Here we are in April, just a matter of weeks from the official start of summer, and it seems like just yesterday we were making New Year’s resolutions! If your goal is to get back on track with healthy eating in order to slim down for summer, now is the time to start. A diet rich in quality ingredients such as lean protein, fruits and vegetables and whole grains plus a balance of calories in and calories out can help you not only boost feel-good energy but also gradually slim down over the coming weeks. Don’t be tempted by quick-fix fad diets! Slow and steady weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is not only a more realistic and enjoyable way to work towards a healthy weight; it has been shown to be the most effective for keeping weight down for the long term.
If you’re motivated to start slimming down for summer, these healthy eating tips can help you cut calories, boost nutrition and support fitness as you work towards your weight loss goals.
- Start with fruits and veggies – Make fruits and veggies the stars of your meal and other ingredients the supporting cast. These lower calorie and highly filling foods should make up approximately half of your plate; however, they’re often an under-represented afterthought in our meals. Filling out your meals with these foods is one of the best strategies for slimming down.
- Find healthy swaps – We all have our favorite not-so-good for us foods. If moderation isn’t your strength, find healthier swaps to eat instead. Try swapping popcorn for potato chips, frozen yogurt for ice cream, dark chocolate for milk chocolate, a single lean turkey burger instead of a beefy double cheeseburger.
- Double check your portions – A little extra here, a little extra there. The portions we eat have a way of gradually growing without us even realizing. Get back to basics with healthy portions on your plate.
- Keep yourself honest – Achieving weight loss goals requires a certain amount of honesty with yourself. Be honest about your motivation, your time and how you’re achieving your goals. A big part of that is tracking. From the meals you’re eating at home and at restaurants to the bites and snacks you grab in between those meals, tracking can help you identify trends while keeping you honest about what you’re eating.
- Make it a group effort – Who doesn’t like to have a little fun with friends? Get a group of friends or family together to give it a competitive edge or simply add an element of support to your summer slim-down. Schedule group walks or workouts, healthy potlucks and get-togethers at your favorite restaurants to enjoy Healthy Dining menu choices.
Feel good poolside this summer with a healthy diet and lifestyle now (and throughout the year). Gradual changes like these now can help you achieve and maintain weight loss goals beyond the glow of summer.