It’s the time of the year when most people are looking for ideas on how to get their body ready for bathing suit season. Losing weight during the summer can be troublesome, but there are some tips you can follow in order to slim down. A lot of people resort to crash diets or fad diets to achieve their goals, but these methods are designed to induce stress on your body, so they’re impractical.
Losing weight is easier when you make more conscious food choices and change minor things here and there, but in its essence it’s as easy as burning consuming fewer calories than you actually burn.
Summer is the perfect time for light, refreshing meals that will help you avoid a hot kitchen and heavy dishes. Plus, consuming produce at its peak is a great way to get more nutrients such as minerals and antioxidants into your system. Furthermore, you can stop portion control when eating fresh fruit and vegetables.
Here are a few tips to lose weight this summer.
Cut Back on Alcohol
Cutting back on alcohol is one of the safest, smartest bets you can make while trying to lose weight. Since alcohol has a chemical structure that resembles that of sugar, drinking it will cause insulin resistance, which in turn promotes weight gain.
A glass of Mojito or Chardonnay is packed with calories, but has low nutritional benefit. This is why it would be ideal to give your liver a break for six weeks. However, if you must have a drink, you can go with a wine spritzer, but make sure that your second drink will be water. Mixers are even worse, as orange juice effectively doubles the calorie count of a measure of vodka.
Another good idea is to try tequila and seltzer on the rocks, as this combination is not as sugary as a margarita, but still has a pleasant taste. It also helps if you sip slowly.
For a hot beach bod and glowing skin, tomato juice is a wonderful choice that has been proven to help women who consumed the drink every day lose an inch off the waistline after eight weeks.
A study from Penn State University has proven that consuming a low-calorie soup before meals can reduce your food and calorie intake. Soups offer an appetite-suppressing combination of liquids and solids, and eating soup as a first course before lunch can reduce your total calorie intake by 20 percent, compared to a meal without soup.
You can choose a veggie-based soup instead of your lunchtime sandwich in order to lower your calorie and carb intake, while also incorporating more vegetables into your diet.
Cold soups are great low-calorie dishes, with cucumber-dill and gazpacho being two delicious choices you can try. They’re packed with chunky vegetables, and a broth-based soup can make you feel fuller for longer, helping you eat less at the meal.
Practice Portion Control and Resist Temptation
Most people assume that the portion we are served at a table is the actual amount we need, or want. In the last two decades, portion sizes in restaurants have soared, and studies say we end up eating 92% of the food we serve ourselves.
What can we do about it? Put less food on your plate, or choose a smaller plate to create an illusion of a fuller plate. You can also try sitting further away from the table, or even nimble on snacks throughout the day so you don’t overindulge yourself later on.
You can also try eating off a crinkly plate, as it has ridges and troughs that trick our brain into seeing smaller portions, larger. While there’s actually less food than on a normal plate, you will still be able to enjoy the appearance of a full meal.
Other studies show that eating slower and chewing more can help make you feel satisfied faster. So, train yourself to chew more slowly during meals to achieve fullness sooner.
Ditch the Fruit Juice
Compared to its source, fruit juice is higher in sugar and lower in nutrients and fiber. What’s more, there’s a lot of nutritious stuff in the skins of the fruit, which are lost during juicing. If you feel like drinking apple juice, you can eat the apple and drink a glass of water with it.
Alternatively, you might want to try grilled banana sundaes with low-fat ice-cream, grille blackberries and peaches with hones, frozen grapes or bananas covered with chocolate or grilled pineapple with rum and pecans.
Eat More Salads
Salads are easy to make, requiring no real recipes and little time. All you have to do is rinse the product, slice or dice it, add some vegetables or fruit and some cheese and you’re good to go. You can also add a handful of toasted nuts and a light, low-calorie dressing such as olive oil and vinegar, vinaigrette or lemon juice.
Summer salads are delicious and refreshing, but also work to promote weight loss. Salads allow you to enjoy summer produce and it’s nice to wander around farmers markets on bright days as you sample along.
Get Enough Sleep
Since lack of sleep can cause hunger and trigger other fat-building hormones, it’s important to get 7-8 hours of shut-eye every night. Not getting enough sleep causes the body to produce more ghrelin, which is a hormone produced in the stomach that stimulates your appetite.
When ghrelin levels are high, it makes you crave carbohydrates more — especially the type that causes rapid glucose rise and insulin surges. This dangerous combination makes you gain more fat and leads to more eating during the night, which is when the body has a harder time burning calories.
One study on 10 overweight volunteers who followed a diet while sleeping 5.5 hours per night for a couple of weeks and 8.5 hours for another two weeks. In both of these circumstances, subjects managed to lose 6.5 pounds, but when the group slept less, it felt hungrier and lost less fat — 1.3 pounds compared to 3 in the 8.5 hours group.
These 6 tips to lose weight this summer are easy to implement and require a little self-control. Remember to also drink at least half of a gallon of water per day, as your body needs water to sustain a higher metabolic rate and burn more calories.