You meant to lose 20 pounds so you could wear your favorite swimsuit without feeling self-conscious this summer. Somehow, the pounds are still there.
But it’s not too late. There are still some things you can do so you feel better when you reach for that two-piece or your favorite pair of shorts. Try these tips from our CHI Health experts:
- Make dietary fiber your secret weapon. Increasing fiber alone can be just as beneficial as following a strict diet when it comes to weight loss. Women should aim for at least 25 grams daily; men should get at least 30.
- Drink a lot of water. Drinking lots of water can help prevent overeating and it can relieve constipation and improve your productivity throughout the day.
- Switch up your foods. "Increase your low calorie, high volume foods like fruits and veggies while you decrease your higher calorie foods," said CHI Health’s Julie Cobos, supervisor at CHI Health Lakeside and Immanuel Wellness Centers.
- Fruits and vegetables are the foundation of a healthy diet. They’re low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients. They also tend to ‘crowd out’ those less nutritious foods.
- Know what to limit. Carbs, salt and alcohol can sabotage any well-meaning person. We tend to overeat the less nutritious carbs such as candy, white breads, chips, soda, juices, crackers and pastries and can be lacking in the more nutritious ones such as vegetables, beans, legumes and whole grains.
- Salt is another villain you want to limit. Too much can lead to water retention and bloating – and can be bad for your blood pressure and overall health.
- Alcohol is another saboteur that contains calories and can lower inhibitions, making it harder to avoid snacking. "Make sure you limit your drinking and avoid keeping snacks around when you do," Cobos said.
- Find a workout buddy and share food journals. "They can keep you honest and on track," Cobos said. "It is easier to make excuses to ourselves than to our friends. Set workout times for the week and hold each other to those dates." Sharing a food log will make you think twice about that sweet treat or fast food, she added.
- Increase your exercise. "If you’ve been working out and following the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guideline of 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week, try increasing that to the recommended 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week for even greater health benefits," Cobos said. "With decreased calories and increased calories burned, you’ll be ready and excited for swimsuit season."