With summer months just around the corner, you might well be thinking about that bikini body!
Whatever you do, don’t suddenly limit your calorie intake, yes you will shed weight fast but that weight is mostly water and it will soon pile back on as soon as you revert back to your old eating habits.
It’s also very unhealthy to lose weight this way and puts a strain on your vital organs.
It is better to take care when losing weight and do it slowly.
However, warmer weather means more flesh to bare so if you want to get rid of that belly fat or shed a few pounds to feel extra-fabulous, read our safe and quick tips to slim down for summer so you hit that beach with confidence.
1. Download a Fitness App
There are thousands of fitness apps available suitable for smartphones and most are tailored to “regular” people who don’t spend their days rigorously exercising but just want to get fitter or shed a few pounds.
As an example, the running apps (such as Couch to 5k) slowly guide you through a plan to get you from running for 60 seconds to half an hour in 9 weeks.
Running three times a week speeds up the metabolism, a person of normal height and weight can burn an extra 250 calories in just 20 minutes of light running.
As well as running, there are lots of 7-minute exercise plans available that take just 7 minutes per day, these are good for toning and tightening, however, you do need to be disciplined and stick to your exercise plan to see the effects and you need to factor in some cardio for best results.
2. Re-examine Your Protein
Protein is essential for a healthy diet and making small changes such as switching out your protein choices could make all the difference to your weight.
Choose lean protein such as chicken breast, sole or salmon rather than burgers, bacon, pork, etc.
Don’t eat high-fat cheese, instead choose cottage cheese and instead of full-fat creamy yogurt, choose Greek yogurt instead.
Think about how you cook your protein too, don’t deep fry and skip shallow frying too unless you use an oil substitute.
It’s worth remembering that a single serving of oil (one tablespoon) provides 119 calories and all of those calories are from fat!
3. Switch Out Tea and Coffee
One very useful way of shedding a few extra pounds is by drinking green tea.
It is a natural antioxidant too so it is really good for you and it speeds up your metabolism, safely.
There are lots of studies that believe the flavonoids and caffeine in green tea can boost metabolism and even get rid of pockets of fat.
However, don’t rely solely on green tea, you can’t drink it and eat lots of chocolate too!
4. Choose Healthy Snacks
We all get hungry during the day and sometimes it’s difficult to avoid eating in-between meals (especially as there’s often not enough time to eat three meals during the day).
However, reaching for a calorific chocolate bar or a packet of crisps won’t do your body any favors!
It’s best to pack up healthy snacks in little Tupperware containers so you have them to hand.
A handful of raisins, a few almonds, sunflower seeds and chopped up fruit are all far healthier than sugary snacks and will stop extra pounds piling on.
5. Switch out Fatty Milk
If you drink full-fat milk with your cereal, tea or coffee, change it to skimmed milk.
Skimmed milk contains almost half the calories of full-fat milk, as an example, a glass of full-fat milk equates to 150 calories whereas a glass of skimmed milk is only 90 calories.
If you drink lots of tea and coffee a day, you’ll make a good calorie saving.
Of course, if you switch out to green tea as mentioned before, you’ll instantly eliminate all those extra calories entirely!
6. Walk, Don’t Take the Bus!
If you take the bus, why not walk instead?
If you have a long journey, just walk to the next bus stop and give your metabolism a small boost.
Don’t take the elevator, take the stairs!
Wherever there’s an opportunity to use your legs, do so.
These little changes soon add up.
7. Drink Good Old Water
Everyone should drink at least 2 liters a day of water.
It is so good for you, not only does it flush out impurities and toxins from your body, but it also clears skin and makes you glow from within.
Water is also essential in keeping your body slimmer and there are lots of reasons why.
Often, you are thirsty rather than hungry (the body sometimes cannot differentiate) and drinking regularly helps to reduce hunger pangs.
So next time you think you’re hungry, try a glass of water instead (flavor it with natural slices of fruit such as strawberries or oranges).
Water also reduces fluid retention and bloating because if you don’t drink regularly, your body releases an antidiuretic hormone.
This is what leads to water retention.
8. Stop Drinking Alcohol
Yes, alcohol is a huge culprit when it comes to piling on calories.
It delivers far more calories than carbohydrates and protein and it has zero nutrients.
Unfortunately, it’s a fact; alcohol makes your tummy wobble and adds empty calories too.
If you simply can’t live without alcohol, you should perhaps try a white wine spritzer (wine mixed with calorie-free soda water), it’s 75 calories a glass but limit the spritzers to twice a week.
9. Don’t Eat after 6 pm
Eating late slows down metabolism and it takes the body longer to process food.
Your body needs a good four hours to process a meal so try and eat your dinner earlier in the evening and give your body time to break it down before you go to sleep.
Most nutritionists will agree that eating early dinner is better for digestion and anything that benefits your digestive system helps you lose weight.
10. Reduce your Carbs
Just switching out your carbs for a week will have an impact on your weight.
There are lots of replacements.
For example, you could switch out pasta to gluten-free pasta (you can find this in most health food shops), don’t eat potatoes (so no French fries either), choose green, leafy vegetables for “good” carbs and avoid bread and crackers entirely.
If you don’t eat any carbs for a week and you follow a healthy eating plan you could shed up to 3lb!
Summing It All Up
So there you have it – 10 tips to losing weight quickly and easily without impacting your health.
Never skip meals or starve your body, it puts excessive stress on your organs and can lead to health complications.