6 TIPS WE SHOULD ALL BE DOING TO GET SUMMER BODY READY

If you’re like me and most moms, you’re going a million miles an hour. It’s time to get a little selfish and concentrate on you for a change. Summer is right around the corner, and we all want to look and feel our best. When Mom feels healthy and strong, that awesome energy is contagious.

Work these 6 simple weight loss tips into your schedule for 2 weeks. The more dedicated you are, the more weight you can expect to lose between now and the end of the two weeks. Get the summer body you deserve. You got this, girl!

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1. CHOOSE YOU & START SMALL

I challenge you to put yourself first for 2 weeks (gasp!). It’s a perfect amount of time to reset your body and start to see results.  Changing a habit doesn’t happen overnight, but it truly doesn’t take much to make a difference. Make smaller attainable goals for yourself, be very clear as to what these new habits are, and stick with them if you want to see lasting changes. To feel your best, you have to work at it. Stop taking the easy route. Push yourself. It’s worth it.

During your two weeks, I recommend you set no more than 1 main arching goal that you can break down into 3-5 realistic action steps. Each of these actions will include new habits you plan to take on that will aid you in conquering your reach-for-the-sky main goal.   

For example:

*Main goal: Lose the last 5 pounds that haven’t budged since the holidays.

Accomplish this with 3 action steps:

1. Shed 500 calories/day from my diet (Potential new habits: smaller portions, less snacks, healthier option for dessert)

2. Add in 2 days/week of cardio (Potential new habits: 30 minute morning jog, jump rope/jumping jacks, a cardio class)

3. Wake up 15 minutes earlier each morning for some “me time” (Potential new habits: meditation, deep breathing, morning intentions, yoga stretches)

People fail when they set unrealistic goals – “I want to lose 15 pounds in 2 weeks” (but I do like the ambitious attitude).

2. SPRING CLEAN YOUR CABINETS

It’s time to get rid of all of the processed and packaged foods that are doing your body no good. Remember, this is the time to feed your body the foods it needs to feel its best and lose weight.

SUBTRACT: Refined carbohydrates that are forms of sugars and starches that don’t exist in nature. They’re rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, causing risky spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels. Ew– some of the most common chronic diseases have been tied to these types of (delectably addictive) carbs. Bye-bye: Chips, white rice, candy, cookies, muffins, white bread.

ADD: REAL foods that are top sources of unrefined carbohydrates, such as whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. For this two week jumpstart, concentrate on adding berries for fiber (blackberries and raspberries have great fiber), lean chicken and fishes for protein or legumes and beans if you’re following a plant-based diet, vegetables (lots of greens!) for good-for-your-body nutrients.

3. USE THE SALAD PLATE METHOD

Avoid eating large portions that make your digestive system feel slow and sluggish. We all eat way too much! You’ll be amazed how much more energetic you’ll feel eating even a few hundred calories fewer each day. Your body will not miss the extra calories. It doesn’t take much! The first few days of anything new feels difficult, but then your body will adjust.

If you want to lose 1 pound each week, you must have a deficit of 3,500 calories over the course of a week. So, if your daily caloric requirement to maintain your weight is 2,200 calories, you’ll need to either eat less calories or exercise more. How much will depend on how much weight you would like to lose and how quickly you want to lose it.

Try using a salad plate vs. a dinner plate. A salad plate will help decrease the massive portions you’re used to and automatically help you cut those calories.

The straight math facts:

  • Cutting out about 500 calories each day will result in a 3,500 calorie deficit in a week.

  • If you were really pushing it and want to lose 2 pounds in a week, you'll need a 1,000-calorie deficit every day.

  • You can easily do this by: decreasing how much you eat, consuming fewer refined carbs that have more calories, and adding in more physical activity. This combination generally produces the most effective weight loss.

  • Oh, and stop eating off of your kids’ plates! Stick to your own awesome salad plate. You don’t need two dinners.

4. SNACK SMART

We love to snack, but we love to be at our happy weight even more. Our snacking habits usually are adding way too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. I suggest giving your body time to digest meals before reaching for a snack. Make sure it’s truly hunger you’re feeling instead of just needing some hydration. Don’t eat out of habit – “Oh it’s 3pm, so it must be snack time.” If you really feel you need a snack, make it smart. Remember, we are trying to get rid of 500-1000 calories.

A few good approved weight loss snacks:

  • Hard-boiled eggs: Two large, hard-boiled eggs contain about 140 calories and 13 grams of protein. Eggs are filling. You could stick to egg whites only, if you want to save more calories.

  • Vegetables with dip: Carrots with hummus or red bell peppers and cucumbers with avocado are both low calorie options. Keep dip to about 2 tablespoons.

  • Unsalted nuts: Nuts contain the perfect balance of protein, fiber and good-for-you fat. They contain about 180 calories in a 1 oz serving.

  • Berries: Lots of fiber-filling nutrients. A full cup is less than 100 calories.

  • Protein Shake: Protein shake that contains about 150–200 calories and 20–25 grams of protein – mix with water and ice to keep calories low, but protein high.

5. DRINK MORE...H20

Water does the body good. Drinking water can actually cause moderate, temporary increases in metabolism, and drinking it about a half hour before meals can make people automatically eat fewer calories because they feel fuller.

Drinking around 20 ounces (2.5 cups) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours. This means that drinking 35 ounces of water every day can increase your total calorie loss by up to 96 calories per day.

Of course, the timing is important too, and drinking water half an hour before meals is the most effective. It can make you feel more full, so that you eat fewer calories. To get even more bang for your buck, drink water cold because then the body will use additional calories to heat the water to body temperature.

Not only that, but drinking water has been tied to all kinds of other amazing health benefits, such as physical performance, energy levels and mood, and relief from headaches and constipation.

So how much water should you drink? It is suggested that drinking around 34-68 ounces (4-8 cups) of water per day is enough to aid with weight loss, especially when consumed before meals.         

6. MOVE IT TO LOSE IT

To lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you consume. Exercise can really help you achieve this by burning off some extra calories. Adding in 30 minutes of cardio and weight training a few times a week (the more days, the better!) can go a long way. Walking instead of driving and taking the stairs instead of the elevator are little wins during your day as well. But during this 2-week jumpstart, it’s important to challenge yourself and get that heart pumping.

As you know, exercise is about way more than just weight loss. It has tons of powerful benefits for your body and brain. People who work out on a regular basis are thought to have up to a 50% lower risk of dying from heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and some cancers.

Doing some sort of aerobic exercise regularly (jogging, biking, chasing after your 3-year-old) can increase the number of calories you burn and help you lose body fat. Lifting weights helps you build and maintain muscle, plus it helps prevent your metabolism from slowing down when you lose fat.

Karina Heinrich