Summer is officially here, and with it comes beer bellies and bikinis — two things that don’t belong in the same sentence. Take some time to plan ahead this summer for get-togethers, cookouts and lazy beach days, and you’ll feel good no matter if you wear a swimsuit or not.
To avoid the dreaded bulge, belly or bloat (or all three), adopt some of these tips:
Have healthy snacks handy: Do this, and when temptation comes your way, you won’t even think twice about reaching for your healthy fare. I suggest loading up on good-for-you-treats that you actually like so that you won’t be miserably munching on celery while your husband is chowing down on a triple dipped ice-cream waffle cone. Some of my favorites include: watermelon, pineapple, strawberries, oranges, mangoes, carrots with hummus, banana with peanut butter, apples or throwing it all together with some kale and spinach for a summer smoothie!
Scorn the Sodium: This is a flat tummy’s worst enemy! Avoid sneaky sauces, condiments, salad dressings, and double check labels when available. It goes without saying that eating out is a sodium disaster, but if you have to, load up on raw veggies and/or fruit, and leave off the sauce for your proteins. Also, trade your salad dressing for olive oil and lemon instead of what the restaurant offers. If you still retain water, flush it out with potassium rich foods — which are listed next.
Pass the Potassium Please: Some higher protein potassium foods consist of beans and fish, while some superstar veggies are swiss chard, spinach, squash (acorn and hubbard, respectively), and believe it or not baked potato and sweet potato top the list. Some lesser-known are artichokes and white mushrooms, although not as high potassium-wise as the aforementioned. Some noteworthy fruits are: dried fruits such as apricots, prunes, and raisins (just limit your portion to a half cup — the calories can really add up); bananas (the obvious choice); a half cup of avocado’ and a glass of orange juice. My personal fave is coconut water (with pineapple). Yum!
So there ya have it! Some super easy tricks and tips to help you tweak your diet so that you can have your flattest tummy while still enjoying your summer foods. Amp up the water intake and add exercise for even hotter results — pun intended. If you need me, I’m just an email away!
Crystal Manjarres is the owner of One-On-One Fitness, a private personal training and Pilates studio for men and women on Marco Island. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Colon Hydrotherapist and Stott Pilates certified instructor. Her focus is “empowering men and women of all shapes and sizes”. To send in a question, email [email protected] She can also be reached at www.101FIT.com or www.PinkIslandFitness.com and 239-333-5771.