Cut the Calories, Bring Out the Bikini
Summer’s almost here and you want to get into the swim of things, but the B word – bikini – has been blindsided once again by that C word – calories.
What can you do to get in shape at the last minute?
Adam Shafran, co-author of the new book “You Can’t Lose Weight Alone The Partner Power Weight Loss Program,” says it’s never too late to start losing weight. Aside from diet and exercise, Shafran says it is important to have a partner or buddy who can be there for you through your thick and thin days and nights.
“Find someone – a friend, a partner, a husband, who you can be accountable to,” he says. “Someone you can walk with, someone who won’t let you down, someone who will be there to exercise with you and get you to exercise and someone who will weigh in with you every week.”
Successful weight loss, he says, doesn’t mean that you have to deprive yourself; it simply means that you have to watch yourself.
Shafran, a Georgia chiropractor who along with co-author Lee Kantor owns a personal fitness center, offers these non-fattening bite-size bits of advice for fitting into that itsy-bitsy bikini:
* Instead of drinking calories, eat them. Cut out sugar-based drinks like soda and juices and substitute water or dilute them with a shot of seltzer. Sodas have 200 to 400 calories, and Shafran says that if you can reduce your weekly calories by 3,500, you can lose a pound of fat. If you add exercise, it will be easy to meet the 3,500 goal because even if you only walk for 30 minutes a day, you burn about 300 calories or 2,100 per week. Add to that the 1,400 to 2,800 you’ll save by drinking water, and you’re on your way to slimness.
* Replace calorically dense foods with ones that aren’t dense. Those breakfast bars may taste great and they may only be 200 calories, but you’re hungry again almost before you eat the last bite. Salads, fruits and soups are better choices because they fill you up. And make your salad a meal, not a snack. Add hearts of palm, walnuts, chickpeas, olives, tuna, corn, peas and even shredded cheese to the lettuce and tomatoes so it’s tasty and healthy. Juices are OK, but they won’t give you the fiber to make you feel filled. “They won’t help you cut calories,” he says.
* Go light on salad dressings, which are calorically dense. Make your own with olive oil or canola oil. Measure them; don’t pour them on.
* Take more time to eat, and you will feel filled. “Hunger goes away over time,” Shafran says. “If you feel hungry, you may only be dehydrated. Wait five or 10 minutes and the hunger will go away.”
* Eat several small meals spaced throughout the day instead of one big meal at night. “If you are hungry and don’t eat, you will become ravenous and start eating everything in sight,” Shafran says. “When you’re at work, set a timer or an alarm on your watch that will beep every three to four hours to remind you to eat a snack. And make it fruit or nuts.”
* It’s easier to exercise at a gym than it is to work out at home. Gyms offer visual distractions – you can watch TV, you can watch people. “There’s energy in gyms, there’s music, there are things to take your mind off the boredom of exercising,” Shafran says.
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