Summer 2023 is sneaking up on us – are you ready?! Usually, we get to the end of May, sometimes even June, and quickly Google “How to get a bikini body in 10 days.” Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start now! It takes 6-8 weeks to see a real change in your body. Starting at the end of May is too late to make real, sustainable changes.
But – don’t worry. The changes needed to get you ready for summer 2023 aren’t drastic. Too often, we’re told we need to restrict, restrict, restrict. No more eating out, no more carbs, no more sugar, etc. We try it and then fail within 10 or so days because it’s just not the way we’re meant to live. We either have families with birthday parties or we like to go out with friends. Sometimes it’s just a very busy schedule that makes it hard.
If you make small, sustainable changes to your eating and lifestyle habits, you can get the summer body you’ve wanted and can be proud of all without sacrificing life events.
These three tips will help you implement the changes needed to get you ready for summer 2023.
Eat more whole, nutrient-dense foods.
Yes, eat more, not less! More of the right types of food will help heal the inside so the outside looks healthy and happy.
If you focus on eating whole, nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains you won’t struggle with the restrict/binge cycle that fad diets often cause. These foods will help you feel fuller for longer, provide your body with essential nutrients, and can even boost your metabolism.
So what are whole, nutrient-dense foods?
- Whole grains – rice, whole grain pasta, oats, and quinoa are great options. These carbohydrates will give you energy and fiber to keep you fuller for longer. Which is just what you want when it comes to weight loss and health.
- Lean Protein – chicken, fish, lean cuts or red meat, beans, lentils and tofu are all great options.
- Fruit – fresh fruit makes a fantastic snack. Berries are high in vitamins and minerals and are low in sugar.
- Vegetables – if you’re unsure if you like vegetables, try different methods of cooking. It can definitely improve the flavor and it’s a quick cooking method. Try to fill at least half of your plate with fruits and vegetables at each meal.
2. Cut back on processed and sugary foods.
While processed foods definitely have their place – they provide a quick and convenient option when you’re on the go – they should not be a staple in your everyday food intake if you’re aiming to lose weight or just to be healthy. And, outside of weight loss, they can leave you with an energy crash making you feel sluggish and lethargic the rest of the day. Processed and sugary foods are often high in calories and low in nutrients (vitamins and minerals) and can contribute to poor health. Overconsuming these types of foods will not serve your summer body goal.
Examples of some easy swaps:
- Instead of a cinnamon roll for breakfast, make a packet of instant oats and add some fruit and cinnamon.
- Instead of a burger and fries for lunch, order a grilled chicken sandwich with a side of a baked potato or fruit cup.
- Instead of 3-4 slices of pizza for dinner, have 1 slice of pizza then pair it with a grilled chicken salad.
- For dessert- berries, whipped cream, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips will cover the chocolate craving while giving your body a boost of antioxidants.
- And watch out for sugary drinks! Search Pinterest for some lower-calorie options for your favorite coffee drinks.
Just like anything, having these types of “fun” foods is okay in moderation. But when the goal is to feel good for summer, make sure to lower your intake of these and focus on the foods that are going to keep you energized and feeling great.
3. Stay hydrated.
In case you didn’t know, water is essential. Not just for weight loss and health, but for good skin, hair, digestion, and even energy. When you’re dehydrated, the body cannot function well. You will deal with effects such as dizziness, foggy thinking, constipation, and severe fatigue.
When you do drink the water you need, the body can run much more efficiently. Motivation will be up, and you’ll want to put in the work to be healthy. Something as simple as getting your water in can keep you on the right path to a healthy lifestyle. A great goal to start with is half your body weight in ounces.
Tips for getting in more water:
- Get a new water bottle. It’s fun and can keep you motivated.
- Set reminders on your phone.
- Add mint leaves, cucumbers, or freshly squeezed lemon to keep it refreshing.
- Drink a glass of water before every meal.
By implementing these three food habits now, you can set yourself up for success and feel your best when summer rolls around. Remember that small changes can make a big difference, so start small and build from there. Start by adding veggies to all lunches and dinners. Then swap out some of your desserts and mid-day snacks from packaged sweets to fruit and nuts. Grab a water bottle you love and keep it with you wherever you go. Small changes like this are easy to keep up with and can make a big difference over a few weeks’ time.
If you want more guidance on nutrition and what you need to do to manage your health, email Jalpa to set up a consultation!
Jalpa is a registered dietitian and nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Health & Nutrition from Brooklyn College, CUNY in New York. She also holds a Certificate of Training in Adult Weight Management through the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, CDR.