Whether it’s a wedding, a first date, a girls’ night out, or a celebratory dinner, we often make intentions to get healthy, slim down, and feel good way before any kind of event. But before we know it, we’re 10 days out and looking to lose a few pounds (or at least to de-bloat).
While I’m not a big proponent of a “quick-fix” diet because it’s not sustainable, there are a lot of little tweaks you can make to your diet and lifestyle that will leave you with glowing skin and a flat belly for the big day.
Drink More Water
Getting enough water is essential if you’re looking to slim down. Not only does water deliver and distribute nutrients from the food we eat to the rest of our body, but it also enables us to more effectively eliminate waste and toxins.
Drinking more water will also help you stay fuller longer. Our bodies often mistake thirst for hunger and causes us to reach for a bag of pretzels or candy. Next time you feel a hunger pang at a strange time, reach for a big glass of water, wait 20 minutes, and if you’re still hungry, reach for a snack.
…of high quality, detoxifying elixirs of course. I like to mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, a dash of lemon juice, cinnamon, and cayenne into a cup and put it back like I’m out at the bar. It’s not easy to get down, which is why I take it as a shot. If you feel like sipping on something, try this detox drink by Dr. Axe.
Eliminate Processed Food
Processed foods are highly toxic. From the preservatives to the packaging, we’re ingesting chemicals that can be really harmful to our bodies every time we eat. Kind of scary, right? This disrupts our body’s natural ecosystem and can cause bloating, digestive disorders, poor gut health, and even depression and anxiety. Try to have most of your meals at home instead of going out to eat, and focus on foods in their whole forms. If you must go the packaged route (I get it, you’re busy!), look for items with five ingredients or less. I promise they’re out there. You can check out my quick and simple three-day detox here.
Now that you’ve eliminated processed foods, you might be wondering what’s left!? Luckily, all of the best things are left! You should shoot to get most of your nutrients from fruits and vegetables, as they have natural detoxifying properties and tons of vitamins which are great for your hair, skin, nails, and mood. In addition to fruits and veggies, look for lean proteins like chicken, turkey, eggs, or salmon and healthy fats from nuts and avocados. If you can’t kick the carbs, at least eliminate refined white carbs and opt for whole grains like quinoa, brown rice, and sweet potatoes instead.
Keeping your body moving will be a key to your slimdown success. Working out has loads of benefits, including improved sleep, better mood, calorie burn, and increased energy — all of which will enable you to achieve the rest of your slimdown goals.
I’d recommend hitting the gym or a class five out of seven days and doing a mix of HIIT workouts and cardio. These workouts will give you the best caloric bang for your buck, and, while weights are good long-term, you need to burn fat before you can build muscle. Your two rest days are also imperative. While it might feel counter-productive to take days off when you’re trying to slim down, your body needs to recover in order for muscles to repair and build.
Cut Out Caloric Beverages
For these seven days, eliminate any beverages that have calories, including alcohol, soda, kombucha, and lattes. A little milk or almond milk in your coffee is fine, but 150 calories for a beverage adds up quickly over time. Not to mention, drinks with calories often contain loads of sugar, which wreaks havoc on our minds and bodies and can totally derail any intention to slim down.
Remember You’re Only Human
While it might not seem like there’s a direct correlation between how we treat ourselves and how slim we are, treating ourselves better than “ugh you suck” has some definite positive results. When we’re too hard on ourselves, instead of accepting ourselves for who we are and recognizing the progress we’ve made, our bodies get stressed, which can actually trigger weight retention. So no matter where you’re at in your slimdown journey, even if you ‘fall off the wagon’ for a day (…or a week), remember you’re a bada** and that you’re already doing so much right. A bite of a donut or an extra pump of caramel in your latte is not license to hate on yourself. That’s not sustainable, and it’s just plain soul-sucking.