It’s that time of the year when the bikini season comes knocking on your door. Are you ready to welcome it or are you still in hiding, unwilling to let go of that baggy sweater that does such a great job of covering those bulges?
What if we told you that there was a way you could open that door and step out in great shape? That you could eat delicious summer food and still slim down for the season? Here’s how.
Enjoy Negative Calorie Foods
If you’re wondering what this means, they’re foods that provide less calories than what you spend for their digestion. Celery, apples, lemon, lime, cabbage, and lean meats are your ticket to good health and happy curves through tasty, guilt-free recipes. They contain very little calories, no fat, high fibre, low sodium, ample water to keep you hydrated, and plenty of micronutrients to keep you looking and feeling fresh in summer. Of course, this won’t work if you have your apple in pie form…just saying.
Savour Fresh, Seasonal Produce
Fresh produce is always delicious and satisfying, apart from being high in nutrition and low in calorie count. Low-calorie fruits and green vegetables are in abundance this season, so binge on those berries all you want. This is one time portion control may be ignored! Full of antioxidants and vitamins, these fresh foods are easy to transform into even more delicious soups, grilled delights and scrumptious desserts. Cold soups like gazpachos aren’t just tasty, they also fill you up so you don’t gorge on the rest of your meal. Grilled onions, bell peppers, carrots, zucchini and asparagus are a highlight in summer, and taste amazing when served with goat’s cheese or with ricotta and fresh herbed pasta. Also, assuage that sweet tooth or food craving with delicious fruit-based desserts like grilled banana sundaes with low-fat ice cream, frozen dark sweet cherries or grilled peaches with blackberries and honey. You probably won’t miss those high calorie desserts after you savour the fresh and tangy tastes of these divine creations!
Beware of Certain Beverages
It’s really hot outside, and it’s natural to feel thirsty a lot! But the next time you reach for a chilled beer or soda, stop. They’re all loaded with sugar, and sugar is not your friend. Same goes for sweetened teas and coffees. Nothing compares to water, but if you want something more interesting, then guzzle a low calorie alternative like a lemon and pomegranate spritzer, or refreshing tender coconut water. Cutting out alcohol is the smartest thing you can do, too. Being chemically similar to sugar, alcohol induces the same insulin resistance that encourages weight gain. But if you badly want that drink, choose a white wine spritzer.
Mediterranean cuisine is among the healthiest, being rich in nuts, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein, low-fat dairy and olive oil. So when prepping for a beach body, make sure your diet leans towards this cuisine. The added bonus is that it’s incredibly tasty and satisfying!
Place a Portion Patrol
Bigger isn’t always better. Remember, a big plate and big portions can easily lead to a big waistline! So use some restraint in how much you pile onto your plate. Better still, choose a smaller plate. Another way to go would be to follow the Rule of Three-Quarters, where you make vegetables the hero of your plate, with carbs to support it. Meat, if any, is an added treat.
Choose Your Carbs Cleverly
Highly refined carbohydrates that are the basis of yummy foods like bread, cake and pancakes cause a spike in sugar levels. This stimulates the production of insulin, which encourages its storage as fat and then protects the fat from depletion – totally opposite of what you want! Replace these refined carbs with unrefined ones that release energy slowly over a longer duration and you can make out the difference! Brown rice, oats and wholemeal bread are all delicious replacements for white, refined carbs.
Whatever said and done, eat fewer calories than you burn. This may sound obvious, but most of us forget about this important equation when there’s a plate of drool-worthy, high calorie food in front of us. So, either step up your exercise, or step down with the food – unless it’s this nutritious, low calorie food that you can enjoy without fear (unless of course, you go overboard with it).
So eat up, get trim and cast your baggy shirts aside to flaunt your slimmer summer figure for the season!