As registered dietitians and personal trainers, our clients are always asking us for the easiest ways to shape up fast, even when they’re super busy! We get it, after all, who doesn’t want to rock their bathing suit look in no time? Here are a few of our favorite tips we share with them!
- Eat veggies before your meal. You’ll take the edge off hunger with very few calories and then you’ll be able to make a rational decision about what to eat. You’ll eat less of the heavy stuff at the meal and you’ll get fiber, phytonutrients and vitamins. The key is not adding calorie-laden butter, oil or dressings.
- Don’t just stop with the eating veggies before the meal—eat them with your meal too! Mix steamed veggies right into your meal! You’ll significantly slash calories. The vegetables will make the meal much less calorie dense and you’ll fill up faster. You’ll be able to save some for the next day. For example: Don’t just order pasta with shrimp, order a side of steamed broccoli and mix it right into the sauce. Do the same with all of your dishes!3.Start exercising first thing in the morning. While there is mixed research on whether or not this truly helps you to burn more calories, the truth is that if you exercise first thing in the morning, there are fewer things (and fewer excuses!) to get in the way of your workout. Even the best intentions to exercise later in the day get derailed by having to stay late at work, going out with friends, or a hectic day.4. Go for the lighter calorie cocktails and stick to the serving size. 5 ounces of wine, 1.5 ounces of hard liquor or 12 ounces of light beer all have significantly fewer calories (typically 90-120) than mixed drinks, fruity cocktails and regular beer (which range from 140 calories to upwards of 700 calories, especially when you don’t stick to a serving size!). If you have a couple of cocktails each week and switch to the lighter choices it’s an easy way to shed lbs! Keep in mind, many establishments serve in large glasses that double a serving size.
5. Put your oil in a spritzer instead of pouring it. Whether you pour oil on your omelet at breakfast, in your salad at lunch, or in your pan to cook your dinner, each tablespoon adds 120 calories. And chances are each time you pour the oil you are using more than a couple tablespoons. Put your oil in a spray bottle, spritz it on your pot or your meal instead of pouring it and you’ll save hundreds of calories each day and the weight will seem to fall of you. Use a spray bottle for all dressings, condiments and even for butter!). Psst… people are always shocked to learn that this is also the case for heart healthy olive, oil; the calories still add up quickly.
6. Write down everything that you eat. Keeping record holds you accountable for what you put in your mouth. You won’t forget you ate a few pieces of candy from your coworkers candy jar if it’s recorded in your food diary. Research shows when you write down what you eat you lose twice as much weight.
7. Swap dessert for a piece of fruit. Most people eat several hundred calories of dessert but if you satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit (typically 60-80 calories/ piece), you’ll get the sweet. Or try this Strawberry Mint “Ice Cream” -cream/ or this Frozen Yogurt Bark (2o calories!)
8. Sneak in more movement/ exercise: Sneak in exercise wherever you can. Take stairs instead of the elevator at work or push your kids on the swings for an arm workout. Even if you walk around the neighborhood for 15 minutes, it counts. Just get moving! No matter what your current level of activity is, add more activity to your day, you’ll force your body to burn more to slim down for the beach!
9. Swap heavier, higher calorie animal-based fare for protein and fiber-filled pulses (beans, chickpeas, lentils, dry peas). Research shows that pulses aid in weight loss even when calories aren’t restricted. Aim to get ¾ cup daily of any combination of pulses—that’s all it takes! (This is really encouraging for our clients and helps them meet their “eat less meat” goals!)
- A few easy swaps/ ideas to try: bean tacos, lentil or split pea soup, bean chili.
10. Leave the last 4 bites behind at each meal. This will save you about 100 calories at each meal and about 400 calories a day. You’ll feel those last few pounds dropping off as this little change will help you lose almost a pound a week–and won’t miss a thing!
BONUS! #11. Start the day with a large glass (12- 16 ounces) of one of our water infused “detox” drinks (check out a few of ours—under the photo below). It’s one of the easiest things you can do to start your day off on the right foot. Every process and chemical reaction in your body relies on water. If you want to look and feel your best and positively impact every aspect of your health, do this. It will take up space in your stomach ( so you’ll eat less and slash calories), increase your energy, boost organ function and efficiency, (your metabolism too!) help flush toxins and wastes out of your body (torid uncomfortable gut bulges from constipation).