by Lucy Miller
A Fitness and Nutrition Expert
Bikini season is upon us and if you’re counting down the days to your summer holiday yet kicking yourself for leaving it to the last minute again – fear not! Just a few tweaks here and there, is definitely enough to shift a few extra pounds, tone up and get your body confidence up!
The thing I have to tell my clients over and over again, it’s not about fad diets or a quick fix, it’s about adopting new healthy habits, breaking bad habits, incorporating healthy eating and exercise into your lifestyle, which takes time, a positive attitude and commitment. Fad diets are just fads and as soon as you start eating normally again the weight will pile back on, making you feel bloated and unmotivated knowing you have to start all over again!
In my opinion, sound and sensible changes are the bedrock of sensible weight loss, with the view to losing around one to two pounds of weight a week. This may not sound like a lot, but the slower it comes off; the more likely it is to stay off. Plus it all adds up. Just say you have four weeks until your holiday – that’s half a stone easily lost, without suffering from hunger pangs, low energy levels or feeling deprived!
Here are my flat tummy eating tips to get you beach ready. Just remember – they’re not just for one week, but for life, so enjoy and don’t forget my favorite saying - slow and steady wins the race!
- Losing weight boils down to simple math. To lose one pound, burn or cut out 3,500 calories in the course of seven days. That breaks down to 500 calories per day. It's difficult to cut out that many by dieting alone, especially for someone who loves their food, so the most effective approach is this combo: each day, cut out 250 calories from your diet and burn 250 through exercise. Choose to either cut out one 250-calorie item such as a serving of ice cream, or omit a few small things that add up to 250 calories a day.
- To keep track of daily calorie consumption, start a food diary. Write down every nibble, from the bowl of cereal for breakfast, to the handful of Maltesers you grabbed off your co-worker's desk. Writing everything down will keep you accountable, so you know exactly how much you have eaten and when.
- Measure out portion sizes so you know exactly how much you're consuming. This way you can enjoy the foods you love without breaking the calorie bank.
- Don’t skip breakfast. Enjoying a hearty and nutritious meal in the morning can actually jump-start your metabolism and encourage pounds to drop. Choose a breakfast that's high in protein like eggs to give you energy, as well as full of fiber like toasted rye bread or wholemeal toast to keep you satisfied for hours.
- Build some foundations. Drink at least six to eight glasses of water, cups of herbal tea through the day. This stops you mistaking thirst for hunger and will of course keep your skin glowing and bright, a great base for a tan.
- Don’t rush your food. Eating slowly in a relaxed frame of mind means you’ll digest your food more effectively and prevent bloating and wind.
- Don’t eat anything white a week before you hit the beach. This means no cheese, no sugar and no chips! They are bloating, will make you crave more because they raise your blood sugar levels and then will cause a crash, making you feel tired and lethargic and more likely to skip your workout!
Along with limiting your calorie intake, exercising to burn calories is a must. If you don't like to or can't exercise every day, burn a few extra calories on the days you do work out by exercising longer or upping the intensity. Here are some ways to burn 250 calories:
- Take a brisk walk for around an hour.
- Hop on a bike for a moderately paced 30-minute bike ride.
- Lace up your trainers and run around three miles.
- Hit the gym and swim laps for around half an hour.
- Take a cardio class for at least 30 minutes.
- Skip for around 25 minutes.
That leads me to say - good luck with your weight loss journey and enjoy! Remember to take one meal and one day at a time and keep your goal in mind at all times – it will help keep you on track.
Most importantly enjoy your holiday and relish your body. You deserve it!
Lucy MillerLucy Miller is a fitness and nutrition advisor, and Fitness Editor at Health & Fitness Magazine (www.womensfitness.co.uk). She holds fitness qualifications from NASM Training and Premier Training International.
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