch or dinner. When trying to slim down it is imperative that you eat a well-balanced breakfast that includes lean protein and fiber. Eating early on in the day not only keeps you from over snacking throughout the day but also jump starts your metabolism, so your body feels nourished and satisfied and you are less likely to overeat during the rest of the day. Don’t have time? We aren’t necessarily suggesting a gourmet breakfast buffet, grab a piece of fruit on the go or a tub of yogurt when you are pressed for time.
Rise & Shine
Set your alarm half an hour earlier than you normally would and squeeze in a quick morning workout before the family has awoken and the morning chaos kicks in. This is the optimal time to burn fat instead of carbohydrates because your body has been fasting throughout the night, creating a depletion of glycogen (stored carbohydrate) and lower blood sugar. By exercising in the morning, you not only burn fat during your workout but at an accelerated rate for hours after.
You Snooze, You Lose!
If you want to speed up your metabolism (which, let’s face it, who doesn’t once you’re over 30?) get at least seven to eight hours of shut-eye. Your body restores itself during sleep, so it's operating at peak capacity—which includes ensuring food is processed as quickly and efficiently as possible. According to recent studies, the less you snooze the more likely you are to be overweight because your body produces less of the hormone Leptin. Leptin works to promote weight loss in two ways; it discourages you from eating and helps you expend more energy. What’s more, the hormone Ghrelin, which stimulates appetite, is found to be higher in people who don’t get enough sleep. So squeeze in a nap whenever you can and maintain good sleeping habits.
Make the Cut
If you are serious about trimming down there are certain foods that you must kick to the curb! Eliminate all processed foods and give your body the natural foods that it can digest easily. Switch out anything and everything that’s white to whole grain or wheat. Not only is it the healthier choice, but the increased levels of fiber will keep you feeling fuller for longer and will increase your rate of digestion and improve your intestinal health. Eat plenty of salads but skip the extra bacon bits, cheese cubes, dried fruits, croutons and mayo-packed dressings! If you really want to lose those extra pounds fast, consider giving carbs the boot – when your body can’t rely on carbohydrates for energy, it will start to burn fat instead!
Rather than eating your three staple meals a day, space out your recommended calories with three normal meals and two snacks. Eating five or six small meals a day will help regulate blood sugar, control cravings, speed up your metabolism and keep you from feeling hungry. Be sure to choose the right foods and watch out for your portion sizes. Make sure you plan and prepare your healthy and nutritious meals and snacks ahead of time to avoid you reaching into the fridge and eating whatever is available.
Switch It Up
Interval training is a great way to help increase your metabolism, burn calories from fat and carbohydrates, and keep burning calories long after you finish exercising. It involves varying an exercise routine to include short periods of increased intensity and the good news is you can use interval training for just about anything; swimming, walking, running, cycling, you can even do it at home or at the gym. For example, if your cardio routine involves running, try switching it up by alternating jogging and sprinting in two-minute bursts. Not only will your routine be a little more interesting but research shows that more calories are burned in short, high intensity exercises.
Stick With It!
The difference between success and failure to stick with a weight loss plan is often motivation. Do whatever it takes to keep you going full steam ahead, be it enlisting a work-out buddy, telling friends and family about your plans or hanging that new bikini in a place you will see it everyday. If you fall off the wagon with your healthy eating plan, don’t dwell on it and give up, pick yourself up and carry on. Most importantly, set reasonable goals that are attainable. Better yet, set small weekly or monthly goals to enable you to track your progress and keep you motivated as you reach them step by step!