Are you ready for spring break? Have you thought about how you’re going to look in that bathing suit when you’re stretched out on the beach? You may not have given it much thought until now, but it’s time to get in shape for spring break.
To get bathing suit-ready, don’t starve yourself or do anything crazy. There are a few dietary changes you can make which will help you get in shape in no time. Give these tips a try and you’re likely to be pleasantly surprised at how much better you not only look, but feel, too.
- Limit your sugar intake– Sugar creeps up in almost everything, from the obvious culprits of cookies and candy to things like mustard and salad dressings. Many processed foods such as granola, cereal, yogurt, and even fat-free 100-calorie packs are loaded with sugar. Aim to get your sugar intake from fresh fruit, or from a square of dark chocolate.
- Hydrate with water – Cut your soda and juice intake prior to hitting the beach. Soda will bloat you and juice is loaded with sugar. Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and keep that stomach flat. Tea and seltzer are good options, too.
- Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables – These foods are high in water content and fiber, with very few calories, and keep you feeling full longer. Grapefruits and other citrus fruit are excellent, as are apples, watermelon, mangoes, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers. Choose whichever you like best. They are perfect snacks and should be incorporated in all meals.
- Eat fat – You may have had to read that twice to make sure you read it correctly, but it’s true: eating fat can actually help you lose weight. Fat is high in energy density, and the good fats are loaded with nutrients and make you feel satisfied. Eat nuts, seeds, avocados, olives, salmon and other fatty fish, and use olive oil when cooking.
- Don’t skip meals – Be sure to eat three meals and up to two snacks each day. Breakfast is crucial to get your metabolism going and to help you make smarter choices throughout the day. Aim to eat something every 3-4 hours to keep your metabolism going and to prevent it from entering starvation mode. Snacks should be between 100 and 200 calories, but make sure they are healthy. Good options are fruit, nuts, veggies and hummus, popcorn, and Greek yogurt.
- Avoid eating late at night – Try not to eat two hours before bedtime. If you need dessert, make it a piece of dark chocolate, a single serving of sorbet, frozen yogurt or slow-churned ice cream, a popsicle, a piece of fruit, sugar-free jello or sugar-free pudding.
- Break a sweat – Aim to break a sweat and get your heart rate up five times a week. Try to do 30 minutes of cardio, and switch it up if you get bored of the same machine. Walk or jog on the treadmill for 15 minutes and then try the elliptical or stairmaster for another 15.
Don’t stress yourself out trying to lose ten pounds in a week – it won’t happen. Get ready for spring break by sharpening your focus on eating better and exercising so you can enjoy your vacation worry-free.
By Emily Borgeest