It’s going to be beach season before we know it! While many people are concerned primarily with their midsections because they’re afraid they won’t look hot in a bathing suit, there are much more important reasons to slim your waistline; A larger waistline increases your chances of getting heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and many other serious diseases.
Sometimes it’s as easy as making a few small tweaks in your daily routine to get closer to realizing your potential. Saving a few calories by swapping a doughnut or muffin for some fruit or taking the stairs once a day adds up! Here are six easy ways to slim that waistline for beach season and–more importantly–for a healthy life:
- Strength training: Don’t buy into the myth that strength training will make you bulk up. In the battle of the bulge, muscle is like gold! For every pound of muscle you gain you will burn an extra 50 calories a day at rest. Yes, you heard us, with muscle you’ll burn more calories while you’re sitting at your desk or watching TV! Muscle speeds up your metabolism so an ideal workout program will include both cardiovascular training and strength training. So get jogging, pump that iron, and watch your waistline shrink before its time to breakout the bathing suit.
- Meditate to relieve stress: Stress is an unavoidable part of living and while some can fuel you in positive ways, too much can be harmful! Stress releases the hormone cortisol which, among other things, increases belly fat. This can cause a viscous cycle for a lot of people. People walk around stressed out about their lives and their jobs which releases the hormone cortisol increasing their belly fat and giving them something else to stress about.Take 1-2 minutes every morning and meditate. Lie down on the floor and focus on your breathing (inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth) and think about how you’re going to make healthy choices, not sweat the small stuff, and not stress out about things beyond your control. Meditating just 1-2 minutes a day will help you relieve that stress and some belly fat along with it.
- Minimize the alcohol: Ok, so summer is coming and we’re going to go out more, but lets minimize the alcohol! Alcoholic drinks are going to give you a lot of empty calories and dehydrate your body. Alcohol also slows the liver’s ability to metabolize fat. Be especially careful with the drinks that are sweet or taste like juice. These sweet drinks are more likely to be filled with sugary fruit juices and pack in a lot more calories than you realize! You can still hang out and socialized with your friends though, just consider subbing in some seltzer with lemon–you can save yourself hundreds of calories and your midsection will thank you later.
- Drink more water: Water will cleanse your body and speed up your metabolism. On top of that, if you replace sugary drinks and sodas with water you’ll also be decreasing your caloric intake. Drink your way to a slimmer waistline with lots of water. Small changes can have a big impact over time!
- Eat some fat: Despite the recent advertising focus on “low fat” and “zero fat” content in foods, be careful! Many of these diet foods are packed with chemicals and will do nothing to slim your waistline. Eating healthy fats will actually help you get rid of the bad fat you don’t want. In an ideal diet you’ll have a balance of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, and fat (yes fat). Approximately 30 percent of your calories should come from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Good fats are found in things like almonds, walnuts, avocados, olive oil, and salmon. Eating a diet rich in good fats will help ensure you metabolize the bad fat, help you feel full longer, and slim you down.
- Get some sleep: Sleeping at least 7 hours a night will help you manage stress and regulate your hormones. Sleeping less than 6-7 hours can cause your hormones Leptin (fat police) and ghrelin (hunger regulator) to be unbalanced. This will cause more cravings throughout the day and you’ll find yourself munching on unhealthy snack foods more often then you think. So turn off the TV, go to sleep early, and your body will reap the benefits.
Post by Jason Rodriguez
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