Photography by themanuc
With the holidays out of the way and our first month into 2015 almost complete, this is about the time of year I really kick myself back into gear. Spring is just around the corner, so I thought I’d share some tips for slimming down and getting that svelte bikini body we all aim for. These tips may not seem effective on their own but they most certainly are and when combined, you create an all around healthier, happier lifestyle.
1) Eat Less Bread. I know, I know. Bread is one of my favorite things too, especially croissants but, you can easily save yourself calories and even sugars by nixing some of the bread in your diet. So next time you pull into In-N-Out, just remember to order that burger protein style!
2) Drink More Water! Most of us don’t drink as much water as we’re supposed to each day but it’s important to stay hydrated. Drinking water moisturizes and replenishes your body. If you tend to get headaches, dehydration could be the culprit. In order to liven up my daily intake, I drink lots of decaffeinated tea instead of coffee and I also buy large bags of lemons to squeeze into my water throughout the day. Not only does that provide you with a quick boost of vitamins but it’s an appetite suppressant that also helps clear up your skin and detoxify your body. Not bad. I’d say the glass is definitely looking half full, wouldn’t you?
3) Try New Recipes. This may sound obvious to some. Or maybe you don’t cook at all! Eating at home is one of the best ways to really know what’s in your food. When you prepare your own meals you know exactly how much fat, sodium and sugars are being used, making it a lot easier to cut back. By trying new recipes, I’ve found a new appreciation for foods that I would’ve never known I liked. I already tend to be an adventurous eater but I was surprised to find how many things at my regular grocery store I had never eaten. Another great way to cut corners is to replace typical recipes with healthier alternatives. One of my favorite spaghetti alternatives is using spaghetti squash instead of pasta noodles. If you’re interested in the recipe I use, comment below and maybe I’ll do a post on it.
4) Just Say No to High Fructose Corn Syrup! This is non-negotiable for me when I purchase anything from the grocery store. High fructose corn syrup leads to “increased metabolic disturbances that drive increases in appetite, weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.” HFCS is used as a cheaper substitution for real sugar so chances are, if a product contains it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it anyways. As a general rule of thumb, only purchase food with real, recognizable ingredients.
5) Replace Your Salad Dressing & Ditch the Croutons. Most dressings contain a ton of sugar. Unfortunately, the creamier the dressing, the more deliciously fattening it is. Did you know that a McDonald’s salad with dressing and croutons has nearly double the amount of calories and triple the amount of fat than a standard burger? Pretty disillusioning but a great reminder for the next time you’re at the salad bar. I opt for a drizzle of olive oil and some mashed avocados in my salad to give it a creamy, dressing like taste.
6) Healthy Desserts. It’s ok to splurge here and there. In fact, I think it’s healthy to! But, if you tend to get a sweet tooth after dinner, there are ways to curb it with healthier alternatives. One of my favorite quick dessert recipes consists of only two ingredients: sliced apples and cinnamon. They’re crunchy, sweet and totally hit the spot. Try baking them in the oven for a more pie-like treat! Fruit is a great way to get your sugar fix but be careful not to overdo it, especially with dried fruits. Remember: everything in moderation.
7) Snacking Through the Day. This may seem counterintuitive when trying to slim down but it’s actually a great way to keep your metabolism going and burning calories. Of course you want to make sure you’re putting nutritious things in your body so be conscientious of the snacks you choose. I get bored easily with the same foods so I’m always looking for new products at the market but my go to snacks when packing a bag for long shoots are cut veggies with hummus (there are individual serving packs or I scoop some into tupperware), nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), sunflower seeds, boiled eggs, fresh cut fruit, avocado toast with cucumbers and fresh pepper and turkey & lettuce rollups with spicy mustard. Low-carb, high-fiber foods take more time to digest than other foods, which leaves you feeling full for longer periods of time.
8) Limit White Foods. With the exception of white meat, white foods generally contain a lot of fat and carbs. This includes butter, breads, potatoes, rice, creamy dishes, pastas and all those other delectable foods that are coming to mind.
9) Relax! Getting enough sleep is important for many reasons but eventually your metabolism will slow down without the proper amount of rest. Additionally, the stress in your body can release cortisol, causing calories to be stored as fat.
10) Exercise!!! Last but certainly not least, it is MOST important that you create a healthy environment within your body by being physically active. There is only so much that tricks and tips can do. The bottom line is that exercise is necessary and it can be fun, too! I’d much rather be outside than stuck in a gym so I alternate between rollerblading, biking, hiking and whatever other random events play into my life throughout the week. Last weekend it was snowboarding…great workout by the way. I’m still sore! For those of you who don’t live in a temperate paradise like California, your living room can be a great place to get your heart rate up for at least 10 minutes a day. For more on that, visit our previous blog. There are always little ways to burn extra calories through the day by parking in further spots, taking the stairs and even doing ab strengthening exercises while sitting in the car or at your desk. Every bit counts! Be proactive about being active!