WINTER is long gone. After months of hiding under the protective warmth of hulking clothes, it’s time to start concentrating on eating healthy. While exercising isn’t enough to get that summer body, a solid dieting plan will ultimately have more influence over your shape.
We can’t exactly tell you how much to eat, but these five tips below should help you get in good shape.
Tip One: Eat Your Fruits and Veggies
Filling your diet with fresh, nutritious, and low-calorie foods is the best way to start getting in shape. Go heavy on the veggies and ALWAYS eat them first! They should be your BFF.
When the afternoon rolls around and you need a snack, reach for an apple or some carrots instead of a cookie! Don’t think of it as having to avoid the treat, think of it as having to fill your daily fruit and vegetable quota.
Tip Two: Eat a High-Fibre Lunch and Drink More Water
No more empty calories! Eat a lunch full of fibre and you’ll be amazed at how many hours you can go without a snack.
Fibre is present in beans, legumes, oats, barley, berries, apples, bananas, oranges, strawberries etc. They all have around 3 to 4 grams of fibre with raspberries at the top with 8 grams per cup. Exotic fruits are also good sources of fibre: A mango has 5 grams, a persimmon has 6, and 1 cup of guava has about 9.
A bowl of chili with a portion of pita bread makes for an excellent high fibre lunch. A bonus: it’s also low in calories.
Tip Three: Cut Back on Sweets
Let’s face it: you can’t expect to transform your body when you’re consuming lots of processed foods and refined sugars. You need to cut back if you want results. Although you may occasionally enjoy treats; however, you need to moderate it.
One way is to enjoy something small every day, like a piece of dark chocolate. You won’t feel deprived if you still treat yourself every day. The other way is to wait to enjoy one large treat every week, like a shared dessert.
Tip Four: Count Your Calories
The only way to lose weight and get that summer body is to burn more calories than you’re taking in. Based on your age, weight, height and activity level an online calorie calculator will estimate how many calories you need to maintain.
Start keeping a food journal to keep track of every bite you take. You can modify your diet based upon what you write down.
You can use (aCalorieCounter.com) to search for every food and drink consume throughout the day. Add up all of the calories and get your grand total for the day.
Tip Five: When you feel you’re full, stop eating
Yes, this sounds pretty stupid. But how many times do you keep eating after you start feeling full because it just tastes so good?
It takes the mind approximately 20 minutes to get the full signal from your stomach. 20 minutes! That means by the time we’re done eating most meals, our brain still hasn’t received the full signal. Chances are, you’re going to eat much more than your body needs. So wait; two strategies are to eat slowly and enjoy every bite, or to eat half of your meal and wait 20 minutes before eating the other half.
Combine these diet tips with a regular exercise routine and you can expect to get your best summer body sooner rather than later.
Article by Themba Nkomo