Summer is coming and that’s the time that many of us start thinking seriously about losing weight and toning up for the summer – I know I am! After a winter of comfort eating and wearing big coats and baggy sweaters, it’s time to come out of hibernation and enjoy some sunshine. Of course, you’ll want to look your best too!
There are lots of ways you can lose weight for the summer and trust me, I’ve tried them all, but in my experience and opinion, the tips in this article are the easiest and best ways to do it. Simply make sure you do these things every day and you’ll lose weight quickly and easily – who said weight loss had to be hard work or complicated?
Replace your breakfast with a low calories meal replacement shake
Buy a meal replacement powder or, if you prefer, make your own meal replacement shakes. Meal replacement shakes are tasty and filling but don’t contain too many calories. High in protein and fiber, they also help you feel fuller for longer which prevents cravings and hunger.
Regular breakfasts such as cereals and pastries are high in calories and higher in sugar and will make you gain rather than lose weight. A meal replacement shake will do the exact opposite which is why it’s one of the best ways to start your day.
My plan and experience with meal replacement shakes, how I’ve lost weight with this method here at “How to lose weight with Meal replacement Shakes”.
Have a healthy mid-morning snack
Snacks are often seen as bad when you are trying to lose weight but really, they’re fine – so long as you choose the RIGHT snack. Candy, cookies, and cake will not help you lose weight but low calorie protein bars will. You can buy protein bars in most supermarkets, the protein bar I use and why I recommend it at “The Best Protein Bar for You”, and health food stores or you can make your own. High in metabolism-boosting protein but low in carbs and fat, protein bars will fill you up without making you gain weight.
Have a healthy lunch
You cannot rely on getting a healthy lunch at work so you are better off preparing your lunch in advance and then taking it with you from home. I spend my Sunday afternoons preparing healthy, low-calorie meals for the rest of the week so all I have to do as “grab and go” as I leave the house for work in the morning. Here are a few of my all-time favorite sugar-free lunch recipes.
Enjoy a healthy mid-afternoon snack
It’s still a while until dinner so you might need a snack to tide you over until then. This is especially true if you eat dinner late or intend to exercise after work. Some fruit, a few nuts, or one of our recommended healthy snacks (or try a healthy protein bar – “How Protein Bars help me to lose weight” ) are just what you need to keep hunger at bay!
Skipping your afternoon snack could mean you end up feeling very hungry later on and that can lead to overeating or simply choosing an unhealthy dinner. A healthy snack can mean that you are not so hungry and that a light dinner is all you need.
Have a light, healthy dinner
For many people, dinner is when their diet goes wrong! They get home from work feeling tired and hungry and end up eating a high-calorie takeaway because they don’t have the time or energy to make something better. Needless to say, this means that weight gain becomes more likely!
Instead, aim to have a light dinner that is low in carbs but still filling – here are some GREAT dinner recipes to try that are ready in minutes. Alternatively, pre-prepare your dinner over the weekend so you always have good food to eat that can be ready in minutes.
Add some exercise
You don’t have to hit the gym to lose weight and shape up – although you can if you want to. Instead, try to make walking and/or running part of your daily routine. Even a few minutes of exercise can be very beneficial and a little exercise every day adds up to a lot over the course of a month or two.
My recommendation is to try and exercise twice a day – once after breakfast and once before dinner. Walk for 30-minutes or run for 15-minutes, whichever suits you best. If you can do more then by all means do but consider these durations to be minimums.
Also look for ways to be more active every day. Walk to work, take the stairs instead of the elevator, stand up to take phone calls, play in your garden with your kids, wash your car by hand, do some chores, take your dog for a walk – do anything that means you get up off your butt and move more.
Exercise and general physical activity burns calories and, because you are eating a little less and eating more healthily, you won’t be eating as many calories as normal. That means the calories needed to fuel your workouts will come from fat and, as a result, you’ll lose weight. The more exercise you can do the more weight you will lose – simple!
Drink more water
Water is essential for every reaction that happens in your body – including fat burning. As the temperatures heat up, you need to try and drink more water to stay hydrated. Shoot for around two liters per day of plain water. It’s calorie-free and also helps to fill you up which may reduce hunger and cravings.
Don’t go confusing soda with water – it’s not the same thing. Packed with sugar, soda is very fattening and unhealthy. Diet soda is not really any better; it’s sugar-free but loaded with potentially harmful artificial sweeteners. Stick to water most of the time for best results.
It’s never too late to start losing weight for the summer but you’ll find it easier if you start sooner rather than later. There is no need to starve yourself, no need to use expensive or controversial supplements, and no need to exercise like a crazy person; just put these tips into action and you will start losing weight right away.