Swimsuit season is here and it’s not too late to shed a few pounds. But a crash diet isn’t the answer. You need to be smart about weight loss so that it lasts. Here are six tips to lose weight the smart way this summer. You can thank us later.
- Replace a meal with a smoothie – Smoothies can be a great weight loss tool because you control the ingredients. By replacing one meal a day with a smoothie, you can get all the nutrients you need in one glass without adding excess or empty calories. By adding some protein, it will keep you feeling full for a long time, so you’re less likely to snack as well.
- Change your coffee order– If your barista knows you by name and can place your order without asking, you might need to change things up a bit. The coffee itself isn’t the problem, but the dairy and sugar you add can be a calorie trap. Try this challenge: for the next six weeks, swap out your latte for iced black coffee or better yet, green or herbal tea. Once you’re used to it, you might not go back.
- Step away from the electronics – At least while you’re eating, you should take a break. We know multi-tasking can be satisfying, but eating while you work or catch up on email isn’t healthy. In fact, a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found subjects who ate while playing computer solitaire had more difficulty remembering what they had eaten AND felt significantly hungrier afterward.
- Get more sleep – When you don’t get enough sleep, your stomach starts producing more grehlin, an appetite stimulating hormone that causes an increased craving for carbohydrates, which leads to a rapid rise in glucose followed by surges in insulin.It’s a terrible combination that results in increased fat storage and nocturnal eating.
- Drink more water – Water really should be your beverage of choice. Sodas, juices and energy drinks are loaded with sugars and empty calories. Over time, those calories add up and you gain unwanted pounds. So, stick with water. How much? Just take your body weight in pounds and multiply that number by .55. The answer is the number of ounces of water you should be drinking each day.
- Walk everywhere – Walking is the easiest form of exercise there is. Going to the store? Park farther away and walk. Taking your lunch break? Pack a healthy lunch and go for a walk. We’re not talking about a leisurely stroll here, either. Speed is important. A study from the University of Virginia found that women who did three short (about 30-minute) high-intensity walks plus two moderately paced recovery walks a week lost up to six times more abdominal fat than participants who simply strolled five days a week. The power walkers also dropped about four times as much total body fat. Bonus? When women walk, deep abdominal fat is the first to go!