With Spring Break quickly approaching and summer (hopefully) right around the corner, this is the time that most of us dread thinking about those swimsuits hiding in the back of our closets. Here are 3 eating tips to help get your summer body back just in time:
1. Eat your fruit and veggies.
Now this may seem like an obvious one, but everyone can always use a reminder to do better in this category, myself included! Eating fruits and veggies is best for several reasons. To begin, they are naturally full of water, which not only helps flush toxins from the body, but also helps keep us hydrated. They are rich sources of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps our body absorb harmful toxins and insoluble fiber helps flush these toxins from the body. Fruits and veggies also contain an abundance of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that promote the proper functioning of several body systems, overall health, and fight inflammation.
2. Increase your protein intake.
Many of you may know that protein is important for our muscles, but what do you know about the link between protein and weight loss/maintenance? Protein intake can help boost metabolism, reduce appetite, and regulate hunger hormones. A diet higher in protein will increase satiety levels, meaning that you will feel fuller, longer. When we eat protein, ghrelin levels, also known as the hunger hormone, are reduced. On the flip side, leptin levels, the hormone which tells us we are full, are increased. This helps cut cravings and reduces our desire for late-night or boredom snacking. Another benefit of protein involves the thermic effect of food. After we eat, some of the calories are used for the purpose of digesting and metabolizing the food. This is call the thermic effect of food and it is much higher in protein than in carbs or fats.
3. Stay hydrated.
Here is another obvious one, folks. However, many people confuse thirst for hunger. Next time you find yourself reaching for a snack, try drinking a glass of water first. This can help take up space in the stomach, leading to a feeling of fullness and reducing hunger which will curb unnecessary snacking. Drinking more water will also reduce overall liquid calorie intake. Water also helps remove waste from the body. When the body is dehydrated, it cannot properly aid the kidneys to filter toxins. In this case, the kidneys will retain fluid. Prolonged dehydration may also result in constipation since water helps keep waste moving. When waste builds up in the body, you may feel bloated, swollen, and tired. Bloating can add inches to your waist, so stay hydrated to avoid retaining waste and adding unnecessary pounds. Staying hydrated will also help your muscles, tissues, and joints move more effectively, boosting performance during physical activity.
Now that you know the top 3 eating tips for getting your summer body back, be sure to focus on physical activity as well. Physical activity can increase metabolism through an increase in lean body mass. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat, so you will burn more calories at rest with a slight increase in muscle mass. Increasing physical activity could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, parking farther away from destinations, and walking the remaining distance, or giving the house a deep clean.Schedule a Nutrition Consultation
Written by Sarah Brunner, RDN, CD; Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian
Sarah is certified in food allergies/intolerances and nutritional counseling, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; has a certificate in Dietetics from Mount Mary University; and a BA in Education and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse.