How to get that bikini body this summer!
We get to this time each year and suddenly realise that our summer attire, particularly the swimwear, is a little more “snug” than we would have wanted. Of course, some of that is because we’re more sedentary, but a lot of us have hangovers from the pandemic and the restrictions imposed particularly with not having to travel to work. Those short distances walking around the office, to and from the car, have been removed, plus the added temptation of food within short reach, means that our lifestyles and habits may have changed significantly.
So, what can we do about it?
1. Move a bit more
It sounds ridiculous to say but getting up and moving around the house or office just in your normal daily work routine can help. Take a break every hour and walk for a minute; it helps your circulation and wellbeing too, to take a break. You don’t have to be gym bunnies (although sometimes the focus of paying for a membership helps), sometimes, just window shopping at the weekend, or taking the kids to the park, can be enough. Remember all movement counts – it’s about getting more active.
2. Cut down on salt & sugar
Try and cut down on your salt intake and most importantly your sugar intake. There are lots of instances of hidden sugar & salt in processed foods (even in foods that we wouldn’t normally associate sugar & salt in), so read labels carefully. Anything with a “ose” like Glucose/Fructose, is a sugar and laden with calories. One of the quickest ways to lose a few pounds and to tone up is to cut out ALL processed sugar. Now, as Nicole (being a bit of a sugar-addict) can attest to, it’s very difficult to go “cold-turkey” on a sugar addiction, but, if you can hack it, it can be very rewarding and can easily help you lose up to 7lbs in a few weeks (depending on how much sugar you’re eating in the first place).
3. Change your diet
Try and keep your metabolism high by switching the types of meals you eat each day. One day, have high carbohydrates/fats but low sugar & salt, and the other day do the reverse. It’s a very popular method that is used by the likes of slimming world and other diets too. The whole aim is to confuse your metabolism, and to kick it into overdrive so its processing calories & food in a healthy but quick way.
4. Drink more water
Most of us don’t drink enough water, and yet it’s key to ensure all your internal organs and particularly your stomach, digestion system and bowels, have enough water to process food and remove toxins from your body. Your body works better and your immune system is stronger when there’s enough water for your body to function normally – remember dehydration can cause for a sluggish system.
By drinking more water, you also “fill” your stomach, which suppresses your appetite, and if you squeeze half a fresh lemon into a glass of water, it helps to “melt” the belly fat (try it for a week and you’ll see what we mean).
5. Reduce Caffeine
If you can, reduce your caffeine as much as you can. Whilst it’s a great stimulant to keep you awake, it also increases your appetite. We know it’s difficult – even reducing your caffeine by one cup a day, you suppress your appetite a little which helps with the cravings and your willpower to avoid high salt, high sugar, high carbohydrate food.
6. Sleep More
Make sure you get at least 8 hours sleep. It’s difficult, especially in the recent heatwave we’ve had to get enough sleep, but by going to bed a little earlier, and switching off from your devices, it helps an easy transition into sleep. Your body can then help to process food more easily and help to reduce your sugary foods cravings.