Spring in Southern California means it’s time to get serious about firming and toning our winter pale bods because beach and pool days are quickly approaching. This weekend was glorious and what SoCal beach babes and bros live for – temps in the 80’s without a cloud in the sky and slightly windy conditions drawing the kite flyers and wind surfers to the shore as well as surfers and sunbathers.
This is the third in my “Foodie’s Guide to Weight Loss” series and I wanted to share a few more great tips to help you meet your fitness and bikini bod goals.
1. Don’t set a weight loss goal; rather focus on a health-specific result and weight loss will happen as a side effect of being healthy, not the other way around. For example, set a goal to increase your energy or improve your overall mood. When I met with my personal trainer for the first time, he had me set four goals – mine are build overall strength, tone the whole package, firm that booty, and, hopefully, lose 10 pounds in the process. Ways to do this are to up your exercise and break a sweat. Let the driving force be your health goal; let weight loss be the effect.
2. Start your morning with 2 large glasses of water with fresh squeezed lemon juice. Our bodies wake up naturally dehydrated. Instead of reaching for coffee, tea or fresh juice, go for 2 large glasses of water with lemon. This will help replenish your system and get your digestive system ready for the day. Then move on to your favorite morning beverage. I often keep a quart jar of detox water in the fridge to drink throughout the day – filtered water infused with organic citrus, ginger, parsley and, oftentimes, cucumber.
3. Snack wisely! Many of us count on 1-2 snacks a day to help keep our blood sugar stable and to prevent overeating. When choosing your snack, nutritionists suggest one that includes a healthy fat and protein to keep you satisfied and feeling full. Healthy fats that are found in avocado, nuts, seeds and fish are your best choice. My go-to snack is nuts – almond, pecans, and pistachios are favorites. Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites are a great on the go snack that contains heart healthy fats, protein and cranberries, which are loaded with antioxidants. Avoid refined sugars and white breads, crackers and chips. These food choices leave you with little to no nutrients and end up zapping your energy.
4. Add in more greens! The first sign of spring are the leafy greens budding up from the earth. We are given the bounty of greens to help lighten up our diet and cleanse our system. Spinach, kale, arugula, asparagus, cucumbers, and celery just to name a few are excellent choices to add into your daily diet.
Pictured here are just a couple of my favorite deliciously nutritious salads including leafy greens, whole grains, and nuts. I eat a lot of lean protein – mostly fish, but for me, there is nothing more satisfying than a fresh salad with lots of texture from chewy grains, crunchy nuts and vegetables, and bright citrus or fruit to liven it up. Click on the Recipes tab for more heart healthy, low calorie recipes.
5. Eliminate white flour and wheat from your diet. Wheat is not a food group. Most of the wheat available to us is highly processed leaving it with little to no nutritional value. Add in more naturally wheat free foods like quinoa, brown rice and sweet potatoes to give your body more fiber and valuable nutrients needed to thrive.
Here is a fabulous bulgur salad with sweet Jelly Drop grapes, crunchy almonds and exotic Middle-Eastern flavors that shows just how versatile and satisfying salads can be.
6. Allow your body a 12-hour fast from dinner to breakfast. So if you stop eating at 7pm, you resume again when you get up at 7am. This gives your digestive system a chance to rest and your body time to relax and use less energy. It also helps you control late night over indulgences and leaves you feeling light in the morning.
You might also be interested in the earlier posts:
Tips courtesy of Sara Siskind, Certified Nutritional Health Counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy.
Opening photo credit: Daphne Dworaczyk- Haymond.