5 weight loss hacks for to prepare for summer
- Add, Don't Subtract
Forget diet denial: Try adding foods to your diet instead of subtracting them.
Add in healthy goodies you really love, like deep-red cherries, juicy grapes, or crunchy snow peas. Slip those favorite fruits into your bag lunch and breakfast cereal; add the veggies into soups, stews, and sauces.
- Forget About Working Out
If the word "exercise" inspires you to creative avoidance, then avoid it. Maybe the trick to enjoying a workout may be to never call it working out.
So burn calories and invigorate muscles by beachcombing, riding bikes, grass skiing, making snow angels, hiking, washing the car, playing Frisbee, chasing the dog around the yard, or even enjoying great sex. After all, a rose by any other name ...
- Go Walking
Walking when the weather's nice is a super-easy way to keep fit, says Diane Virginias, a certified nursing assistant from New York. "I enjoy the seasons," she says, adding that even when she's short on time she'll go out for a few minutes. "Even a five minute walk is a five minute walk."
- Lighten the Foods You Already Love
One of the easiest ways to cut back without feeling denied is to switch to lower-calorie versions of the foods you crave. A pizza tastes just as good with reduced-fat cheese, and when you garnish low-fat ice cream with your favorite toppers, who notices those missing calories?
Fiber helps you feel satisfied longer, so while you lighten family favorites, you can easily amp up the fiber by adding a cup of whole wheat flour to your pizza dough, or toss a handful of red bell peppers on the pie.
Don't forget to lighten the drinks going with that meal. Try switching from high-calorie favorites to diet soda or light beer, or maybe add a spritz of seltzer to your wine.
Hate low-cal drinks? Mix your preferred drinks with a splash of the low-cal option, then increase the ratio as your taste buds adjust. And don't forget to keep pouring that ultimate beverage, says Magee: water
- Tune in, Tone up
Try dancing to the music when you tune into your favorite music show, or practice some stress-relieving cardio boxing when your least favorite reality contestant is on camera.
During commercials pedal your stationery bike, walk the treadmill, or slip in a little strength training doing bicep curls with cans of your favorite fizzy beverage as weights.
Get inspired to really focus: Put in a high-energy exercise DVD and get motivated by the pros onscreen.
It doesn't matter exactly what you do, so long as you're up and active. Aim for at least 15 minutes, says the AHA. But who knows? If you get really engrossed, you just might outlast the last survivor.