5 Easy Ways to Stay in Shape for Summer

It is almost summer and we all want to feel light and be able to be outdoors wearing our bathing suits and shorts. But even more than that, we want to feel healthy and good about ourselves. It is easy to make small changes in our lives that will promote getting slimmer. Make one attainable change at a time and you will want to add more changes as you see results in the way you feel and look.

1. Hydrate:  Our cells are 65-90% water, so providing enough hydration is imperative for our bodies to function optimally. When we don’t, our cells tend to retain any water available making us feel puffy. Also, dehydration can mimic the feeling of hunger, so when you think you may be hungry (even though you ate 3 hours ago) go ahead and drink a calorie and caffeine free beverage. You should aim for at least 8 cups of fluid each day. Just make sure you don’t drink your calories with sugar loaded juices, frozen smoothies, and other beverages.

2. Eat enough fiber: The best way to do this is to consume enough fruits and vegetables at each meal. At least 5 servings throughout the day. Also whole grains, like 100% whole wheat pastas, brown rice, cereals, etc. provide fiber to our diets. Fiber is important to avoid constipation, and having that bloating feeling. It helps remove toxins from our bodies by moving intestinal contents through.

3. Avoid processed foods: These are the packaged foods, ready-prepared foods in the deli and frozen isles of the grocery store, and fast foods. They are usually cheap and have very low nutritional value. Also they are packed with sodium and other preservatives to extend shelf life. Consuming high amounts of sodium is contra-productive to our health and it will make us retain water, making us puffy and swollen.

4. Go meatless a few times a week:  Consuming a diet low in saturated fat is beneficial to our health because it helps prevent heart disease and it is a risk factor in developing other conditions. Also meat takes longer to digest than vegetables and fruits, it stays in our digestive tract longer making us feel heavier. Cutting down on meat and increasing consumption on plant based foods is a great way to feel lighter and slimmer.

5. Keep moving!: We all know the benefits of exercise, and it is true. When you are physically active you tend to make better food choices, and this translates in feeling and looking better. So chose an activity you enjoy and do it every day for at least 30 minutes. Now that the weather is so nice outside let’s take advantage of it and go for a walk, run, or bike ride.

 

Written by Mara Bustos MDA RD LN

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