We’ve all been there: a big event is coming up and you’re not feeling 100% happy with your body. You planned to start making changes to prepare for the big day, but time just got away from you. At this point you’re probably scanning the web for a quick fix – calorie pinching eating plans, vigorous workouts, miracle weight-loss cocktails…you know the drill.
The fact of the matter is these “solutions” aren’t sustainable. And they surely aren’t healthy or safe. Before you start perusing the Internet for miracle solutions, take a deep breath and focus on realistic changes you can make to your current diet and exercise routine. For example – tracking your steps and becoming more active.
When it comes to improving fitness within a limited timeframe, safety should be a top priority. Following these slim down tips will get you on track for looking and feeling your best on the big day.
Do HIIT Workouts
Any workout that gets your heart rate up will burn calories. And boy – do HIITs crank that heart rate! If you’re planning to slim down for an event, you’ll definitely want to add HIITs to your workout rotation. Not only are you burning mad calories during the workout, HIIT exercises increase metabolic rate, helping the body burn calories hours after the workout is over. Whether your event is in two months or two weeks, start devoting 30 minutes a day to high intensity interval training. But wait – there’s more. To make sure you’re getting the most out of your HIIT workouts, you’ll need to monitor your heart rate. Heart rate monitoring ensures you’re getting the best workout possible for maximum results. Learn how to find your target heart rate here.
Avoid “Bloat-Causing” Foods
Certain foods cause bloating and can actually make you look 5 pounds heavier. I know, it’s a sad truth. Why must food do this to us?! Fortunately, all you have to do is pay attention to which foods cause this reaction and avoid them as you gear up for your event. These foods will be different for everyone, but here’s a rundown of foods that are notoriously known to cause bloating.
- Beans & Lentils – these contain indigestible sugars that causes bloating.
- Natural & Artificial Sweeteners – natural sweeteners like fructose (found in many processed foods) is difficult to digest. And sorbitol, used in many artificial sweeteners, cannot be digested at all.
- Fruits & Veggies like brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and apricots – these are high in natural sugars and starches known to cause bloating.
- Whole Grains – while good for you, whole grains are high in fiber – and too much of it can cause bloating. Keep in mind and use moderation here.
Drink Water – Lots of it
We hope you’re already doing this, but we thought we’d bring it up anyways. No, water doesn’t have a special formula to help you magically lose weight – but when paired with proper diet and exercise, drinking water is the easiest thing you can do to shed pounds and get fit. First off, drinking plenty of water could keep you from overeating. In fact, many times we confuse thirst for hunger, which causes us to eat when we really should be hydrating. Drink a glass of water the next time you’re craving a midmorning snack. Chances are your hunger pangs will diminish. Secondly, water increases the rate at which we burn calories by up to 30%. If that’s not hydration motivation, I don’t know what is!
Ever since I was a kid my mom has been telling me to “slow down” when I’m eating. At 28-years-old, she still does. It never occurred to me that aside from preventing a gut ache, her advice could also help me control my weight. When we shovel food into our mouths without thinking, we often eat more than we need to, not realizing how stuffed we are until after. Eating slower can help us recognize fullness sooner. Set down your fork or spoon in between each bite, and completely swallow your food before digging in again. If that isn’t enough, try eating dinner with company. It’s hard to eat too fast when you’re carrying on a conversation. Practicing these strategies will aid in portion control and help you slim down quicker.