As warm weather approaches, you have every good reason to want a slimmer waistline. Late spring and summer mean fun afternoons at the beach and invigorating social sport activities–and of course, you want to look good as you do it all!
If you’re perplexed about how to achieve a flatter belly before the most exciting and active parts of your year, never fear. Here are some surefire tips and tricks for looking slim and feeling sharp as summer comes your way.
Immediately Cut Sugar Out Of Your Diet
If consuming sugar is already a regular part of your day, now’s the time to cut it out! Refined sugars–present in many foods such as white breads and pastas, as well as soft drinks – are empty calories and actually stimulate your pancreas to produce more and more of the hormone insulin.
Constant insulin spikes signal your body to store extra calories as fat, while causing blood sugar levels to seesaw and causing you to crave more food. All of this works against your quest to drop the pounds.
It can be hard to cut sugar out at first, but it can be done by strategizing and staying mindful of your goal. When sweetening your coffee or tea, use a healthier substitute like stevia extract, which is not thought to affect your insulin response as harshly as sugar.
You can also satisfy your sweet tooth by carrying a small amount of mixed berries around as an occasional snack. Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are not only excellent inflammation-blasters that contain heart-healthy fiber – they’re also sweet enough that, with moderate intake, you won’t miss those empty calories from white sugar.
Divide Your Plate Properly
When you sit down to have a meal, it’s important to get the proportions of your food right. About a quarter of every plate of food should be lean protein such as chicken or fish, half should be fruits and vegetables, and another quarter can be whole grains or starchy vegetables. This will keep you from ingesting too many calories, while ensuring the meal is still satisfying and filling.
Stick To A Metabolism-Boosting Regular Intake Of Healthy Foods And Drinks
It may seem too good to be true, but certain foods and the rate at which you eat them can speed up your body’s fat-burning process! It only makes sense to incorporate this wisdom into your regular diet as much as possible.
One of the most well-researched weight loss drinks is green tea. The catechins in hot or iced green tea can powerfully stimulate your body’s mechanisms for burning calories. Other great foods that naturally contain fat-burning compounds are grapefruit (when eaten whole, not just juiced), jalapenos and other hot peppers, ginger, and coconut oil.
The greatest benefits of these fat fighters may not be in the foods themselves, but in how often you partake of them throughout the day. Make them a regular part of your meals, which can be eaten up to six times a day. Some experts believe that eating smaller portions more often makes a big difference in weight loss.
Eating low-calorie, fat-burning foods regularly -not starving yourself – is one of the surest ways to keep your metabolic rate steady and drop the pounds.
Make Drinking Water A Daily Habit
Water is one of the most abundant substances on the planet, and one of the things your body demands the most. When we obey consistently, we’re rewarded with a higher metabolic rate and a slimmer waistline.
It’s a good practice to drink at least half an ounce of water per pound you weigh on a daily basis. This can be a hard habit to start, especially if you’re consistently dehydrated or hooked on sugary drinks. Consider making reminders in your smartphone or consciously making the choice to reach for water when you get thirsty throughout the day, as well as when you arise in the morning and lie down to sleep at night.
If the taste of plain water doesn’t appeal to you that much, a few drops of lemon juice or fresh ginger kicks it up a notch!
You just can’t beat the fact that cardiovascular exercise is an essential fat-burning habit. It has long been recognized as the most efficient type of exercise for obliterating calories.
If you’re new to it, you can start by just jogging or doing jumping jacks for 5-10 minutes every day. To ramp up the effectiveness, try to build up to a daily 30 minutes of consistent cardio activity, whether it’s running, biking, using the elliptical in the gym, or jumping rope.
Talk to your doctor, of course, before seriously starting any regular exercise routine.
Build A Little Muscle
Cardio isn’t the only type of activity that will aid your slimming efforts. Strength training is also important, because the more muscle tone you build, the higher your resting metabolic rate will be.
It’s important to warm-up before each strength-training session at the gym. Start your regimen by lift weights that are comfortable enough for you to lift without straining, and only increase the amount of weight very gradually.
If you’re a beginner, be sure to consult with a physical trainer or gym attendant to make sure you’re doing the exercises with proper form and avoiding potential injuries.
Slimming down for summer fun doesn’t have to be a drag. If late spring and summer are on the horizon, slowly and purposefully incorporate these tips into your everyday life, consistently remind yourself of your goal, and within a month or two you’ll find that your body is ready for the beach!