Summer is finally here! It’s been a long winter, spent lounging in those big baggy sweaters, hoodies, or sweatshirts and forgetting about that “itsy bitsy, teeny weeny, yellow polka dot bikini” hiding in the depths of your dresser drawer. Before you start panicking about swimsuit season, here are 5 tips to flatten that stomach and tone your limbs just in time for summer!
1. Drink lots of water: Such a simple step, but it has a great impact! Did you know, when you are dehydrated, your body can mistake thirst pangs for hunger pangs? Before you grab for that over-processed snack pack to tide you over until supper time, try drinking a glass or two of water. Chances are, you are dehydrated and your body thinks that you are hungry instead. Also, try substituting beverages you would normally drink for a glass of water.
2. Eating smaller portions: Reducing your portion size by only 20% can make a big difference in your drive to swimsuit bliss and become a lasting healthy lifestyle habit.
3. Don’t forget fiber and protein: Fiber allows your body to be able to move fat and waste through your system more quickly, while protein takes longer to digest. Both give you that “full” feeling longer, making your tummy happy until your next meal.
4. Eat healthy snacks between meals: Eating small, healthy snacks throughout the day keeps you from overeating during meals and stabilizes your blood sugar. Here’s the kicker though: it’s important to understand which snacks you should eat and which snacks you should pass up. A common misconception is to grab for the high-carbohydrate snacks, such as pretzels or yogurt… While these foods are relatively healthy, they are not very filling, leaving you unsatisfied before the next big meal. Stick to snacks high in protein and fiber, such as nuts, legumes, or “portable fruits”, such as strawberries, oranges, or peaches.
5. Exercise regularly: Finally, a common myth to flattening your tummy is to do hundreds of sit-ups or crunches per day. Stop! There is no such thing as spot burning fat zones. And after the first 20 or 30 reps, your body gets lethargic and you end up “cheating”, therefore not getting the full effect of the exercise and potentially causing damage to your musculoskeletal system. The best way to tone up in time for summer is to eat a balanced diet and exercise regularly.
With these tips in mind, you can get your body swimsuit ready in no time!