Are you looking to lean out for summer? It’s been said that weight loss is 80% diet and 20% exercise, and you can’t have one without the other. You can’t out exercise a bad diet, and you can build muscle without the right nutritional support.
Here are 10 foods that will help you slim down for summer!
We all know that when it comes to slimming down carbs can be a bugger. Try swapping out your white pasta or rice for broccoli in the weeks coming up to summer, and you’ll notice a drastic difference in bloating and energy levels. White pasta reacts like sugar in your body, so when you eat white carb you will get a burst of energy, but you crash shortly after, and most likely seek something sugary again. Try cooking your broccoli with nutritional yeast (fortified with B12) for a cheesy flavor without all the added fat.
(2) CHIA SEEDS
Chia seeds expand in liquid so they are great to fill you up. Just be careful at first because they are gas forming, so to avoid a bloated belly start small and work your way up. Chia seeds boast 20% protein, and the protein is a complete protein with all 8 essential amino acids. Chia seeds contain five times more calcium than milk, and thus will help support those bones during weight lifting at the gym. Try this great No Cook Overnight Oats recipe
(3) RAW ALMONDS
High in fat (a good fat) almonds or nuts in general (in small quanties) are probably the MOST healthy food you can eat. Full of protein they will keep you fuller longer, and they also rev up your metabolism, so not only will you not snack on junk later you’ll also continue to burn calories after. Studies show that people who consume nuts are actually slimmer than ones who don’t. Make sure to purchase the raw variety because when you heat nuts you’ll actually release a bad fat, so its best to keep them in their natural state! Enjoy a small handful when you’re in between meals, or chop and sprinkle on your Greek Spice & Olive Oil marinated salmon before you toss it into the oven.
(4) GREEN TEA
I’ve read that when you consume 3 cups of green tea it is equivalent to burning 80 calories. High in antioxidant catechins green tea helps speed metabolism and fat burning, and bonus green tea can lower Cholesterol. Make sure to avoid drinking it with milk, as you will cancel out all it’s lovely antioxidant properties. Skip the sugar too please! If you need a little something try adding honey or some lemon. Enjoy hot or cold! I love the Green Tea (w/ matcha) available at Cost-co.
High in fiber pears are great for filling you up. Containing pectin fiber, which decreases blood-sugar levels, helping you avoid between-meal snacking. I love d’anjou pears, and if possible try to get organic so you can enjoy the benefits of the fiber rich skin too. Toss one in your morning green smoothie (Try this “Green Machine Smoothie
” recipe here
(6) COCONUT OIL
Again high in fat, but how your body metabolises this fat is much different than how it consumes foods like margarine and/or butter. Sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract they are either directly used for energy or turned into ketone bodies. Coconut oil can also stand very high heat, so it’s great for cooking veggies or chicken! Use your olive oil for tossing salads, or served on top of cooked quinoa, but stick to coconut oil for anything on the stove top.
Cure those mid-afternoon sugar slumps by sprinkling cinnamon in your coffee or in some high protein yogurt. Studies suggest that a quarter teaspoon of cinnamon a day lowers the blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in people with type 2 diabetes. Can’t hurt right? I also toss cinnamon in a lot of my smoothie recipes for that added metabolism and memory boost: try this “Metabolism Boosting Smoothie”
Anytime you consume vinegar with a meal you slow your digestion, and stabilize your blood sugar! You’ll feel more full than if you hadn’t consumed the vinegar. I love balsamic vinager I think I could drink it out of the bottle, I love mixing it with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a pinch of oregano then adding it to salads or roasted veggies.
(9) SNAP PEAS
My main downfall is potato chips and although I do enjoy them when it gets closer to summer and/or I’m gearing up for a specific event that I want to look my best I tend to steer clear of the potato chips. Because I LOVE something with a crunch I find snap peas are the perfect substitute. Bonus they are heart healthy, high in fiber, low in calories and good for your immune system.
I’ll admit that most “gluten free” foods are a farce, but I like the idea of eating naturally gluten free foods because mostly this means that what you are eating is not highly processed or packaged. I love quinoa as a pasta/rice substitute because it has a low glycemic index meaning it won’t spike your blood sugar. Whether you’re a diabetic or not these highs and lows can still wreak havoc on your mood and energy levels. High in B12 (will give you energy), and will keep you fuller longer quinoa is great when tossed in salads for lunch, and equally great as a side dish with some baked fish for dinner. Invest in a rice cooker, and simply add double water to quinoa (it’s a joke to cook this stuff). Try this Spicy Tomato Sauce w/ Ground Chicken served over quinoa.
Whether you’re at a healthy weight or not all of these foods are a great addition to any diet. Remember that weight loss isn’t about restricting it’s just about eating better. Once you familarize yourself with the foods that are actually better for you, you’ll realize that you can actually eat more rather than less. High proteins, healthy fats, and a lot of veggies these are the things you want to focus on and make sure are included each of your meals.
Hope you enjoyed today’s post!
x Short Presents
*all photos following the first are c/o google.