Eat yourself to the perfect summer body
The summer is officially here. Yet as we hide away our winter jumpers, many of us will be worrying about how we look when we take to the beach.
The good news is that it’s not too late to get yourself summer-ready; The better news is that you may actually be able to eat yourself into that summer bikini.
Obviously, this doesn’t mean that you can chow down on as many chocolate bars as you like, but by picking the right foods you can help to get your body back in shape for summer.
So what sorts of things should you be eating to slim down this season? The answer it seems is superfoods.
What are superfoods?
Superfoods are those items that contain all of the things we need to stay healthy, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Which superfoods will help me lose weight this summer?
Oats – Many experts claim oats should be the staple of any breakfast. Rich in fibre, oats also contain resistant starch, which gives the metabolism a kick-start and is thought to aid weight loss. They’re great with low-fat yoghurt and fresh fruit, too, so feel free to experiment with a few different combinations.
Watermelon – A perfect summer breakfast, dessert or snack, watermelon is made up primarily of water and helps to keep the body hydrated. This makes it not only a low-calorie, low-fat option, but the water content helps you keep trim. What’s more, it has the antioxidants vitamin A and C and lycopene. It is believed this lowers the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, high blood pressure, arthritis and macular degeneration.
Salmon – Filled with protein, Salmon is a great, low-fat alternative to meat. It’s also loaded with MUFAs (monounsaturated fatty acids), which help with weight loss and lower the risk of heart disease. Pop salmon flakes into a delicious salad or make it your main meal with lots of fresh vegetables.
Brown rice – This is a superfood that can easily be integrated into your diet all year round. It contains resistant starch, which is though to help burn fat. Brown rice also has a low-energy-density, which means that it fills you up without being high in calories. Try this rice as part of a vegetable, low-fat curry, which makes for great comfort food if you’re having a bad day.
Grapefruit – This is arguable the ultimate superfood if you’re trying to lose weight. Research suggests that if you change nothing else about your diet but add grapefruit, you can lose up to a pound a week. This is because it contains a compound that lowers insulin, which is a fat-storing hormone. Grapefruit also contains protein and is at least 90 per cent water, ensuring you stay hydrated in the summer heat.
Almonds – Nuts are a great snack food and this super-nut is one of the best. Almonds are packed with nutrients and contain primarily monounsaturated fats – the same as olive oil. This nut also contains vitamin E and manganese.
Bananas – This delicious fruit contains resistant starch, which aids with weight loss. It will also fill you up and help your metabolism. Why not cut them up over your oats to get a double hit of superfood goodness?
Superfoods as part of a balanced lifestyle
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix when it comes to getting that bikini body you’ve always dreamt of. Adding superfoods into your diet will put you on the right track but it has to be part of a balanced lifestyle. This means taking a good amount of exercise.
Luckily, the high water and protein content of many of the superfoods will help you up your exercise amount.
You don’t have to go to extremes either; simply increase the amount of cardio you do. During the summer this is easier, as you can get out and about. Walking is a great cardio exercise, which is perfect for the hotter weather.
Biking and swimming are two other fun summer activities that can help you burn off the pounds, boost your metabolism and improve your cardiovascular health at the same time.