5 Simple Secrets to Lose Weight this Summer

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June 14, 2012 by Sondra Barker

Being a Personal Trainer and Pilates Instructor its only fair that I fill you in on some secrets for losing weight this summer without going on the dreaded diet. Now they say you are what you eat and they are right! Your weight is determined by 75% of what you eat. Now does this mean you have to go on some crazy fad diet? Of course not, I would never! However just by making a few simple changes and adjustments to your eating habits, you could watch those pounds melt off. Some may even surprise you!

1. Drink More Water

Yes I know you’ve heard this one a million times, but did you know you can lose weight by just drinking more water? Do you know why? Water flushes the system and detoxifies your body. When fitness models are trying to lose water weight they actually drink more water, not less. Water weight is not caused by drinking water, its caused by too much salt and toxins in your body which cause you to retain water. The more water you drink, the more your body can flush these toxins out. Drinking water also makes you feel full which results in consuming less calories. I purchased a filtered water bottle at www.seychelle.com which I carry with me everywhere. It has really helped me consume more water throughout the day.
Did you also know if you stopped drinking soda, juices, ice blended lattes and switch to just water you could save 500-1,000 calories a day? That means you could lose 2lbs a week, simply by switching to drinking only water!!!!

2. Reduce your Salt

Like previously mentioned, when you eat salt it results in your body retaining water, which is what causes bloat and water weight. Most people don’t realize this, but you can easily be carrying an extra 5lbs-10lbs in weight just from water retention. When body builders are prepping for a competition and need to look super lean, one of the main preparations they take is cutting out all salt from their diet and drinking more water to get us much salt out of their system as possible.
Think of it this way. Your body is made up of  about 70% water and needs water for survival. You could live a month without food, but will die in days if you don’t have enough water. Have you ever seen someone pour salt on a slug to watch it just shrivel and die? I know super cruel, but it makes my point. This is because water dehydrates. When your body is consuming too much salt, your body tries to combat that salt by absorbing and holding onto the water in your system so you don’t dehydrate like that poor little slug. Now you see why its so important to not only drink more water but reduce your salt intake as well.

3. Reduce Your Sugar

I’m sure you’ve heard the new Fad saying “Sugar is Sugar”. This actually isn’t true as different sugars have a different molecular structure and affect your body in different ways. Some are absorbed into your system much quicker than others such as corn syrup as opposed to raw honey and raw agave’s. However what is true is that sugar is the most addictive drug in the country and the more you use, the more you need. Regardless what sugar you use, they are all full of calories and will be stored as fat if you don’t burn those calories off. Now most people don’t eat a brownie and then immediately run 5 miles, so lets all just assume that Sugar=Fat. You’re cupcake is going to sit in your stomach like a fried chicken. Carbs that don’t get burned off are turned into fat. Sugar also makes you crash. Your body has a spike of energy and then becomes lethargic meaning throughout the day you’ll actually burn less calories.
So does this mean you can’t eat that bag of cookies? Well not exactly I am a woman who doesn’t believe in deprivation. What I do believe in however is moderation. Stick to keeping your treat to 200 calories. I can walk 1 mile and burn almost 200 calories in 15 minutes. If I end up eating a pint of Ben & Jerry’s thats 1200 calories!! Pick your treats wisely. You’re better off eating one Krispy Kreme donut at 200 calories. That Ben & Jerry’s would take me about 2hrs at full speed to burn off, which is not going to happen.

4.Consume Less Carbs

We just talked about Sugar, so lets fill you in on another little secret. Most carbs consumed in the U.S. are the equivalent of ingesting sugar. That white slice of bread you used to make your sandwich is exactly the same as the white table sugar you just put in your coffee. Your body reacts to both in the same way. Both are carbohydrates and if you don’t immediately burn them, they will be stored in your body and converted into fat. Now with that being said if you make sure all your carbs are full of fiber then you will be able to trick your body into very slowly releasing those carbs, resulting in your body having a better chance to burn those carbs off. The reality is unfortunately that most of us just aren’t active enough to burn off all the carbs we eat, which is why we also must reduce the amount we eat as well. It’s important to make sure all our carbs are whole grain and full of fiber.
 Another important fact to remember is the portion sizes in US restaurants and the way we prepare our meals are completely wrong. Carbs should be the smallest item on your dinner plate. When we eat out we are used to seeing a plate full of rice or potatoes with a handful of veggies, this is because potatoes and rice are cheaper to purchase than produce. Instead your plate should be full of veggies and contain a small 1/4 cup of wild rice and a fist full of lean meat or fish.

5. Chew Slowly

So does this last one sound to good to be true? Well lucky for you, simply by taking your time and chewing slowly you could actually start to lose weight. In my years of giving nutritional counseling and training I would always ask the same question and get the same answer from all my over weight patients. How long does it take you to finish a meal? The answer always being “less than 30 minutes”.  Most people who eat too quickly end up over eating. This is because it takes your body 20-30 minutes to signal the brain that your full. By eating slow you will realize that you don’t need to eat as much in order to feel satisfied. It is also best to never eat until you’re full. aAlways eat to feel satisfied. If that meal is just oh so good, pack it up and eat the rest later even if its just 2hrs. Eating 6 small meals are better than 3 big meals because it gives your body enough time to burn off those carbohydrates before they can be stored as fat. In addition chewing your food longer will allow your body to absorb more nutrients from the foods you are eating. So just relax, try to take a full hour to eat your meals, and enjoy watching the pounds melt off!
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