Whether you’re looking to slim down, boost your self-confidence or improve your health, there’s no better time than the beginning of summer to make the necessary changes to your diet. You’ll be able to hit the beach with your chiseled new physique and enjoy everything the season has to offer. So, consider the following dietary tactics this summer.
1- Don’t Drink Soda
Nearly half of Americans drink soda on a daily basis. While a single can of Coke or Sprite may seem harmless, sodas such as these are loaded in processed sugar and can hinder your ability to lose weight. According to a study cited by ABC News, people who stopped drinking soda in exchange for water lost an average of 14 pounds by the end of the study’s one-year period.
2- Buy a Juicer
A juicer is a smart investment that can help you achieve better health this summer. This device lives up to its namesake by extracting the juice from fruits and vegetables. Using it, you can make your own delicious health beverages. This is important because statistics show that more than 80 percent of adults don’t consume the recommended minimum amount of fruits and vegetables in their diet. And if you fall under this category, your body won’t have the vitamins and nutrients needed for proper health.
3- Watch the Condiments
Millions of Americans use condiments to improve the flavor of their snacks and meals. While effective for this purpose, condiments often contain large amounts of sodium and sugar. From salad dressing and hot sauce to ketchup and cocktail sauce, you should choose your condiments carefully. You don’t have to avoid them altogether. Rather, choose low-sugar, low-sodium condiments.
4- Increase Fiber Intake
Eating fiber-rich foods can help you lose weight while improving your digestive health in the process. Fiber is a like a broom that sweeps waste from your body. Furthermore, it satisfies hunger cravings to protect against overeating. To reap these and other health benefits, men should consume 30 to 38 grams of fiber per day while women should consume 21 to 25 grams per day. High-fiber foods include lentil, beans, almonds, chia seeds, chickpeas, carrots, nuts, sweet potatoes and flax.
5- Choose Lean Meats
When planning your meals this summer, choose lean meats instead of fatty meats. You can still treat yourself to an occasional burger, but the bulk of your protein should originate from lean meats like turkey, chicken and fish. These three types of meats all contain low amounts of saturated fat. Although saturated fat isn’t as bad as trans-fat, it contributes to obesity and heart disease nonetheless. By focusing your meals around lean meats, you’ll keep your saturated fat intake in check and, subsequently, achieve your target weight more easily.
6- Get Your Beauty Rest
Sleep and dieting go hand in hand. If you don’t get your beauty rest, you’ll struggle to lose weight, regardless of your dieting and exercise regimen. While doctors are still trying to understand how sleep affects a person’s weight, many believe it’s related to hormones. Lack of sleep triggers the release of cortisol, a stress hormone that stimulates appetite. And when you don’t sleep good at night, you probably won’t burn many calories the following day because you’ll feel fatigued. So, create a distraction-free environment in your bedroom and aim for at least seven hours of sleep at night.
Don’t let summer slip by without making changes to improve your health. Following these six dietary tactics can set you on the path to better health, which is something that will benefit you long after the summer ends.