Memorial Day marks the beginning of summer, with pools officially open, and most of us panicking by slathering on self tanner and buying the latest on-trend black bathing suit from Target. It’s disappointing that you can’t lose weight as quickly as it may feel like you may have gained it (I swear that one-week vacation really did me in those last 5 pounds!)
But the rules of weight loss are simple, burn off more than you consume. In addition to regular exercise, here are some simple swaps for you to start incorporating now, to see your efforts add up year-round. Good news, it doesn’t involve salads!
1) Replace one beverage daily with water. Duh right? But seriously, one soft drink can have 140 calories, plus a scary amount of sugar. Even if you’ve given up sodas for years now, think about what other recreational beverages you may be partaking in over the summer? Try to swap out one alcoholic drink for some sparkling water with a little fruit, or even better, a glass of kombucha! Pour it in your favorite wine or cocktail glass, and you may be surprised how much you don’t miss that second (or third) drink.
2) Skip the bun. The warm weather has us firing up the grill weekly. Consider swapping out your bun for a healthier option. A sturdy crisp lettuce like romaine works well for either a hot dog or a hamburger, or try a portbello bun for more nutritional value.
3) Drink more H20. Yes it’s summer time, and you sweat more and should rehydrate. But increasing your intake before you eat has been linked to curbing your appetite and preventing overeating. Aim for about 16 oz of water before you sit down to eat. On average, people eat 88 calories less when they’re hydrated before eating.
4) Try cauliflower. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know this trend. Try it riced to sub out your favorite asian dish or chipotle-themed bowl, or as a pizza crust. If you can’t turn down tortilla chips like us, try using roasted cauliflower florets to make nachos – it still feels as satisfying as a bar food snack, but saves you empty calories.
5) Choose mustard over mayo. Not all condiments are created equal. Mayonnaise is loaded with fat and calories, and sometimes unnecessary sugars (spoiler – aoli is just a fancy word for mayo). Get creative with your mustard – there’s dijon, which works for everything from chicken and salmon to your homemade salad dressings – and even horseradish to add some heat for hamburgers and hot dogs.
6) Chew slower. When you’re hungry, or distracted, it’s easy to shovel your food in and finish in record time. But chewing more slowly – and generally being more mindful of your eating – allows the body to better realize when it’s full. So put the phone down, or step outside to eat your lunch tomorrow, and take your time with your food (plan on 20 – 30 minutes for each meal).
Remember, you don’t need to make every change in one day, or all at once. Choosing to do any one of the above options saves you about 100 calories on average, per day. Aiming for 100 calories/less daily, adds up to an average of 10 pounds of weight loss over the course of a year. Let us know what swap was the easiest for you to incorporate next time you’re at the studio, or tag us if you share any of your swaps on social media!