Just about everyone feels the need to shed a few pounds when summer rolls around. It’s easy to hide a spare tire with a bulky winter sweater, but hot weather almost always requires less clothing for you to stay comfortable. These easy-to-follow tips can help you cut excess calories out of your diet and start burning off the extra fat that’s accumulated since the holiday season. |
1. Go Outside!
There’s no excuse for not going outside in the summer. If the heat of mid-day is too much in your part of the world, get outside in the morning or at dusk instead. Adding just 30 minutes of outdoor exercise per day (walking, jogging, biking, etc.) can help reduce the severity of chronic health problems, and jump start a weight loss regimen. It’s also a great way to ease yourself back into a healthier active lifestyle if you’ve been sedentary for a long time.
If you “can’t find the time” for 30 minutes a day, take something you do anyway and make it mobile. Call your sister while you’re walking, put on your favorite podcast, or grab your dog and make the most of your time!
To shed more belly fat, walk at a brisk pace instead of a leisurely stroll. Research into exercise physiology at the University of Virginia has found that increasing the pace of your 30-minute walk can speed up the weight-loss benefits of walking as a weight-loss exercise.
2. Choose Healthy Fats
Study after study has shown that a low-fat diet does NOT help you lose weight, as healthy fats are essential for our bodies to thrive. Instead of reaching for “low-fat” items (which usually means increased refined sugars) try to add more healthy fats, such as olive oil, avocados, butter (yes, butter is good for you) nuts, coconut oil, and high-fat fishes.
3. Soup it Up
We think of soups and stews as winter food but you don’t have to eat them piping hot. We still eat a fair amount of warm meals in summer, so try replacing your usual lunch options with veggie-rich soups for a week.
According to Penn State University research, the combination of liquids and solids makes soup a great appetite suppressant. Try making a homemade cold soup in your nutrition-blender, such as gazpacho or a cucumber-watermelon-mint soup. (Nothing tastes more like summer than watermelon, trust us on that one!)
4. Ditch the Sodas and Juices
Fruit juice has just as much sugar as sodas, and diet sodas have been proven to encourage continued sugar cravings. If you’re still drinking artificially sweetened sodas or sugary sports drinks, now is the perfect time to explore the alternatives!
Make your own refreshing summer drink with freshly squeezed lemon, lime or orange juice; blood sugar-lowering stevia; and lots of water. Another great summer drink is iced green tea, but don’t buy the bottled stuff, as it’s usually loaded with added sugar. Brew your own green tea to receive the maximum metabolism-boosting effects and sweeten it with stevia if you like it sweet. Flavored seltzer waters are quickly becoming a favorite drink for health-conscious Americans, and are a great choice if you prefer your drinks with bubbles.
5. Find Your Local Farmers Market and Go Every Week
An important rule of weight loss is that you have to stop purchasing unhealthy foods if you want to stop eating them. You won’t find refined sugars and carbohydrates at a produce market, but you will get excited about adding more healthy fruits and veggies when you see how fresh and good they look. It’s easy to buy your favorite unhealthy snacks at your regular big-box grocery store, less so at a farmer’s market.
To learn more about whole body wellness, visit the website of Trophy Club chiropractor Dr. Cody Doyle.
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