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Easy Tricks to Feel Fabulous This Summer

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It's that time again! Take out your teeny weenie yellow polka-dot bikini and catch some sun by the pool.

Although summer brings warm weather and beach days, it may also lead to fad dieting and unhealthy habits. If you're like most women, you'll try anything to de-bloat and slim down. Don't be fooled by quick fixes that are temporary and leave you feeling dissatisfied. Soon, cravings consume the mind, and one binge later you're back to hiding in a sarong. Not this year! My easy tips are proven to help you lose weight while eating all of your favorite foods. These easy "no diet" tips will help boost your confidence so you feel firmer, more energized, and ready to hit the beach!

• Drink enough water. Although research varies on the subject, men and women need about two liters per day.

• Downsize plates so eating is a visual experience. Portion your meals and sit down to really enjoy the flavor.

• Try new things and make sure to have a diet full of variety. Visit a local farmer's market to check out the treats of the season -- there is always a new fruit or vegetable to sample.

• Eat quality foods and fewer processed snacks, meals, and drinks.

• Watch your salt intake. Eating excessive salt can lead to weight gain.

• Also watch your sugar intake, as most people indulge their sweet tooth too frequently.

• Get enough electrolytes in your diet. Boost your potassium! Foods rich in this nutrient include bananas, potatoes, and dried apricots. Other low-calorie, high-potassium foods include carrots, peppers, and brussel sprouts. Increase your levels of magnesium! This electrolyte is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions and plays an important role in energy production, specifically ATP.

• Consume more calcium. Calcium-rich foods include milk, yogurt, spinach, kale, and sesame seeds. Calcium supports nerve and muscle functions, which is critical to keeping your body on the weight loss track. Also, getting enough vitamin D in your diet from fatty fish, mushrooms, eggs, and meat may lead to a greater weight loss.

• Eat enough protein. Protein-rich foods contain valuable amino acids that are linked with weight loss, increased energy, and lower fat levels.

• Make time for breakfast. It is still the most important meal of the day. It fuels your morning and kickstarts your metabolism.

• Sleep more. Sleep deprivation can lead to fatigue, clumsiness, and weight gain. Getting enough sleep is crucial to proper cognitive function as well as controlling hunger.

• Find ways to deal with stress. When we feel that we've lost control of events, we tend to overeat and use food as an outlet to our problems.

• Make time for relaxation. Stress less, enjoy living, and you will see a change in your body.

• Adding simple exercises such as walking and yoga will help burn calories and calm your senses.

• Make these sayings your mantra or find a personal one that works for you:

  • "I will not use food to mask my emotional needs."
  • "I love the body I have."
  • "I will make peace with my body and treat it with respect."
Missed It? You can still participate in the 30-Day Summer Shape Up:

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