Summer is only a few short weeks away, and that means swimsuit weather is just around the corner. Fashion magazines may be touting the latest weight-loss tactics, but for lasting success, nutritional experts recommend a healthier approach that really works.
Sara Asberry, a registered dietitian in the Student Wellness Center at The University of Texas at Dallas, helps college students lose weight while maintaining healthy eating guidelines. Here are five health-conscious tips she offers to help drop some pounds.
- Increase your fiber intake — Research has shown that just increasing your fiber intake can result in weight loss. High-fiber foods include fruits and vegetables with the peel, whole grains, nuts, seeds and legumes. Bring on the black beans, lentils, pears, apples, Brussels sprouts, brown rice and oatmeal.
- Weigh yourself regularly — A recent article in The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics showed that weighing yourself every day produces greater weight loss compared with weighing most days of the week. Just don’t weigh yourself more than once a day. Body weight varies as we consume nutrients and excrete waste. Weighing yourself throughout the day can hinder your emotional health, especially for those struggling with disordered eating behaviors.
- Hydrate — You have heard over and over again to “Drink more water!” Increasing your fluids can help relieve constipation and control appetite levels. Sometimes we think we are hungry when we are actually thirsty. Being dehydrated can make you feel fatigued and less likely to exercise. Keep a water bottle with you all day and try to fill it up four times a day. A hydrated body is a happy body.
- Get moving — Make an effort to add steps into your daily life: park your car further away, walk to a bathroom that is less convenient, walk in place while you watch TV. You can burn roughly 100 calories by jogging in place for 10 minutes, so add a little cardio to your favorite TV show.
- Appreciate your body — It’s the only one you have. Ultimately, it’s not about how you look in a swimsuit, it’s how you see yourself as a person. You are more than a number on a scale; you are a person who deserves to be valued. Don’t let a swimsuit prevent you from enjoying summer activities with your friends and family.
Remember, everyone has different dietary needs. Just because something is healthy for one person, does not make it healthy for everyone. Consult a local registered dietitian to customize a program to best “suit” your needs.