Summer is here already and with it comes the need to start off on a surefire shape-up – slim down plan to look your sexy best in all those skimpy summer outfits. If shedding the unwanted extra weight hasn’t happened yet, don’t despair, here’s how to fast-track it.
Kavita Devgan -nutritionist and weight management consultant and author of Don’t Diet! 50 Habits of Thin People– shares tips on how you can be as fit as swimsuit model Emily Ratajkowski.
Make one diet change at a time
Your diet surely needs an overhaul ASAP, but don’t try to sort out all the messes all at once. Go slow if you want to be able to stick to them. Going on an all give-up diet suddenly is a definite recipe for failing, so go slow on changes. Maybe do one each week. Give up on fried foods, then sugar, then cut down on carbs from two meals…and so on….
See what you eat
Plate your food instead of eating out of the jar or bag. Eat the low-cal items on your plate first, then move to the rest. Start with salads, veggies, and soups, and eat meats and starches last. By the time you get to them, you’ll be full enough to be content with smaller portions of the high-calorie choices.
Summer time is perfect to start adding lots of vegetables to your diet. Add just one fruit or veggie serving daily. Get comfortable with that, then add an extra serving until you reach five to six a day. Doctor your veggies to make them delicious: Dribble a little maple syrup over carrots, and sprinkle chopped nuts on green beans. Keep bags of your favourite frozen vegetables on hand. Mix any combination, microwave, and top it with your favourite low-fat dressing. Enjoy three to four cups of this a day. It even makes a great quick dinner.
Remember, eat before you meet
Eating out cannot be avoided. For whatever reason, be it obligation, family calls, office dos or just a friend-party-time, if eating out is your bane, instead of getting bogged down by it, work around it. Make this a Must Do: Have a small meal before you go to any party – a hardboiled egg, apple, and a thirst quencher (water or something else).
Cut down on alcohol
Alcohol is a lot of extra and empty (no nutrients) calories. And the one thing which when banned, will give you very quick weight loss results.
Stop night binging
Brush your teeth right after dinner to remind you: No more food. And put a sign on the kitchen and refrigerator doors: ‘Closed after Dinner.’
Tame your sweet tooth.
Try two weeks without sweets. It’s amazing how your cravings vanish. Also, eat more fruit. A person who gets enough fruit in his diet doesn’t have a raging sweet tooth. If you have to have them, then eat smart! Carve out about 150 calories thrice a week for your favourite sweet. That amounts to about two to three pieces of chocolate, half a modest slice of cake, or 1/2 a cup of regular ice-cream.
Cut off those beverages
Brace yourself for a shock: About 10 to 14 percent of your daily calories don’t come from food at all. Consider this: One caffe latte for breakfast, one can of soda at lunch, and umpteen cups of tea through the day can blow your daily budget of calories! Making a few shrewd beverage swaps could trick your body into accepting fewer calories without cutting back on food. So be wary of enticing high-cal beverages. Some of these icy drinks are pretty much similar in calories as a fattening dessert. Besides, these liquid calories don’t help satisfy your appetite either.
Drinking too little can also hamper your weight loss efforts. We are talking about water here. So, drink yourself thinner this summer. Dehydration can slow your metabolism, thereby leading to more pounds piling up.
Fight the fatty-food overload
In summer, our bodies naturally crave fresh, in-season fruits and vegetables, and we generally have decreased cravings for rich, fatty foods, so it is naturally easy to cut off the extra fat. Also, the amount of fat you eat will vary from day to day. Some meals and some days will be higher in fat. That’s okay. It is the average intake of fat over the course of weeks and months that is important, not the fat content of every food and meal you eat.
Weave in exercise time
Exercise is important. An hour a day is little to ask for the benefit you will get from exercise, and summer is a good time to start. If you already have an exercise program, you can increase your efforts, your goals, and your well-being, by being active in the summer sunshine. So pledge to make exercise a non-negotiable exercise plan. Maybe enlist a friend to work-out with you.