By Quad-City Nutrition Expert Jeni Tackett RD, LD
As the grass grows greener and the air grows warmer, we begin to think about summer shorts and swimsuits. Are you ready?
Many of us may not be! But don’t despair: You can lose 5-10 pounds in the next 10 weeks with some simple modifications to your diet and increase in activity.
First, you need to cut about 250 calories every day while boosting your activity by 250 calories daily. Here are some exercise ideas from Livestrong.
To improve your diet – and make swimsuit and short shopping something to look forward to this summer – follow these suggestions:
- Eat Breakfast! Eating breakfast gets your metabolism going and increases weight loss. Make sure breakfast is high in fiber and contains protein. A high fiber breakfast with adequate protein will keep you satisfied. An example would be a whole wheat English muffin with egg and a cup of berries (just 250 calories, 5 g fat, 10 g protein, and 10 g fiber compared to the 500 calories in Fast Food breakfast sandwiches!)
- Cut your Beverages: You may be getting your extra calories from beverages. Do you guzzle a cup of orange juice in the morning? That’s 120 extra calories. Eat whole fruit instead of drinking juice for less calories and fiber. Skip the chai tea latte or mocha frappaccinos which add hundreds of extra calories to your diet. Drink water or beverages without calories such as tea, coffee, or Crystal Lite. Water is always your best bet.
- Pick Smart Snacks: Stick to the following simple rule: snack on fruits or vegetables only. You can save 200-300 calories snacking on an apple or baby carrots instead of a candy bar, bag of chips, or cookies. Keep fruits and veggies with you at all times so that you can grab a healthy snack when you are tempted to indulge.
- Lighten up Dinner: Load up on vegetables at dinner. Instead of eating 2 cups of rice or pasta, cut you rice or pasta down to 1 cup and eat twice as much salad or steamed vegetables. Fill half of your plate with vegetables. Skip the slice of bread with dinner and save 100-200 calories. You will still feel satisfied from the large volume of delicious vegetables at your meal.
- Write it Down: The best diet you can go on is the pencil and paper diet. Make a goal of cutting 250 calories a day and record everything you put in your mouth. You have to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight, and you must eat less consistently. Keep a food journal in your purse or pocket and write down your meals and snacks. Set a realistic goal of cutting 250 calories on average and the weight will come off.
Make a commitment every day to reach your goal for a fit body this summer. Look in the mirror and repeat after me, “I will eat healthy and exercise today. I’m worth it!”
|Meet Jeni Tackett, Let’s Move Quad Cities Nutrition Blogger. Jeni is a registered and licensed dietitian for Unity Point-Trinity. Jeni counsels her clients on weight loss and nutrition. You can read Jeni’s bio and other blog posts by clicking here.|