The period of losing weight before the big break is effectively like a traditional holiday – like Easter’s Lent period, but 100% health related and an unambiguous choice e.g. giving up fat-filled foods rather than the Xbox. The question is, what will help you the most during your weight loss holiday?
According to a recent study April to May is the month that most women begin the slow trudge towards losing the lumps and bumps, ready for the summer break. As many as four out of five women and three out of five men feel the need to diet after a winter of comfort eating.
When exactly one should start dieting prior to the summer months depends greatly on how much weight you need to lose, but as a general rule it is possible to lose as much as one stone or 6.35 kilos in the first two weeks. After that weight loss will slow down as your metabolism adjusts to the regime. However a trick is to change your diet every four to six weeks as this will kick-start your body into burning off fat again.
Diet drinks are good so long as they are part of a calorie controlled diet. A shake can replace the main meal for the duration. You can look amazing in your bikini or swimsuit this summer, but you must keep your diet healthy and take plenty of exercise. Finding the right combination of exercise and a suitable diet plan can be a minefield but will give you just the head start you need.
There are many foods that are full of nutrition which can help you to shed that weight such as asparagus, apples, avocado, lean chicken and turkey breast, all vegetables and salads, some pulses and of course chocolate – I wish – only kidding ! However a sure-fire way to lose weight over a two-week period is to follow these tips:
- Try eating fruit until 11am – your body will digest fruit much easier when it is eaten alone and will encourage the burning of fat.
- A good, satisfying lunch is soup together with a mixed salad.
- Avoid any of the starchy carbohydrates that are included in your diet after 6pm unless you are taking exercise during the evening.
- For your evening meal make sure you eat a minimum of three vegetables or a big salad. Additionally, try to eat some fruit or nuts every couple of hours to maintain fat loss and avoid feeling hungry thus succumbing to temptation to snack.
- Avoid items such as bread, rice and pasta as they will only make you feel full for a short time and are nutritionally lacking.
- Water is your friend. Make sure you drink every couple of hours if possible as it will help sustain chemical reactions within your body to burn off fat.
Now this is important – make sure you exercise for at least 30 minutes every day. First thing in the morning is ideal as this is when your body can burn fat more efficiently.
Don’t worry if you don’t have time to make your own fruit drinks, smoothies, salads and soups. Shop bought ones are fine although do read the labels to check that they are suitable for your diet and low in sugar and salt.
Now let’s discuss physical exercise. This doesn’t mean that you have to go to the gym and lift weights and run miles on a treadmill. Exercise can be fun – nor do you have to stand in front of the television trying to imitate some muscle-bound man or women, doing contortions with their bodies that would bring tears to your eyes. What about Dance Dance Revolution where players are judged by how well they time their dance to the patterns presented to them. – now that’s fun. But why not take your exercise and socialise at the same time by joining a Zumba class where along with others you can have a great time as Zumba involves elements of dance and aerobics including hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo, martial arts, belly dancing and even some Bollywood moves. Get fit, get slim and wow everyone on the dance floor at the same time – perfect.
The hardest part of dieting is to stay motivated, so here’s a few tips to help keep you on track. Set yourself reasonable goals. Allow yourself a small daily treat. Focus on the benefits you are noticing, like increased energy levels and keep a success journal describing your achievements.
So – whilst all this advice will get you looking body beautiful on the beach, if you are planning a holiday in coldest Siberia, forget all the above – eat loads of chocolate and doughnuts and be thankful for the extra padding!