Shipshape this summer

Shipshape this summer

There’s a more relaxed, carefree feel to this sunny season that’s unique, writes Shela Krishnaswamy

health

The freedom of summertime often means letting go of the daily routines and schedules that seem to run our lives like clockwork the rest of the year. There’s a more relaxed, carefree feel to this sunny season that’s unique. While feeling less scheduled is a bonus in many ways, you might not be
necessarily paying attention to what and how much you eat or drink throughout the day.

As summer sets foot in India, a lot of young people begin to prepare to get a perfect summer body. Summer often serves as a boon since most people want to look good and stay healthy, which in turn makes them feel good about themselves. While working towards a perfect summer body is
important, engaging in short-term routines and setting unrealistic goals often proves dangerous to the health. The tips mentioned below can help you get started and keep you on schedule for your ultimate summer body goal.

Try an ‘alcoholiday’

One of the smartest, although not necessarily the easiest way, to shed those extra kilos is to cut down on alcohol. Completely cutting out on alcohol, would be considered as the swiftest route. The chemical composition of alcohol is similar to sugar. Thus its consumption triggers the same insulin resistance that promotes weight gain. Even that one glass of beer or Mojito contains a copious amount of calories with barely any nutritional value. Now is the best time to get on an ‘alcoholiday’
for at least six weeks. If you must drink, you better watch those mixers too. The fruit juices will double the calorie count of your shot. 

Snack the right way

With summer comes the temptation to eat all kinds of unhealthy snacks. While it might be difficult to fight these temptations, you can indulge in more rewarding snacks this summer that will pay off in
the long run. Switch to almonds as they are low on the glycemic index, with a powerful nutrient package that includes hunger-fighting protein, filling fibre, good fats and important vitamins and minerals like magnesium and potassium. It makes them a satisfying snack choice that is an ideal fit
for healthy diets as well. An almond-heavy trail mix serves as a delicious snack that is also great for your metabolism.

Have you tried the rule of three - quarters?

A great way to put good diet sense into practice would be to follow the rule of three quarters. You will have to fill your plate with vegetarian food at the expense of meat and carbohydrates. An ideal ratio would be 75:25. The whole idea is to make meat a treat, give carbs a supporting role which
makes the veg star item. A third of your plate should be protein, a third vegetable and a third a grain or starch. Proteins include various meats, fish, beans, nuts, tofu and all dairy products. Fruits and vegetables can be fresh, frozen, canned, or dried and can be cooked or raw. Grains include bread, pasta, rice and starchy vegetables such as potatoes, peas and corn. This way, you can still enjoy the food you love and not over-indulge.

Move beyond the ‘local’ exercise 

Sometimes, it seems very simple. You might start doing crunches in order to lose that belly fat. Unfortunately, our bodies do not work that way. You cannot control where your body decides to burn fat. Thus, you need to approach your workout in a way that focuses on your entire body. HIIT
or High Intensity Interval Training serves as a great way to begin. If done right, it continues to burn your body fat even after you are done working out. It helps you achieve your goal by focusing on various parts of your body in a holistic way. This way, you won’t keep doing crunches only to get
frustrated about your lack of progress towards your summer body.

(The author is nutrition & wellness consultant)

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