Want to get slimmer for summer the healthy way? On-trend diet moves, new supplements, well-designed platefuls and kick-ass superfoods can give your weight loss a brilliant boost. Slot some into your life… starting now!
Here are 10 ways to get slimmer for summer – and beyond:
Drink before you eat
Trust us, the best way to get slimmer for summer in a hurry is to stay hydrated. Those first pangs (that drive you headlong to the snacks) are usually nothing to do with hunger at all. Those growls are down to dehydration. At the first rumble, rehydrate with water or, better yet, herbal tea. Look for one with cinnamon or the herb gymnema in the mix – both control blood sugar and, in turn, those cravings. You’re welcome!
Take care of your gut
Take a probiotic daily to encourage good gut bacteria – research suggests that gut bacteria send signals to the brain to create cravings for foods they need to thrive. What this means is that if we up good bacteria with a probiotic, they’ll send signals for healthier foods. Loving the thought!
Sleep it off
It’s believed that if you sleep less you get a bigger waistline thanks to hormones encouraging sugar and fat cravings. But, new research indicates that those who sleep for fewer hours simply have a slower metabolism. So the jury’s out – again! Either way, great sleep will leave you refreshed, and a night-time supplement with metabolism-boosting amino acids and vitamins could help towards losing that middle.
Restrict your eating
If you’re bad at kilojoule counting and meal planning, Time-Restricted Eating could be your new best friend. Simply restrict eating to an eight-hour window. Do it for three to seven days a week, depending on how much you want to lose. Amazingly it seems to work!
Measure food the easy way
Did you know that your stomach is about the same size as your cupped hands? Hold that thought. The popular diet on the block is Scandinavian (must be good). It dumps kilojoule counting (liking it already) and uses hands to measure each meal (aha!).
Danish dietician Suzy Wengel lost 40kg creating her diet, which gets us putting meals together with four handfuls: one of protein, one of starch, and two of vegetables. Hold your hand out, bring your fingers together – there’s your measuring cup. So simple, and it makes sense!
Cancel wine time
…and save a bucketload of empty kilojoules. New larger glasses (250ml) can whack a good 950kJ onto your daily total. Eek! Nutritionist Nina Sabat suggests switching to drinks that do you good. Water is always a safe bet, so drink up. Nina’s go-to drink is kombucha, “a cultured drink naturally rich in probiotics – the healthy bacteria your tum loves”, she says.
Increase your fibre intake
It’s your weight-loss pal. “I love, love, love fibre,” says naturopath Rick Hay. “It keeps you full, helps ‘elimination’, reduces your portion size and helps reduce fat around the middle.” Not getting enough? Flip a teaspoonful of Inulin – a veggie prebiotic powder – into water or a smoothie and you’re good to go.
Inulin supports the growth of good bacteria and reduces the body’s ability to make some fats – especially good for us apple-shaped gals. And the bonus? Take it before bed for a great night’s sleep.
Test your DNA
Genetic testing is so now and could help relight your dieting fire. A quick DIY cheek swab is said to reveal the most effective way to manage your weight via personalised diet plans, fitness regimes and recipes matched to your DNA profile.
Contact DNAlysis Biotechnology, who offer various genetic tests. To see which are right for you, call 011 268 0268, or visit www.dnalysis.co.za
And do it slowly and thoroughly – anything from 20 to 50 times for each mouthful. How does it help? Well, it takes 20 minutes for the brain to realise you’ve even eaten something, so it’s easy to overeat in that window of opportunity. By chewing slowly, your gut gets to know what full feels like and, bingo, you may eat less.
Want the low-down on slow eating? Chewing champ Robyn Youkilis has a fabulous website that’ll get you chewing better in 21 days. Visit www.thechewingchallenge.com
We’ve spoken at length about apple-cider vinegar, but pomegranate is the hip new must-take. A tablespoon in water before meals is believed to help with fat metabolism. Easy!