Who's ready for summer!? With Memorial Day and warm weather just around the corner, it is time to whip out the bathing suits and put the chunky sweaters back in the closet. Getting your body ready for the warm weather can be a dreaded challenge, and although going to the gym is important for staying in shape, following a proper diet is even more important. You can have the tightest abs in America but if they are hiding under a layer of fat, no one will see how hard you have been working. Here are my top tips for getting your body healthy and prepared for the warm summer days ahead.
1. Salad Savior: We all suffer from salad boredom, but if you kick your salads up a notch, it is a great way to get in your veggies and protein. I love the Spring Clean salad from Parragon's Good Eating Salads book. Just mix two cored, diced apples with the juice of one lemon. In a bowl, combine large chunks of watermelon, one head of sliced endive, four chopped celery stalks and one tablespoon of walnut oil. Mix together with the the apple and lemon juice. If you don't have walnut oil, you can substitute for a healthy, flavorful olive oil. California Olive Ranch is a great choice with all locally-sourced olives.
2. Make Snacking Finite: Having a healthy snack that comes already portion-controlled is a great way to limit your snacking. If you are craving something sweet, try Sun Cups' Dark Chocolate Sunflower Butter Cups. One tasty chocolate cup only has 120 calories and is filled with delicious sunflower butter. It is also a perfect option for anyone with a nut allergy!
3. After Dinner Snack Attack: If you are a dessert-lover, try making your own frozen yogurt. Just freeze a cup of your favorite Greek yogurt and let it thaw a few minutes before eating. If you want to try some fun flavors and don't want to freeze it yourself, I love Yasso frozen Greek yogurt bars.
4. Push Back Dinner: If you tend to eat an early dinner and find yourself snacking the night away, try eating a later dinner so you are not as hungry and can keep the snacking to a minimum.
5. Leader by Lunch: Start your morning off right, and the rest of the day will follow. If you start your day with a healthy breakfast like two hard-boiled eggs and a banana, it is easier to stay healthy throughout the rest of the day.
6. Drink Up!: I can't stress enough how important it is to drink water, and I don't mean the flavored stuff. Good, old-fashioned water can help cleanse the body and actually keep you full. I recommend drinking one liter before lunch.
7. Portion Control: Your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Make sure to keep your portion sizes in check. Try eating off of a smaller plate. Filling up a smaller plate rather than a large one will keep your brain satisfied while keeping the calories down
8. Bread Is the Devil: Like I always say, bread is the devil. I know it is hard, but eliminating processed carbs like white bread and rice will help keep your figure at its best. No one has ever come to see me because they are eating too much broccoli.
9. Don't Forget Fiber: Filling up on foods that are high in dietary fiber will not only help keep you fuller longer, but is a great tool to help you lose weight. Try getting your fiber first thing in the morning with your breakfast. I love TeeChia cereal. It not only is super tasty, but also has six grams of fiber per every one-third cup serving.
10. Skip the Cocktails: We all know how tempting frozen margaritas and daiquiris can be, but eliminating those sugary drinks will save you tons of calories. If you feel the need to have a drink, go for a bottle of light beer or a vodka and soda with a splash of lime.
For more by Heather Bauer, RD, CDN, click here.
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