Slim Down For Summer
With summer just around the corner, it’s time to step it up and get in shape! From how to maximize your workouts to easy tips on cutting calories Today’s Outlook has simple tips and tricks to have you looking your best come beach season!
You’ve gotta move it to lose it!
An effective weight loss plan must include an increase in physical activity. This doesn’t necessarily mean signing up at the local gym; those who are short on time can make simple modifications to their daily routines and increase activity levels. Skip the elevator and take the stairs, park your car a little further from work and walk the rest of the way, even energetically vacuuming and completing other household chores can help burn extra calories! During television commercial breaks do a few lunges and squats and when you are at the mall make it a rule to never take an escalator or elevator. The aim is to get in at least 30 minutes of activity a day, even if it is broken down into ten-minute sessions. Keep in mind that burning just a few extra calories a day can add up, and every kilogram you lose translates to about 2.54cm around your waistline!
Interval training will help burn more calories, fast, by increasing metabolism, burning fat and burning calories long after your workout is complete. Regardless of your preferred method of training, be it running, swimming, biking, or walking, try incorporating short bursts of increased intensity into your workout. For example, the next time you hit the treadmill, jog at a steady pace for 90 seconds followed by a sprint for 60 seconds. This sequence should be repeated five times, twice a week for optimum results. Studies show that interval training burns three times as much body fat compared to exercising at a steady pace. The short bursts of speed are thought to stimulate a fat-burning response within the muscles, so why not give it a go?!
Aim to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day to help you shed the extra weight and get bikini ready for summer! Keep a water bottle on-hand at all times and sip at it throughout the day – while driving, at your desk or cooking dinner. For even greater effectiveness drink lemon water. The naturally flavored diuretic is not only packed with Vitamin C but also contains detoxifying properties. Sipping on lemon water will help your body eliminate excess water weight as well as decrease cravings and keep hunger at bay. Simply squeeze half a lemon into a small bottle of water and get sipping!
Plan to succeed
Proper planning is key to maintaining a healthy diet; when you have pre-prepared healthy meals and snacks on-hand you are less likely to reach for junk or fast food when hunger strikes. Aim to eat three small meals and two snacks throughout the day and maintain a schedule for meal times. When you consume three large meals hours apart, your metabolism slows down in between. By eating more frequently throughout the day you ensure that your metabolism is always on the go, in addition to maintaining steady blood sugar levels and preventing hunger-inducing insulin spikes. Studies have shown that people who snack regularly eat less at mealtime so choose high-fiber, high-protein snacks like low-fat cheese, fiber crackers, fruits, veggies, or Greek yogurt. Remember the golden rule of weight loss: never skip breakfast!
Cut it out!
Losing weight is all about reducing caloric intake – this does not mean crash diets or starving yourself, simply cutting 100 calories from your daily diet can make a big difference and is a lot easier than you may think. Simple substitutions when cooking, switching to low-calorie condiments and avoiding high-calorie beverages are just a few easy ways to easily cut calories from your diet. Swap out soda for water, try grilled chicken instead of crispy or simply removing the cheese from your sandwich or burger will do the trick! When cooking use a low-sodium broth or cooking spray rather than butter or oil and watch out for calorie-laden condiments – one small serving of mayonnaise has about 100 calories and most sandwiches contain more than one serving! Salads may seem healthy but can also be full of hidden calories. Skip the croutons, cheese, toasted tortilla strips and other fancy salad toppings and switch to a low-fat dressing or vinaigrette on the side – limit your salad dressing to two tablespoons to cut calories! If you are looking to lose even more calories why not try the five-bite rule? Eating five bites less than you would normally eat from your meals can save you up to 500 calories a day!
Envision the finish line
Realistic, well-planned weight-loss goals will keep you focused and motivated. While your end goal is clear, setting specific short-term goals to help get you there will be the difference between success and failure. For example rather than saying ‘I will exercise this week’ set a goal to walk for 20 minutes after dinner each night. Be sure to set realistic goals with healthy and attainable timelines, a goal to lose four kilos per week will only set you up for failure. Recognize each small victory with a reward of some sort (not necessarily an edible one!), as they are your building blocks for long-term success. Track your success in a journal or better yet, take a ‘before’ picture in your swimsuit to serve as a reference point to track your progress. Every few weeks take another picture and compare it to earlier ones. Alternately, just hang that swimsuit somewhere visible to you each day to serve as the motivation to stick with it and stay strong!