Since everyone wants to look and feel their best at the beach, the onset of summer often leaves people scrambling to get in the best shape possible. If you are one of those people, you may be wondering what realistic steps you can make to help you tone up in time.
Read on to learn five easy tips for getting in better shape without putting 100s of hours at the gym. In addition to making you feel better about yourself, these tips can also have a positive impact on your overall health.
1. Pack Healthy Snacks
Summer brings parties with friends and family. We all know these parties come with delicious, tempting foods. Consider bringing your own healthy snacks to parties to ensure you always have a nutritious option to fall back on. Here are some easy, delicious ideas:
- Watermelon – Watermelon, the epitome of summer food, is tasty, hydrating, and packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Not only will it help keep your waistline trim, it also helps promote a healthy glow to your skin. It is also an excellent option for satisfying a sweet tooth in a healthy way.
- Grilled Vegetables – Grilled vegetables are a staple for summertime. Aim to keep zucchini, eggplants, garlic, asparagus, carrots, and other seasonal veggies on hand to make it easy to whip up a nutritious, delicious snack or side dish in little time.
- Salads – Salads are loaded with nutrition, easy to customize, and quick to prepare. Simply toss together your choice of greens with toppings such as cheese, a handful of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and seeds. Top it off with a light dressing. Homemade dressings are ideal since you are in control of the ingredients. Simple options include olive oil and vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice.
- Desserts Based on Fruits – Naturally sweet treats can calm a sweet tooth while still nourishing the body. Easy options include frozen grapes or cherries, a frozen banana covered in chocolate and nuts, fruit “ice cream” (add frozen fruit and full fat coconut milk or full fat greek yogurt and honey to taste and blend in a food processor or high-powered blender), grilled peaches topped with blackberries and honey, or grilled banana sundaes topped with frozen yogurt and chopped nuts. Frozen deserts also have the added bonus of keeping you cool in the summer heat.
- Protein Shakes – These treats are delicious and convenient thanks to their portability. Additionally, protein can help keep you satisfied and increase your ability to fight off cravings.
2. Drink Wisely
As tempting as frozen margaritas or chilled sangrias may be at the end of a scorching day, each one can pack hundreds of calories and loads of sugar. Not only can these drinks add to your waistline, they can also contribute to broken blood vessels and a poor complexion. As an alternative, consider trying water in a fancy glass with ice cubes and chunks of frozen fruit or tequila and seltzer on the rocks.
3. Consider Your Carbs
Highly refined carbohydrates — heavily processed foods that are primarily made from white flour – such as pretzels, breads, pastries, cakes, and doughnuts cause a spike in blood sugar and also promote the accumulation of fat. They also promote inflammation throughout the body.
Switch out these blood sugar-spiking carbs for unrefined, slow-burning ones such as quinoa, oats, brown rice, and other fibre-rich grains.
4. Watch Your Portions
Paying attention to your portions is one of the quickest ways to drop pounds and tighten up. Portion sizes have skyrocketed in recent years, particularly the past two decades. Pay attention to whether or not you are eating simply because something as served to you or if you are actually still hungry. Also, using a smaller plate can help trick you into consuming less food.
5. Take Control of Temptations
Avoiding tempting summer foods is difficult, especially at summer parties, but a few tips can help:
- Sit as far away from snacks as possible
- Talk to as many people as possible and focus on the party rather than the food
- Do not go to the party hungry – have a balanced, healthy snack beforehand