9 Quick Tricks to Get Slim for Summer

If your stomach is looking more like a keg than a six pack I have good news for you: science shows there are proven ways to slim up and get in shape in time for summer.

 

Here are 10 of them you can start using today.

1. Walk to work

Instead of getting in the car or hopping on the bus, why not wake up a little earlier and walk to work? The exercise will leave you feeling fresh and ready for the day whilst also giving you a free workout.

If you live a little too far from your work to walk, try getting off the bus a stop early, or park your car a little further away than usual.

2. Plan your meals

Planning some healthy work lunches and meals is actually a great way you get beach body ready frugally. If you regularly purchase food for your lunch then this will certainly help you save some cash.

Choose some healthy, high protein recipes that will keep you full up until dinner time. This will stop you snacking at your office desk as well.

3. Choose your carbs with care

Highly refined carbohydrates – the processed white carbs that are the basis of so many meals and snacks – will spike blood-sugar levels and encourage the pancreas to produce insulin, which both facilitates the accumulation of fat, and then guards against its depletion. Swap fast-release, refined carbs for slow-burning, unrefined ones: jumbo oats, brown basmati rice, stone-ground wholemeal bread. Small change, big impact.

4. Junk the juice

Fruit juice is a higher sugar, lower-nutrient version of its source – and it contains less fiber, too. Besides, plenty of the nutritional goodies in fruit are concentrated in the skins, which tend to be lost in juicing. If you want apple juice, eat the apple, and have a glass of water with it. (It’s important to stay hydrated when on the 5:2.)

5. Eat out no more than once per week

The average restaurant meal has over 1,100 calories, and that doesn’t include drinks, appetizers and dessert! When you take into account all those things, you’re looking at around 2,000 calories for a single night eating out. Stay in and cook your own meal instead, or order a healthier option. Many restaurants now have low calorie menus.

6. Do a 7-minute workout

Doing interval training workouts as short as seven minutes can have more benefit than doing long, steady-state cardio workouts. Here’s the trade-off: interval training is tough. During those seven minutes plan on sweating.

7. Stretch every day

How do you think dancers and avid yoga practitioners stay so slim? Stretching helps elongate our muscles so us females don’t “bulk up.” If you exercise, be sure to stretch for at least half the time of your workout.

In a recent study, ten overweight volunteers went on a diet while sleeping 8.5 hours a night for two weeks and just 5.5 hours per night for another couple of weeks. (During the day, their diet and activity levels were exactly the same.) In both cases, the average weight loss was 6.5 pounds, but when the group slept less, they lost less fat (1.3 pounds versus 3 pounds), and felt hungrier.

9. Spice up your life

Sugar and salt might not have a place on your plate, but you don’t want to skimp on spice. Capsaicin, the active compound in cayenne pepper, paprika, and other spices, has been shown to help boost your metabolism. According to a Canadian study, those who supplemented their diet with capsaicin consumed 200 fewer calories during their next meal. If you prefer a milder spice, try cinnamon. Research from the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute suggests that cinnamon can help burn fat, thanks to its essential oil, cinnamaldehyde.