It’s that time of year again. Everyone is thinking about slimming down for the warmer weather. Here are ten weight loss tips that should help you get beach ready and swimsuit fit for summer.
- Fail to plan, plan to fail.
Plan your meals ahead of time. Planning your meals cuts down on bad food choices that come with waiting until you’re starving to decide what to eat. Planning your meals also allows you to do prep work ahead of time, cutting down on the need for processed foods. Making a grocery list that cuts down on poor choices and unhealthy impulse buys.
- Eat to lose.
Starving your body by skipping meals can actually backfire. Your body will go into starvation mode and start storing fat instead of using it up. It’s better to control your portions, cut back on snacking, and eating fresh spring foods, than it is to skip meals.
- Pack your own meals.
From packing brown bag lunches to creating your own snack packs containing nuts, fruits, and vegetable slices, taking your own food to work or school can keep from eating too much, eating the wrong things, or starving yourself. A snack pack from home is a better alternative to hitting the vending machines or the pastry cart, while a brown bag lunch can keep you away from the fast-food-bad-food nightmare.
- Drink up.
Switch up the sugary, calorie-laden soft drinks for some water. Decaf coffee can help curb cravings, and green tea is excellent hot or cold. Both offer a variety of antioxidants, too.
- Put some muscle into it.
Muscle burns more calories than fat. Cardio is great for slimming down, but if you really want to see some slim and trim action, add some strength training to your workout. Twenty minutes, twice a week is all it takes, while 30 minutes of some sort exercise every day will keep your heart happy and healthy and your body trim.
- Read your labels.
Beware of “fat-free” or “low fat” foods as they often contain high levels of sugar or sodium or, even worse, chemical compounds created to make them look and taste like the “real” thing.
- Forget the labels.
Eat as much real food as you can. Fresh fruits and vegetables, organic meats, and dairy are the healthiest foods to eat. If it really has to be labeled with ingredients so you know what’s in it, it’s probably best left at the market.
- Get a life.
A social life, that is. Many people turn to food for comfort or out of boredom. It’s been proven that people actively involved in groups, activities, clubs, or other social opportunities are more likely to lead healthier, happier lifestyles. Join a book club, volunteer with a community or religious organization, take a dance class—just get out there and get sociable.
- Find motivation.
Whether it’s a new wardrobe, a beach vacation, or a trip to the spa, a reward at the end of your successful journey really can make a difference. Some find that motivation can come from within, too, through meditation or daily journaling. Sometimes, having a reason is reason enough.
- Start small.
Huge plunges are for the deep end of the pool on a hot day, not for changing your lifestyle. Starting small and building on those small successes is the best way to get real, lasting results. Trying to change too much too soon or too suddenly usually leads to stress, burnout, and failure.