Summer Slim Down

July 03, 2009

Fun activities can lead to losing weight

Everyone wants to look and feel good for the summer, but getting there can take a little work. Here are some dos and don'ts for healthy eating and weight loss.

The dos and don'ts of dieting: some guidelines for eating healthy and losing some weight.

Dusting off your summer wardrobe

At this time of year there's a ritual starting across the country. You know - the one where you pull the shorts or bathing suit out from the bottom of the drawer, all while saying a little prayer under your breath. You slowly try on the clothing - except now you are holding your breath and sucking in, well, everything. You wriggle into the clothes and slowly turn around to face the mirror. The next few seconds are filled with flashbacks to holiday dinners and comfort food indiscretions of the winter months. If you're looking to undo some of that damage, you're not alone.

Everyone wants to look and feel good for the summer, but getting there can take a little work. If you want to achieve and maintain a healthy size and shape you've got to get serious.

Dos and don'ts to get you on your "weigh"

Do:

  • Plan Ahead - Bring lunch and snacks to work. This saves you time, money and calories
  • Get Smart - Get rid of those chips, cookies, and snacks that weren't doing you any favors all winter
  • Put away those dinner plates - Use salad size 8 or 9 inch plates instead. This helps control your portions because the smaller plate looks so full
  • Fill your plate like this: - 1/4 with meat, or another protein like chicken or fish; 1/4 with starch; fill the other half with vegetables
  • Try skinny-dipping - Anything covering your food - sauces, salad dressing, mayo, gravy, even the skin on chicken - hides unwanted calories
  • Look for low calorie alternatives - Mustard instead of mayo, Balsamic vinegar instead of salad dressing
  • Forget fried foods - Bake or broil to save hundreds of calories each meal
  • Get Fresh - Spring and summer bring wonderful seasonal fruit and veggies so take advantage of all your garden has to offer

Don't:

  • Starve yourself or drastically cut down on food - for a couple weeks just to lose a few pounds. As soon as you start eating again, the weight reappears faster than sitcom reruns. Why? Because you're losing muscle and water, not the fat that you wanted to lose.
  • Skip meals - Eat 3 to 5 small, balanced meals each day. You won't get 'over' hungry and out of control.
  • Cut too many calories - Any drastic change in your diet can shock your body and make it more likely that you won't stick with it
  • Eliminate food groups - Being healthy means maintaining a balance in your diet and it make it easier to stay committed
  • Focus on "miracle" foods - Although many food seem to have magic properties, a balanced diet is better for you
  • Listen to the hype - Resist buying into "magic" pills, plans or plastic clothing that promise quick weight loss - they usually don't work for long
  • Obsess over one body part - Remember that overall health and fitness is better for you
  • Repeat bad habits - Do you snack at night because you're bored? Stressed? Hungry? Snack like a rabbit - find healthier snacks to fill the need.

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