As I sit here writing this, the sun is beaming in through my window, warming my face nicely - a sure sign that Spring is here and Summer is on its way. Many of us see this as a time to kick start their health campaign, ready for our summer holidays. So now is the time to make changes to your lifestyle, rather than leaving it too close to your holiday and opting for an unhealthy quick fix that will leave you hungry, craving foods and lacking in energy. Instead there are some easy changes you can make to your lifestyle now that will help you become healthier, have more energy and burn some excess fat.
With warmer weather, it is easier to feel fulfilled by a salad. Make your salads as varied as possible, with lots of colour as that will give you the widest range of vitamins and minerals. Throw in some seeds and nuts to boost your omega 3 and 6 levels. Make your own dressings as that way you will know exactly what goes into them - many contain hidden sugar, unhealthy fats and lots of preservatives and additives. You’ll be amazed how filling a salad can be, without you feel too full and bloated
Make sure you have protein with every meal. It will keep hunger locked up for longer, helps build lean muscle, but also research shows that it increases the satiety values of our food, making you feel satisfied. Good lean protein sources are - poultry, lean red meat, eggs, dairy, beans and lentils, fish and shell fish, nuts and nut butters as well tofu and soy products
As most of us know, it takes 20 minutes for our brains to catch up with our stomachs. So if we have gobbled down our food too quickly, we are likely to have overeaten and missed any sign that we are full. Not only does this give us additional calories that we don’t require, but also, if done regularly, will cause the stomach to expand. Instead, use your meal times for a chance to either catch up with friends (chatting always slows down our eating) or enjoy some peace and quiet, allowing your head a chance to relax and calm your breathing. Stop what you're doing and enjoy the flavours as you eat
If you have the option to have a working lunch, why not then seize the opportunity to get out and do a 30min brisk walk, even dragging a few colleagues with you at the same time. This will help you up your daily activity levels ( burning more calories), waken your metabolic rate, get some much needed vitamin D and fresh air, and burn some extra calories
As the nicer weather creeps in, it is a fabulous time to turn your hand to something new - tennis, running, rowing, cycling, swimming and many other sports. with more hours of daylight, it will hopefully give you a little extra you time to go and find something active to enjoy. It's pretty obvious, but regularly over looked - the more we like an activity, the more likely we are to do it regularly.
If you are looking for a good way to lift your mood after a busy day at work, or a hectic day at home, mates are a great way to boost your hormones - a good laugh, a friendly chat and spending time with friends is proven to be a highly effective option. Plan something fun to look forward to at least each month, but weekly is even more effective. You may not always feel like it, but once you are out and about, you will soon find yourself smiling away.
A gorgeous way to tone up your arms, legs and strengthen your core is to get into your garden and get digging, planting, weeding etc. A good hour's gardening at the weekend will not only have your garden looking good enough to enjoy with friends, but it will also burn a decent amount of calories.
Make sure you plan your snacks each day, as when you are hungry, it is very easy to reach for the easiest option, and often our body is then craving something sugary. I have just come across a new snack which I am adoring - The Protein Ball Co make some seriously scrummy protein balls that come in a perfect snack size bag. No nasties and all natural ingredients, and go down a treat stopping any of my sugar cravings in their tracks.
Not to be over looked and harder in the summer due to the longer days is sleep. This is vital to your health, boosting energy levels and for those trying to lose excess fat. Lack of sleep leave our body stressed, unbalancing our hormones, and telling our body to store more fat rather than burn it. Grab yourself some blackout blinds, a good book or some relaxing tunes, spray your pillow with lavender spray and invest in a summer duvet, and you'll soon find yourself feeling invigorated after a good night's sleep.
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