It is finally June and more than likely you have swapped sweaters for shorts and boots for bathing suits. With summer comes many special events such as graduations, reunions, weddings, pool parties, and vacations. I hope that by maintaining your healthy habitudes year round you feel that you are never far off from looking and feeling your best. With good habits, we may find a comfortable yet healthy weight that is quite easy to maintain. However, for that special event, we may be looking to drop some water weight, see the scale move down 5 pounds, or tone and tighten up that beach body! By maintaining a healthy eating plan and dedicated exercise regimen as a lifestyle, you can successfully use these few slim secrets as a short-term plan to feel your best no matter the occasion!
1. If you feel like you are doing everything right; killing it at the gym, eating lean, clean, and green, and getting restful sleep, but still aren’t seeing the results you desire, it’s time to scrutinize everything. Starting new medications, aging, stress, and more can affect how your body metabolizes and breaks down food. Take a few days or up to a week and fill in a food diary. Online resources such as my plate or my fitness pal make this extremely easy. Sometimes we are eating more than we think, or we have no clue how many calories are actually in some of the foods we are popping into our mouths. By tracking everything we consume we’ll get a pulse on what’s really going on, and can make appropriate adjustments from there. I encourage you to use this as a tool and as a guide. Try not to get obsessed over this!
For the short term goal of a vacation or class reunion, you may be drastically dropping your calories (never dropping below 1200!). Remember this is for the short term only and the quality of your calories is very important. Eat nutrient dense fruits and veggies to keep you full and healthy. Sure, you could lose weight by eating 1200 calories of low-fat cookies and processes microwave meals; but, you those choices aren’t too healthy and a plan like this can’t last long. Irritability and hunger are no fun, and those cookies will not satisfy you! Calories are what count when it comes to weight loss, and choosing the right calories will get you there with ease!
2. Eat a breakfast every day that includes proteins and carbohydrates! Lots of people will cut carbs to lose weight and that can work, no doubt. However, I encourage you to eat your complex carbohydrates in the morning to provide your body the energy it will need to get through the rest of the day. You actually need carbohydrates to burn fat! Stick to consuming them in the morning and attempt to get your carbs from fruits and veggies for the later parts of the day.
3. Drink water! You will be running to the bathroom more often, but that is OK. To pull off any water weight your body is holding onto, you need to consume more water. Take a sip right now!
4. Eliminate all beverages except green tea, coffee, and water. Even your heart healthy glass of red wine! This is just short-term for that special event. Those last few pounds are the absolute hardest to lose. Therefore, if you want them gone, you need to be strict! Try this for the last week or two leading up to your event.
5. Clean out the kitchen. If you don’t have candy, cookies, breads, rolls, ice cream, or whatever your favorite treat is in the house you can’t eat it. Why put yourself through the agony of having to say no and hoping your willpower is strong enough? Out of sight, out of mind. Get. Rid. Of. It.
6. Cut way back on salt/sodium intake. If you are still eating process or packaged foods, check your labels. Also avoiding adding salt to your cooking for the week or two leading up to your event.
7. Bump up your workouts. You do not have to spend 2 hours in the gym or start doing two-a-day workouts to get to your goal. However, you can train smarter by increasing your intensity or by using a heart rate monitor as your own personal trainer to ensure you are not over or under training. Check this post out for more information on heart rate monitoring! Add an extra cardio day, HIIT session, or go for more walks-even just 10 minutes at a time will add up and make a difference!
8. Change your perspective. Ask yourself why you think you need to lose a few pounds, tighten up, or fit into your old leisure suit. Don’t compare yourself to a previous version of you when perhaps you were younger and had less going on or more time to be active.
Stay away from juice cleanses, extreme dieting, or gimmicks.
Calories count, the quality of your food matters as well as the timing of consumption.
Make sure you are not drinking any extra calories during this time, and watch your salt intake.
Stock your kitchen with healthy snacks only.
Work out like you mean it!
Be happy with who you are and where you are. Confidence is the best accessory!
Cheers to summer!