Summer is FINALLY here and this means that we’re upping our intake of Rosé, ice cream, burgers, and even delicious fruit smoothies (filled with calories!) which can all take a toll on your end-of-summer body. But by making smarter choices in the kitchen at home, you can cut calories while satisfying your tummy and taste buds. The easier and more realistic the weight loss process, the more likely you’ll succeed and stick with it long-term. Set yourself up for success by making smart and sustainable choices in the kitchen and enjoying delicious foods/flavours that you love. Here are my best tips on how to make a few small changes to your diet to have your best ever summer body, especially as we get closer to the holiday season:
1. Cut out all liquid calories
The problem with calories in liquid form is that they are often easier and quicker to consume. We digest liquids a whole lot faster than whole foods, and are often left feeling less satisfied and more likely to overeat as a result. Because the food has been broken down into liquid form, our bodies don’t need to do much work to process it through our digestive system. This means that less calories are burnt in the process. This is a really easy switch to make; simply eat whole foods and minimize consumption of alcohol, juices and soda.
2. Keep protein high
It’s integral to keep your protein intake high to help fuel muscles while in a caloric deficit (eating less calories than you burn). Protein is the building block of muscles and helps keep you feeling full and satisfied, making the weight loss process easier. One simple and easy method to ensure you’re getting enough protein (especially if you don’t track macros) is to ensure you’re consuming protein with every meal and making your snacks protein-rich. My favourite protein rich sources are Chobani® FiT™, a boiled egg, carrots with hummus and cottage cheese. In the weight loss process, the goal is to maintain as much muscle as possible while dropping body fat, so be sure to get your protein!
3. Swap out starches
Substitute starches like rice or pasta with low-carb and low-calorie options like cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles. They’re very easy to make at home, simply blitz cauliflower until it’s the texture of ‘rice’ or spiralize zucchini until it resembles noodles or pasta. If you are time-poor, you can also buy these already prepared at the supermarket. They’re delicious sautéed lightly in a non-stick pan (I don’t find the need to use any oil) topped with smoked salmon, ground turkey breast or stir-fried tofu, with homemade low sugar tomato sauce or garlic and ginger veggies. The possibilities are endless and delicious!
4. Dine in vs. Takeout
One of the easiest ways to manage weight loss is to cook your meals at home and bring lunch to work with you instead of ordering take out at restaurants and cafes. You’ll have complete control over portion size, ingredient quality, and cooking methods. The other thing I love about food prep is that you don’t need to eat boring or sacrifice flavour if you’re willing to do the work at home. It’s so much healthier making your favourite foods at home! For example, a simple calorie-friendly swap for pizza would be making it on flatbread instead of carb-heavy dough, or using yoghurt instead of sour cream in a burrito. Meal prepping is an easy way to enjoy foods you love while still working towards your goals.
5. Portion control
Be wary of calorically dense foods, such as the oil you’re adding to your salad or the nut butter you’re spreading on your bread. It’s very easy to go overboard with these, and a good tip to manage portion sizes is to use measuring cups and spoons for a few days until you can confidently eyeball healthy portions. Many people think they’re been eating one serving of muesli or only a tablespoon of oil, when in reality they’re having several. This definitely adds up over time.
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