Beliefnet

Oh, no—summer is on its way and thank goodness!

Right? What is this sour look that masks your face?  OK, got it—we all need to drop hibernation pounds. No guilt trip here. We all gain a few during the colder months, and getting back on track is never an easy task. So let’s get jamming (get going and exercising).

Get moving as we explore the wonderful world of losing weight. Habits like skipping meals will slow down metabolism, poor planning, and no support will make losing pounds harder before summer harder.

Crash dieting doesn’t work, and willpower is just not enough. Calories do count and if there is not enough burning of them, you will not lose, pretty simple. But people do things that will backfire on them like the above and starving themselves.

WebMD reports:

“Unless medically supervised, don’t cut calories below 1,200 per day. Otherwise, you will struggle to get enough nutrients to fuel your activities and satisfy your hunger. Keep in mind that when you lose weight quickly, you may be at risk to pack it back on -- with more fat and less muscle -- especially if you're over 50.”

You need to stick to a long-term plan. Chances are you needed long term goals, and this will help you avoid putting so much pressure on yourself. And I have said this before, you need to be honest with yourself about what you desire to achieve and be realistic. Look at the pitfalls that usually haunt you like keeping a house stocked with junk food, or eating fast food. Write these all down so you’re aware of them, and so you can master the weakness.

This is simple, but eat more black rice, tofu veggie dishes with kale, and other leafy greens. Prepare vegetables, fruits, hummus, or Greek yogurt ahead of time so you have it. If you’re at work keep a log of what you’re eating because 70 percent of people eat at their desks during the week. Get rid of the sugary drinks that lead to excess calories, and go for iced-green tea or water instead. Eat foods that are full of fiber like nuts, sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds. They are loaded with B vitamins. Add fiber like raisins or apples to the list, foods loaded with fiber make you feel full.

If you need a sweet, instead of ice cream, or try Italian ice. Perfect for summer!

Don’t be mad, but give up the breads, and add salad. Cosmopolitan shared that this will help with bloat. For example instead of a salmon burger with a bun, have it on leafy greens.

“This way, a chicken sandwich becomes chicken salad, and chips and dip turn into carrots and dip. The complex carbs from vegetables are digested more slowly, so you remain full longer. And because veggies are mostly water, they also help flush out excess water weight.”

Drink more water, before a meal to give that full feeling. Also soup hot or cold will do the same thing, and have fewer calories. Be careful what soups you do choose. Add spices to your foods like hot pepper if you feel food needs more flavor, and pop. This will speed up metabolism. Look at adding cayenne to increase fat burning. This could result in a loss of abdominal fat and an increase in metabolism by raising the body’s temperature. It can help the immune system, too!

Have you thought about mindful eating?

This will help slow you down and watch what you’re eating. It allows time for you to savor foods, taste it, unplug from the world, and it is healthy.

The Huffington Post reported:

“Making the time to savor and enjoy your food is one of the healthiest things you can do. You are more likely to notice when you are full, you’ll chew your food more and hence digest it more easily, and you’ll probably find yourself noticing flavors you might otherwise have missed.”

 It is recommended that when we eat slower. It is better for digestion and allows for portion control.

Take the pressure off and think long-term goals. If you don't, it might discourage you if there is no change in the scale.

Good luck!

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