Swimsuit season is here and most of us are probably not quite ready to set foot on the beach or go poolside. Along with working out in the gym to burn some calories and get your body in shape for the summer, you'll need to alter your diet to get your body where it needs to be.
Here are ten tips to get yourself beach body ready, oh and you won't have to starve yourself to get there.
10. Shrink Your Plate
Studies have shown that reducing your plate size actually helps you to eat less. It's simple; less food can fit on a smaller plate. So when filling up your plate for breakfast, lunch or dinner, opt for the smaller plate. You'll be surprised how much less you'll consume at each meal.
9. Cut Out Unnecessary Calories
Think about all of the extra things you add to your plates, like cheese, crackers, nuts and large amounts of salad dressing. Be more conscious about the amount you incorporate into your meals because these things add up fast. Just ¼ cup of cheese is about 100 calories and 9 grams of fat; two tablespoons of salad dressing can range anywhere from 70-180 calories (sometimes more). So the next time you're wanting to add something high in fat and calories to your plate, measure it or simply don't add it.
8. Drink A Glass of Water Before Each Meal
Drink a glass of water to fill your stomach up before you eat. If you're full of water, you can suppress your appetite slightly and reduce the amount of food you're about to consume. Other than just drinking water before meals, fill up on water throughout the day to stay hydrated throughout the summer.
7. Eat Lots of Spices
Add flavor to your food with tons of herbs and spices, such as basil, cilantro, mint, cinnamon, cayenne pepper and ginger. Incorporate these spices into tea and water, and into meals. Spicy foods can also speed up your metabolism.
6. Fill Up on Greens
Cabbage, spinach, kale and lettuce are great leafy greens to fill up your plate for each meal. Not only are they ridiculously low in calories, but the water in each green helps fill you up, so you won't be too hungry later on throughout the day. Not to mention the vitamins and minerals you gain. 5. Eat Only When Hungry
Sometimes we all just like to nibble on a salty, sweet or crunchy snack in the middle of the day, but before you reach your hand into the bag of chips or cereal box for something to nibble on, ask yourself if you are really hungry. Sometimes that "hunger pain" is your body telling you that are you thirsty. If you really are hungry, eat a cup of popcorn, carrot sticks or an apple.
4. Fill Up on Fiber
Foods high in fiber signal to your stomach that you are full faster than most foods. Choose whole wheat cereals, pasta or bread instead of a simple carbohydrate choice. Black beans, lentils and lima beans have tons of fiber per serving as well. Trick your stomach into thinking it is full.
3. Cut Out Bloating Foods
Carbonated beverages and high-sodium products will make your stomach bloat, so if you want a flatter stomach, eliminate or reduce the consumption of the amount of those foods and drinks.
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2. Add Foods That De-Bloat
In exchange for carbonated drinks and high-sodium foods, choose certain foods to help de-bloat your body. Studies show that probiotics in yogurt can help reduce the bloating in your body. Pineapple helps aid digestion and can help reduce the amount of bloating as well. Also include foods such as asparagus, coconut water and grapes to help you naturally get rid of water.
1. Eat Slowly
Eat slowly so your body doesn't think it needs more food if you race through each meal. Practice putting your fork or spoon down between bites and chewing each bite 15-20 times. Remember that it takes about 20 minutes for your body to send the signal to your brain that you are full. Also, the longer you eat, the more time you have to enjoy your food.