Your mind might be thinking beach but your body is still reflecting your winter hibernation. It’s normal for anyone to add a little extra weight during the winter months. When it’s cold outside we eat more comforting food, tend to be less active, and not to mention indulging in all those holiday gatherings. Spring is here though, and Summer is just around the corner. If you’re ready to shred away those last few winter pounds, follow these simple diet tips.
Nothing packs on the pounds like refined sugars. The holidays come with cookies, cakes, and pies galore so it’s likely your body has become more accustomed to you consuming more substantial amounts of sugar. Unfortunately, the more sugar you eat, the more your body craves it. This means you may still be subconsciously consuming more sugar than you realize.
Because refined sugars are among the most calorically dense and nutritionally poor food choices, you could be consuming far more calories than you intend to, preventing you from losing weight. If you want to quickly work toward that beach body, try cutting out added sugars from your diet entirely. You’ll have to read food labels religiously as many packaged foods have added sugars you may not realize are there.
Don’t forget that this tip applies to your beverages as well. Sodas, sports drinks, teas, and juices are packed with sugar. If you’re an avid soda drinker, eliminating soda alone can have a huge impact on your ability to lose extra weight.
Raw Fruits and Veggies
Now that the weather is warming up, there are lots of fresh fruits and veggies coming into season. Try eating as many of your fruits and vegetables raw as possible to ensure you are getting the maximum dietary fiber and nutritional substance from them. Eating raw, whole fruits and vegetables also helps you feel fuller for longer which can keep you from overeating or snacking unnecessarily.
Try packing a banana or carrot sticks for a healthy snack on the go. You can also serve yourself fresh berries with oatmeal for breakfast, apple slices with lunch, and try fresh and crunchy salads with dinner.
Studies have shown that people who drink plenty of water tend to weigh less. Not only are you likely avoiding drinking sugary beverages, proper hydration actually prevents your body from retaining water. If you’ve ever heard of losing “water weight” know that this does not refer to drinking less water. A dehydrated body will actually begin to retain water to maintain proper functioning of the vital organs. So, drinking plenty of water will actually keep your body at the proper hydration level and help eliminate bloat.
A good rule of thumb for drinking plenty of water is to divide your bodyweight in half and drink that many ounces of water per day. For example, a 150 pound person should drink approximately 75 ounces of water each day.
There are some simple tricks you can do to help you remember to be drinking water throughout the whole day. Try keeping a reusable water bottle with you at all times and fill it at fountains when you come across them. Take “water breaks” at work. Stand up and stretch for a minute before heading to the water fountain. Finally, always order water at restaurants first and try to drink a whole glass of water before each meal.
One of the most common nutritional traps we fall into is finding ourselves hungry and without a plan. You may even find yourself hangry without a plan which will result in endulgent eating. Meal planning can eliminate the risk of eating fast food or grabbing sweets from the breakroom.
Try packing lunches and snacks that are satisfying and healthful. When you go to the grocery store, buy foods that can multitask for you like chicken breasts, nuts, and leafy greens. If you pre-cook your chicken breasts you can easily whip up salads, pastas, or create protein packs with cheese and nuts.
Remember, this can still apply to those who do not wish to cook. Try choosing restaurants that offer healthful choices and smaller portions and choose from the online menu ahead of time. This can keep you from making the eye-catching choice that happens to also be 1000 calories. Be the friend who offers up somewhere to go instead of saying you “don’t care”. Map out places you can walk to each day for lunch and try some new places that offer fruit and veggie heavy options.
You might be the kind of person who doesn’t have time to sit down to big meals and prefers to snack throughout the day. Or, you may just really need an afternoon pick-me-up to get you home for dinner. Snacking smarter can eliminate hundreds of calories and help you drop those pesky last few pounds.
Try snacking with nuts, fruits, vegetables, greek yogurt, or other high-protein choices to keep you satisfied. A protein and fiber filled snack will prevent cravings for those donuts still lurking in the breakroom.
These quick diet tips will help you bust out those last few pounds before summer. Try one or all of them for the next few weeks to start seeing results fast. Swimsuit season is just around the corner, so don’t let your winter weight come with you to the beach.