Summer is approaching fast, and if you’re like a lot of people, you’re still hanging on to some of that winter padding. Whether you’re getting ready for that skimpy bikini or you just want to look and feel your best, now is the time to do something about it. This guide offers six realistic, healthy ways you can start getting back your beach body. Even if you don’t want to look like a model, why wouldn’t you want to get in shape? Follow this guide, and you will be on your way to looking better than you have in years. You won’t be starving or killing yourself at the gym, either.
1. Get Your Grains Early
You’ve heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day more times than you can count. It turns out that, for people trying to shed a few pounds, what you eat in the morning does matter.
Your best bet in the morning is slow-burning carbohydrates that will give you energy and help you feel full longer. Try steel cut oats or quinoa-based recipes. Make these ahead of time and warm them up, so you don’t have to spend an hour in the kitchen before your day starts.
Need a few examples? Try steel cut oats with fresh seasonal berries and a teaspoon of honey, or make a quinoa salad with Greek yogurt, cucumber, and watermelon.
2. Add Salmon and Sardines to Your Diet
Grilled fresh fish is perfect for warm spring evenings, but fish high in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids can do more than impress your dinner guests. Fish like salmon and sardines can help flush water from the body, reduce bloating, and stabilize your blood sugar, helping to reduce cravings for foods that can wreck your otherwise healthy eating plan.
Fresh, wild-caught salmon is a healthy option if you love to cook, but canned versions of salmon and sardines can make quick meals that are excellent for lunch or dinner. Small amounts of those foods also make an ideal mid-day snack.
Add salmon or sardines to your diet two to three times per week. Stick with lean protein, like chicken breast, or vegetarian options, like black beans, the rest of the time.
3. Go Green
Your parents always told you to eat your vegetables, and even if you didn’t love steamed broccoli as a kid, getting your greens is essential now that you’re an adult. Foods like kale, broccoli, and spinach are full of vitamins and minerals, but they’re also high in fiber, which can help you feel full faster and for a longer time.
Incorporate greens into your meals throughout the day. Try a green shake or juice in the morning, a salad for lunch, and a healthy side, like sautéed broccoli, with your lean protein at dinner.When it comes to greens, you can’t have too much of a good thing.
4. Spice Up Your Life
Whether you love spicy food and eat something hot with every meal, or you just like it once in a while, a little heat can help get your weight loss going. That’s because spicy food can give your metabolism a little boost for a few hours after you eat.
People also tend to eat less when consuming spicy foods, since you have to slow down and take a sip of your water once in a while. Jalapeno, cayenne, and even mild chilies, like Anaheim and yellow peppers, can help you spice up your life.
5. Find Activities You Love
Exercise is an integral part of any realistic plan to lose weight. You can cut calories all day, but if you don’t get up and move around, you’ll find that meeting your goals is extremely challenging. If you have a hard time sticking with any exercise routine, it may be because you just don’t enjoy it! Running on a treadmill is fun for some people, but if it’s torture for you, why are you still doing it?
Find activities that get you moving and are enjoyable for you. Maybe you’ve always wanted to learn to play tennis, or perhaps you loved riding your bike as a kid but stopped when you got older. Whatever you choose to do, make it something you enjoy. Even if you don’t burn quite as many calories per exercise session, you’ll do better in the long run because you’ll stick with a routine.
6. Make Time for Sleep
You know sleep is essential, but the fact is that, if you’re not getting enough sleep, you’re going to have a hard time losing weight. If that doesn’t make sense to you, consider that sleep-deprived individuals tend to make poor choices at work, behind the wheel of their car, and in laboratory logic tests. So, what makes you think you’ll be able to say no to that donut when you’re exhausted?
Getting enough sleep also means having more energy the next day, and in turn, an increased chance that you’ll tackle the exercise you need to lose weight and get in shape. Aim for a solid eight hours every night.
Summer is just around the corner, and you can probably feel the temperature starting to climb. There’s a good chance you’re thinking about how you’re going to look in your bathing suit this summer too.Even if you’re not an avid pool partier or beach goer, you still probably want to look your best this summer. Whether you need to drop two pounds or 20 pounds, there’s no better time to start than right now.Use this guide to help you get back your beach body and slim down for the warm summer season ahead.