You would be hard pressed to find someone who doesn’t want to improve the way they look during beach season. Despite what many people think, it is not too late to make a change for the better. There are many things that you can do to turn things around and help you get on the right path before this weekend.
1. Don’t drink your calories. Turn to water, black coffee or herbal tea (hot or cold) when you are trying to lose weight. You can have an unlimited amount of each of the healthy drink options each day. Stay away from alcohol or any other high-calorie sugary beverages that cause water retention and bloating. Drinking alcohol also lowers inhibitions and encourages other unhealthy behaviors like overeating and not exercising.
2. Steer clear of red meat and dairy. Although it is a good source of protein and other nutrients, like iron and B vitamins, stay away from red meat and dairy when you are trying to slim down to avoid it’s higher unhealthy, saturated fat and caloric content. Opt instead for leaner protein sources like fish, turkey, chicken, eggs and nut milks. Just make sure that all of the options are free-range and antibiotic-free as many additives are believed to be disease causing. If you feel that you are able, shift your diet away from animal protein altogether and incorporate high-protein, non-animal foods like beans, quinoa and oatmeal into your daily routine.
3. Increase vegetable intake and limit fruit and nuts. Most vegetables are comprised of nutrients and water so feel free to eat as many vegetables as you would like on the road to building your beach body. Cut celery, carrots, and bell peppers in the beginning of the week so you have something crunchy to pick on. Slice cucumbers like chips and eat with hummus for a satisfying snack. Stick to spinach, broccoli and asparagus as healthy side dishes during the week. To kick that potato craving, substitute cauliflower and “rice” it raw in the food processor and sauté in a pan or steam and mash for a low carb alternative to mashed potatoes. To be clear, fruit and nuts are an integral part of an overall healthy diet, but when trying to drop weight, I cut down nut and fruit consumption to lower my sugar and fat intake.
Brandon Mandia/for PhillyVoice
Christie at Race Street Pier starting her day with yoga on the Waterfront.
4. Do something active for at least 30 minutes per day. Get your body moving for a minimum of a half hour every day. Wake up 30 minutes earlier and do a workout on demand, go for a brisk walk on your lunch break or unwind from a long day with a yoga class. Decide what fits best into your schedule and stick to it every day during the week. The health benefits of exercise are endless and weight loss is just one of the many perks to incorporating physical activity into your life.
5. Go to bed! Getting adequate rest is one of the most overlooked components in a successful weight loss plan. The body is in recovery mode when it is in a resting state and the process of restoration can begin. When you are trying to get in your best physical shape, consider the impact of restorative rest. Make sleep a priority and allocate at least 8 hours for sleep each night.
For more healthful tips, come back to PhillyVoice each week for #MindfulMondays and follow Christie Mandia on Instagram, Twitter & Snapchat.