Summer Slim-Down Tips
Summer is officially here and what better way to start it off than some nutrition tips to help you look and feel your best!
Replace Your Typical Breakfast with a Smoothie: Not only are smoothie’s great for beating the summer heat but they also give you an opportunity to fuel your body with several different nutrients first thing in the morning. I encourage you to put away your standard breakfast food for the summer and bring out the blender. If you don’t want to commit to a smoothie daily, then at least attempt two-three times a week. This is a great way to get your fruits and veggies in as well as keep you full and energized throughout the morning.
Make a Switch to Mini Meals: To keep energy up and to beat the bloat that often comes after eating a large meal, eat 4-6 mini meals throughout the day. Be sure to include a protein source with each meal.
Stick to Lean Protein: Protein takes more energy to digest, which increases your metabolism. Opt for lean proteins such as chicken, turkey, fish , plain yogurt, and nuts. Avoid processed meats and cheeses which are culprits for bloating and constipation.
Fill up with Water: Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water. Your body gets especially dehydrated in the summer and sipping on water throughout the day will keep you hydrated, help digest your food, flush out toxins (add a squeeze of fresh lemon to help the detox process) and keep you full. If you find yourself hungry soon after a meal, have a glass of water before eating more food. Dehydration is often mistaken for hunger.
Eat Your Fruits and Veggies: Most fruits and vegetables are water dense. This means they not only contribute to keeping you hydrated but you also get full fast without feeling heavy or consuming a lot of calories. If you’re headed to the pool or beach, avoid eating peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and onions right before going because they tend to cause bloating and gas.
Minimize Your Grain Intake: Most people have gotten in the bad habit of eating grains (pasta, cereal, bagels, bread, muffins, rice, etc.) with every meal and it’s just not necessary. To make matters worse, the grains are typically processed and refined. You will survive (and actually thrive) without having bread or some side of grain at each meal. Try having grains (preferably wheat-free) just one meal a day and you will notice less bloating, more energy, and a slimmer you in just a few days.
Cut Out the Excess Sugar: If you’re trying to lose weight, eating sweet treats each day will not help you. Develop the habit of grabbing a piece of fruit rather than candy or sweets. Not only will it keep you fuller and satisfied longer but it will also help drop excess weight. Keep the sweet treat to exactly that, a treat. Enjoy it sparingly!
Step Away From the Sports Drinks: With summer comes outdoor sports and lots of sweating. Instead of reaching for a sports drink that is full of sugar and empty calories, go for coconut water. Coconut water is the natural sports drink. It re-hydrates you and refuels the electrolytes depleted in your body. It has three times the amount of potassium than your average sports drink and half the sugar. It’s a great addition to your daily water intake.
If applying all of these tips to your current lifestyle seems unrealistic for you at this time, work with one tip at a time. If you want to develop a holistic lifestyle, you’ve got to start somewhere!