Well, ladies, that time of year is upon us. It’s worse than New Year’s when you feel that urge to join a gym that you will quit using weeks later. It’s worse than late winter when you realize you need to get in shape for bikini season and follow up with a couple of days of trying, only to surrender to comfort foods and warm drinks.
Now is the time that you get that sneaking suspicion that you have waited too late to shape up, and there is now no hope of redemption. It’s like when people realize they are trapped in a house with a serial killer in horror movies. No hope, only despair. If this sounds familiar, do not lose hope so quickly. There are actually a number of ways to slim down and shape up before it’s time to hit the pool, and the good news is that none of them involve total starvation or hours of gym time each day.
If you are tempted to eat a lone spinach leaf for dinner, don’t. Going hungry is not good for you because your body stops getting vital nutrients that you need to stay healthy. It is also further incentive to give up on your diet or start binging. The key is to prepare fulfilling, healthy meals that you enjoy. Fill up on fiber-rich foods, like kale and spinach, and add whole grains, fruits, and an assortment of veggies into your routine. Do not skip breakfast, since this actually encourages weight gain. Instead, get your metabolism started with a healthy bowl of oatmeal, a high-fiber superfood that will reduce your cholesterol and keep you full for hours.
This one is a no-brainer, but it’s important. If you are the kind of person who goes overboard with a new fitness routine and then gives up quickly, analyze your past behaviors. Look for workouts that are fun for you. Try hiking or rollerblading for some outdoor inspiration, or sign up for a relaxing yoga class that will have you slimmer in no time.
Many of us grab empty carbs for snacks or reach for fatty protein sources, like trail mix. If your tummy starts grumbling in the afternoon, try an apple and banana before reaching for higher calorie snacks. Think ahead, and prepare noshes that will fill you up and keep you on a healthy routine. Smoothies make excellent additions to your daily routine, since they combine fruits and veggies in a satisfying and delicious drink.
Drinking more water will not only get your skin looking clearer and more radiant for summer, it will help you keep full. Many people have trouble discerning between hunger and thirst; they eat a protein bar when a glass of water might do the trick. Sip water throughout the day, and use it to replace sodas, juices, and high-calorie coffee drinks. Water will also keep muscle groups from cramping during workouts, and it will give you increased energy and stamina at the gym.
This is a post by Ashley Williamson. Ashley is a freelance writer and an occasional health blogger. When she is not working she likes to travel and do yoga. She also organizing running competition for the people in her town.