With Memorial Day and the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, one of our clients, Jessica Katz, is guest blogging today about which last minute fixes work when you want to slim down for an event. Jessica is a registered dietitian with a nutrition counseling practice in New York City. Jessica helps clients create personalized, flexible strategies – realistic for busy lifestyles – to enjoy food, optimize health and achieve individual nutrition goals.
Want to look fabulous for an upcoming occasion? Read on for some easy tips to rock those short shorts. In this post you’ll learn tricks and myths about which last-minute fixes will work and leave you feeling healthy!
Tried and True Tips:
Bottoms up! Yes, drinking water makes a difference – it keeps your skin looking supple and helps you to maintain high energy levels by staying hydrated – plus, you won’t mistake dehydration for hunger. Use it to defend your health, flush out toxins, and promote improved digestion. You certainly do not want to look bloated on the beach! Choose water without added sugar or artificial sweeteners (add flavor with cucumber, lime, orange, grapefruit, berries, melon, etc.) or unsweetened tea (one of my favorites is Rooibos plantain-coconut flavor). Buy a large, reusable water bottle to leave on your desk as a reminder to keep drinking throughout the day. Our individual fluid needs vary depending upon many factors such as age, health, and activity level, so check with your healthcare provider/registered dietitian about your specific needs.
Eat (nearly) cleanly: If we could all eat cleanly, we would – perfectly clean eating is difficult – and no fun. Clean eating does not have to be perfect – just as clean as you can get. Focus on unprocessed, high-fiber foods, emphasizing vegetables, fruit, beans, legumes, lean protein, whole grains, and unsaturated fat.
Habits help: Pick a few healthy, balanced meals and snacks that you like, and rotate these options leading up to the event. Nothing too restrictive – deprivation will just make you want to rebel and indulge. If you automatically know what to reach for when it comes to mealtime, you will eliminate that internal dialogue – and overeating. We tend to eat more when presented with greater variety.
Size matters: No matter what you are eating, limit it to feel slim. You do not have to follow an all-protein diet or an all-soup diet – instead, eat your normal balanced diet, just aim for smaller sizes, and you will wake up feeling thinner. Always leave something on your plate when you eat out (and not just your fork). For nights you arrive home late and tired, stock up on natural, organic versions of your favorite comfort foods such as pizza, pasta and burritos, from Amy’s kitchen (freezer aisle) – they will be automatically portion-controlled for you (look for the low-sodium options).
Watch sodium: We are often encouraged to reduce our sodium intake for health reasons, but this is also particularly important prior to an event to decrease bloat. Foods that can have a high sodium content include: cured, processed or smoked meats or fish (bacon, smoked salmon, salami, sausage, jerky, luncheon meats), canned, processed, or packaged foods (chips, snacks, soups, frozen meals), certain sauces (soy sauce, teriyaki, salad dressings, tomato sauce), pickles, olives, cottage cheese, anchovies – and, sadly, take-out and restaurant dishes.
Avoid bloat: The day of the event, be sure to avoid any foods that may cause you gastric distress – no pregnancy rumors started here! Each person is different, but this may include:
o Dairy, if you are lactose intolerant
o Gluten, if you have celiac disease or gluten intolerance/sensitivity
o Sugar-free products/sugar alcohols
o Soda and carbonated beverages
o Drinking through a straw
o Eating too quickly
o High-fiber foods that may cause bloating (again, individual sensitivities vary), including: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, beans, lentils, peas, bran, high-fiber crackers or bars (however, a high-fiber diet works well in advance of the event to promote good digestion, weight loss, and of course long-term health)
Exercise! What better way to torch calories, build metabolism-boosting lean muscle, and increase mood-lifting endorphins than to do a Physique 57 workout! You will not only look great, but also emit confidence. Exercise clearly offers a vast array of health benefits, only some of which include: combating anxiety and stress, increasing energy, elevating mood, and improving (beauty) sleep – all of which help promote weight loss. Exercise can reduce inflammation and increase blood and oxygen flow, helping you to appear young and radiant. Barre workouts are particularly great for developing long, lean muscles to look graceful in your sundress. Plus, the more lean muscle mass you have, the more calories you will burn at rest. Do a Physique 57 workout the morning of your event, so that you enter the beach BBQ with improved posture, greater muscle definition – and most importantly, a more relaxed, energetic and confident attitude! Book exercise dates with friends leading up to the event to make exercise more appealing and increase your accountability.
Don’t fret: Don’t put pressure on yourself to lose weight before an event – stress will only work against you, triggering you to over-eat. A positive, happy demeanor is much more magnetic and attractive! Plus, feeling happier motivates one to eat better, instigating a positive-feedback cycle.
Busy bee: Run around doing errands for the event – get a pedicure, look for shoes, find fun party supplies, pick up dry cleaning, meet friends for meals – you will be less likely fixate on food! But keep an individual serving-size healthy snack in your bag for when you get hungry.
Power of posture: We’ve heard it a million times, but it does hold true – stand up straight to appear taller, thinner, and self-assured – confidence attracts! After a Physique 57 workout, you will carry your instantly-improved posture for the rest of the day.
The stiletto never disappoints: While we sometimes love strappy, chunky, funky shoes, choose a stiletto or a nude heel to elongate the legs. Although if you will be on the sand, flats may be a more prudent option!
Great summer hair and natural make-up: Emit confidence, look great and feel fabulous – no one will be scrutinizing your body, as they will be mesmerized by your beauty!
Disclaimer: These tips are geared towards healthy adults with no pre-existing medical conditions, and they do not apply to everyone. Individual recommendations vary depending upon age, gender, health history, and activity level. Please check with your health care provider/registered dietitian in regard to tailoring this advice to your individual needs.