When summer approaches, most people think that they have to diet, lose weight, and stop eating just to look “beach-ready.” Nutritionist Maya Feller believes that being beach-ready means that you are comfortable in your own skin. That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to lose a ton of weight, but being bloated, gassy, and heavier than you want to be can make you feel weighed down -- the opposite of comfortable and confident. Feller says instead of recklessly slashing calories or going on a fad diet, you should instead make small, positive changes to the way you eat and live your life to help you feel better about yourself. Check out these tips to help you detox and improve your health and your happiness just in time for beach season.
Eat Hydrating Foods
Hydrating foods are fruits and vegetables that have a high water content such as cucumbers, watermelon, and lettuce. These types of foods have more than one purpose for a summer detox. They help you get fiber which keeps you satiated and craving less throughout the day. They have antioxidants and vitamins that help keep your skin healthy and glowing. Plus, as the name suggests, they keep your body hydrated. Feller recommends adding these foods to your diet to help you feel your best and stop your cravings.
Add Omega-3s Into Your Routine
Feller says increasing your omega-3s is a great idea because it boosts your heart and brain health and improves your mood -- which will make you feel good and lead you to make other positive food choices. Additionally, omega-3s are anti-inflammatory which will help your whole body feel better. Summer is the perfect time of year to up your omega-3 game since light and fresh meals, like ones containing seafood, are super popular. So eat some ceviche and grilled fish to not only help you lose weight but to also feel great.
Make Sure You Have Prebiotics and Probiotics
Both prebiotics and probiotics are essential for a healthy gut. A healthy gut means regular bowel movements and decreased chances of bloating. “These positive effects will make you feel slimmer and more confident during beach season,” says Feller, so make sure to get your daily dose.
Get Enough Sleep
While sleep is not a diet tip, Feller says it is just as important as watching what you eat. When you get a good night’s sleep your body is able to reboot and recharge. This will allow you to start the day refreshed and renewed and able to make intentionally good choices when it comes to what you eat. Those healthy eating choices will, in turn, have positive effects on your body image and will help you feel comfortable in your skin.
Make Hydration Fun
Mimosas, rosé, margaritas, and other fun summer drinks are extremely dehydrating which is not good for your body or your skin during hot months. Additionally, they increase the likelihood of making poor choices when it comes to food and exercise. While drinking water is the best option, Feller knows it can sometimes get boring. She recommends drinking water with fresh fruit or herbal teas (with no added sugar) to get your daily water intake. Water is extremely important for your body’s cells and filtration system as a whole -- if you’re not filtering well, you won’t have bowel movements and will feel backed up and weighed down.
With the winter being rough and long, chances are you didn’t start thinking about summer until it started getting warm -- leaving you little time to see weight loss results. That’s totally fine. When triggered to think about weight loss for the summer it is important for you to remember that you’re not going to lose a ton of weight quickly to get a “beach body” like one advertised in magazines. Instead, you should use this seasonal motivation as an opportunity to set realistic goals: to eat better, to drink more water, to decrease your bloat, and eventually to see the long-term effects of weight loss based off of positive changes. “After all,” says Feller, “slow and steady wins the race.”
Replace Grains With Other Foods
Don’t weigh your stomach down with grains and too many carbs. Instead of getting rid of starch altogether, Feller suggests you swap out your typical choice of rice, bread, or pasta for the healthier option of legumes or starchy vegetables to assist with a slim-down. If legumes make you gassy then you should stick to the starchy vegetables -- such as potatoes, corn, and peas -- as your healthy choice. These options give your body a lot of fiber and good nutrients which help you stay full until your next meal, have regular bowel movements, and help you debloat and lose weight.
Indulge With Intention
Just because you want to slim down this summer doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Feller simply advises that if you choose to indulge, indulge with intention. This means that you don’t constantly eat unhealthy things but when you do, you enjoy it and don’t feel guilty. “You can’t indulge in a mindless way,” says Feller, “that results in a poor health outcome. But if every once in a while you want that glass of wine or that ice cream cone, then eat it. Do it and do it right.”