Beach season has arrived. Could your beach body use a little fine tuning? Trying to diet or deprive yourself during the summer is no fun with all the parties, picnics and social gatherings. Here are six simple strategies that can help tone your body, reduce calorie intake and boost your calorie-burning efforts.
1. Fit in quick workouts. If devoting an hour to the gym or a fitness class isn’t doable, go for two or three 20-minute workouts. Try a brisk walk in the morning. Then in the afternoon, do some exercises using your body weight (such as lunges, squats and push-ups). Studies show that the benefits of exercise are cumulative. The brisk walks will improve circulation, reduce stress and boost your metabolism. Weight-bearing exercise will strengthen your bones and sculpt your muscles.
2. Make smart snack substitutions. Choose multi-grain/high-fiber tortillas instead of potato chips or pretzels; salsa instead of cheese dip; plain yogurt in place of sour cream on baked potatoes; and fresh fruit and frozen yogurt instead of calorie-laden pies or ice cream. These simple changes will cut significant calories without compromising taste and satisfaction.
3. Get creative about imbibing. If you want to enjoy an alcoholic beverage, save some calories by choosing a wine spritzer or light beer over sweet mixed drinks. While tasty, a single Pina colada can set you back more than 500 calories. Alternate a glass or bottle of water with alcoholic drinks so that you stay hydrated, limit your alcohol intake and reduce the risk of a hangover.
4. Boost your fiber intake. Fiber will make you feel fuller so you will consume fewer calories. It also helps promote better blood sugar balance. This is key, because when your blood sugar is low, food cravings can be high. To get more fiber, add chia seed to your oatmeal or yogurt in the morning. Nibble on raw fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds. You can further boost your fiber intake by supplementing with a good-quality fiber product such as Sunfiber. This product is great because it mixes well with fluids, it is tasteless and also gluten free. Add a scoop to lemon water in the morning or between lunch and dinner time … whenever you typically get the urge to snack.
5. Rev up your metabolism by eating hot peppers and drinking green tea. Hot peppers contain a compound called capsicum which helps to rev up your calorie-burning potential. Green tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols that work along with the natural occurring caffeine to increase fat burning.
6. Plan your high-calorie indulgences. Eat wisely most days of the week. That way, you can enjoy the occasional indulgence or two on the weekend.
Remember that no one strategy is likely to help you fit into your shorts or look better in your swimsuit. Most people find that it’s a combination of smaller tactics that add up to big results.